ACMA report says Internet performance A-OK

Internet connections are humming along fine and ISPs are advertising accurate data rates according to a report released last week by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Following up on the 2003-2004 Understanding Your Broadband Quality of Service report, the 2004-2005 findings show that with the increase in internet access take-up, internet performance across different technologies has remained consistent with advertised rates.

Over 13,500 respondents took part in the in the report, double that of the 2003-2004 study, with DSL making up 70.6 percent, cable 21.4 percent, wireless 4.6 percent and dialup 1.8 percent of participants. The remainder consisted of satellite, ISDN and other forms of internet connection.

Internet performance was measured by six key parameters; download data rates, upload data rates, data rate variation by time of day, internet service availability, domain name server (DNS) lookup times and latency.

Among key findings were the speeds that users could download data as advertised by different internet access plans. DSL and dialup serviced the majority of respondents and averaged 83 percent and 74 percent of advertised rates respectively.

Wireless broadband came in at only 62 percent of advertised rates, but the report warned this was due to external factors affecting wireless performance.

For uploading, the percentage of advertised data rates ranged from 95 percent for wireless to 68 percent for ISDN.

Internet service availability scored very high with all tested technologies at rates of 99.85 per cent or above.

Data was collated by Telco One with the use of its TCP/IQ Line Speed Meter (LSM), a free tool that measures the performance over time of the connection between the user's operating system and the internet.

However, as all data was collected from LSM users, all respondents were effectively self selected, a fact ACMA made clear in the study.

The report also warned of the limited available data when drawing regional conclusions.

LSM can be downloaded from http://www.tcpiq.com.

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