How fast is Telstra Internet?
Here's how Telstra's Internet speeds compare to other Australian telcos.
Telstra might be the largest and oldest telco in Australia, but that doesn't mean it's automatically the fastest option on the market. It once owned Australia's ADSL copper network, but now everyone is shifting to the government-owned NBN. That means Telstra is facing plenty of competition from speed-focused providers such as Aussie Broadband and 10mates.
To help you decide whether Telstra's broadband service is fast enough for you, we've collected speed data from a variety of sources so you can compare it to other broadband providers.
Typical evening NBN speeds
While there are four main NBN speed tiers available, those tiers only reflect the theoretical maximum speeds you could receive under optimal conditions. The real world rarely allows for optimal conditions, with factors like network congestion meaning the speeds you get are often much lower than those associated with each NBN tier.
Fortunately, most telcos now provide information around the typical speeds their customers receive during the busy evening hours of 7pm to 11pm. These speeds are a more accurate representation of the performance you're likely to see if you sign up with a particular telco.
The chart below shows how Telstra's typical evening speeds stack up. We've sorted against the top-ranking telcos in the Standard NBN speed tier. If you want to see how Telstra compares against an even wider range of telcos, check out our ranking of NBN providers with the fastest typical evening speeds.
Netflix regularly releases reports on the average speeds its subscribers record from different Australian telcos. These speeds reflect the performance during what Netflix calls "prime time" and apply only to Netflix, so they may not line up with performance for other online activities.
Here's how Telstra's Netflix performance compares to other Aussie telcos according to the most recent Netflix report:
Data updated for Aug 2020 from the Netflix ISP Speed Index
|Provider||Average Prime Time Netflix speed|
Google also maintains data on the performance of Internet providers accessing its streaming video service, YouTube. Instead of tracking download speeds, it focuses on how consistently a particular provider delivers HD video to its customers within a 24-hour period, averaged out over a full month. The closer a provider's rating is to 100%, the more likely you are to enjoy a crisp and clear streaming experience.
This is how Telstra stacks up against the top telcos for streaming YouTube:
Data updated for Aug 2020 from Google's Video Quality Report
|Provider||24-hour video quality average||Peak-hour video quality average||Overall video quality rating|
|Foxtel Broadband NBN||97.13% HD||98.00% HD||97.56% HD|
|Telstra NBN||95.79% HD||96.00% HD||95.90% HD|
|Dodo NBN||95.75% HD||96.00% HD||95.88% HD|
|TPG||95.33% HD||95.80% HD||95.57% HD|
|Activ8me||95.17% HD||95.60% HD||95.38% HD|
|Optus||94.79% HD||95.00% HD||94.90% HD|
|Telstra ADSL||93.71% HD||93.80% HD||93.75% HD|
If you play video games on your PC, odds are you're familiar with Steam. Steam is the most popular PC games storefront and tracks the performance of quite a few popular Australian telcos, recording their average download speeds and updating them on a weekly basis.
Below you can see how Telstra fares against the other telcos tracked by Steam:
Data updated for Aug 2020 from Steam
|Provider||Average download speed on Steam|
ACCC broadband performance data
After establishing guidelines around how Internet providers should advertise their typical evening speeds, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC) began measuring the performance of Australian broadband providers on an ongoing basis. Each quarter, it releases a new report charting how close each provider came to hitting its maximum speeds during the busy evening hours of 7pm to 11pm.
You can see how consistently Telstra hit its maximum speeds in the chart below compared to the other providers tracked by the ACCC:
Data updated for Aug 2020 from ACCC Broadband Performance Report
|Provider||Percentage of Max. Download Speed (busy hours)|
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