In the Measuring Broadband Australia report released this week, the ACCC has identified Western Australia as having the highest proportion of underperforming broadband services of any state in the country, and the slowest average ‘busy hour’ download speeds.
The report also shows that 1 in 8 consumers continue to experience underperforming services that achieve less than 75 per cent of their advertised speeds across all speed tests. Most of the affected consumers paid for NBN50 or NBN100 plans over Fibre to the Node connections.
The reason for this comparatively woeful performance is simple: the Liberals’ copper version of the NBN has delivered significantly more copper in Western Australia than any other state.
I have been saying for some time that WA received the worst-quality NBN, and this report by the ACCC confirms that WA has the worst broadband infrastructure performance of all the states. As a result of the Liberal government’s poorly designed and unfair NBN, more than 1 in 7 households won’t meet the Government’s fast-broadband threshold of 50 mbps. It is unacceptable that WA, the largest and most remote state, will fail to meet the government’s NBN benchmark that requires 90% of premises to get more than 50 mbp/s.
An effective NBN depends on an evenly distributed high-quality network. Unfortunately Australia has neither, and WA is on the wrong side of a sharp digital divide. This will put us at a permanent disadvantage, reducing productivity and access to essential services in areas like health and education.
The Liberal Government’s flawed NBN plan was implemented under the false pretence that delivering a second-rate NBN would be faster and cheaper.
Yet six years on, and the Liberals multi-technology mix is $21.4 billion over budget and four years behind what they promised to deliver.
On every measure it costs more and does less than the original fibre plan.
Meanwhile, New Zealand stuck with its plan and reduced the cost of deploying fibre to the premises by 44 per cent.