NBN fixed wireless download speeds are improving

NBN fixed wireless download speeds are improving

NBN fixed wireless download speeds have greatly improved over the past twelve months, according to the most recent ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) Measuring Broadband Australia quarterly report

The report found that regarding speeds in December 2021, NBN fixed wireless plan users received an average download performance of 93.4% of plan speed during all hours, which dropped to 79.8% during the peak 7-11pm period.

This was quite an improvement compared to the previous report, which showed an average download performance of 88.5% of plan speeds during all hours and 73.9% during busy hours.

It was even better when compared to December 2020 (which was also when the MBA program first began measuring NBN fixed wireless), which showed results of 78.5% and 68.4%, respectively.

But why have NBN speeds improved?

Good question! Download speeds have improved following the NBN Co’s introduction of a 15% over-provisioning allowance on the download component of NBN fixed wireless plans in July 2021. This change was passed on to customers by some retail providers.

Chart 1. NBN Fixed Wireless Plus download speeds in December 2020 and December 2021
(Graph from ACCC Media Release)

The report also revealed that some NBN Fixed Wireless Plus plan customers experienced higher maximum speeds in December 2021, sometimes even exceeding 80 Mbps.

During this period, 98% of Fixed Wireless Plus services could handle as many as five or more HD (high definition) streams at one time, versus 81% in September 2021.

“It is pleasing to see consumers on NBN’s fixed wireless networks are also benefiting from the improved download speeds that we have seen on the NBN fixed-line network,” said ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey.

In contrast, upload speeds appear to be on the decline, showing a slight dip from 52.2% of plan speed in peak hours in December 2020 to 48.9% in December 2021.

“Upload speeds, however, which are increasingly important for a range of applications including working from home, gaming and sharing files, are generally flat on both fixed-line and fixed wireless,” said Brakey.

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Last updated 13 July 2024