The West Australian, August 31, 2016:
Perth is officially Australia’s broadband wasteland, with download tests confirming WA’s capital has the nation’s slowest internet speed.
Data obtained by The West Australian from one of the most popular download speed test sites, testmy.net, shows Perth in last spot on the national download chart with an average download speed of 7.1Mbps.
In a result slated by the business community, Perth is space ages behind Canberra, Australia’s fastest capital city with an average download speed of 39.7Mbps. Hobart, which along with Canberra has a large NBN footprint, sits second with 19.1Mbps, followed by Sydney (13.1), Melbourne (10.1) Brisbane (9.3) and Adelaide (8.1).
Perth’s 7.1Mbps figure is slower than Indonesia’s average download speed and well below Australia’s national average.
WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Deidre Willmott said internet reliability was a major issue for WA business. She said surveys showed broadband capabilities across WA, not just Perth, had long been ranked as some of the worst in the country.
Former Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan, an outspoken critic of the quality of Perth’s internet, said the result came as no surprise.
Ms MacTiernan said the need to improve Perth’s internet speed was as important as WA getting its fair share of GST.
“The poor quality of internet in Perth is a massive concern in the community and one of the most common issues people raise with me,” she said.
“And this is not just about downloading movies — internet speed is critical for business productivity and has a huge impact on families.”
The average Perth figure was calculated after more than 40,000 speed tests on the testmy.net website. The speed test website is based in Los Angeles, which could affect speed results compared with the eastern capitals. However, tech insiders say they would differ only slightly.
NBN board member and iiNet founder Michael Malone said he was always sceptical of speed tests because there were many other issues which affected internet speed, and the results differed wildly depending on the time of day. But he said the tyranny of distance meant Perth internet users accessing east coast-based websites would mean slower speeds.
The NBN rollout is considered the light on the hill, but Perth has long been considered the poor cousin of the NBN rollout, with the pace well behind east coast states.
In WA the NBN ticked over 100,000 homes connected in July.