Netflix speed rankings suggests Australian internet still needs improvement

Alex Kidman 11 October 2017 NEWS

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Increased NBN adoption doesn't seem to be affecting our internet speeds all that much.

Netflix publishes a monthly table of its own calculated Australian Internet speeds, based on user download speeds during prime time, or in other words, when we all tend to rush to the Internet to catch up on the latest can't-miss-binge-fest program to launch on streaming services.

Its September 2017 figures put independent ISP Exetel at the top of the rankings, over Optus, TPG, iiNet, Telstra and Dodo/iPrimus respectively. If you're interested in the raw Netflix speed numbers, they are as follows:

Netflix Australia September 2017 ISP Speeds

ISPAverage Speed (Mbps)
Exetel3.61
Optus3.6
TPG3.54
iiNet3.46
Telstra3.45
Dodo/iPrimus3.38

Now, does this mean that everyone should flock to Exetel because they're clearly much better than the rest?

Not necessarily. For a start, these are average speeds, not individual instances, and that means issues of sample size between ISPs has significant potential to alter speed positioning. It's interesting to note that Telstra's average speed appears to have crept upwards, which suggests an on-average improvement in its general performance over time.

Netflix_speeds_Sept_2017_738

If that's a little hard to read, Telstra is the bottom line that jumps up sharply towards the end of the graph.

However, if you take Netflix's figures as gospel, the practical reality is that there's a lot of work to do to bring Australian internet speeds up to an acceptable level even for basic Netflix watching. Those average speeds would only bring you standard definition Netflix streams, not HD or UltraHD by a very wide margin indeed.

The entire range of difference from best to worst in that table is only 0.23Mbps, which is essentially insignificant in terms of your overall Netflix experience and not enough to make any difference to your stream quality whatsoever. That's all despite increasing availability of NBN connections, although there too, many consumers have had specific speed complaints.

Still, ISPs aren't all that happy with Netflix's speed index, with a Telstra spokesperson telling Business Insider that they don't regard the index as a "valid comparison between ISPs."

Sick of slow Internet speeds or paying too much? Compare the latest NBN, ADSL and Wireless broadband packages to get a better deal today!

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