According to new research from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Australia is now ranked within the top ten countries for average advertised broadband speeds.
In the statistics for October 2007, Australia is ranked ninth for average advertised speed and 23rd on average price per MB out of the OECD's 30 member countries.
Japan headed up the broadband table, with average advertised speeds almost eight times those recorded in Australia, and average price per MB just under seven times less than Australia's.
The top speeds advertised by Japanese providers were 50 times those advertised in Australia, the OECD said.
The research records Australia as the least densely populated country of the 30 surveyed in the report. Only Iceland and Canada have, like Australia, a population density of less than five inhabitants per square kilometre.
Australia has the worst broadband penetration of the three at 22.7 people per 100 inhabitants. Canada's broadband penetration sits at 25 people per 100 inhabitants with Iceland's at 29.8.
Half of Canada's population lives on 15.91 percent of the country's landmass -- making it geographically comparable to Australia. Canada ranked below Australia for both average advertised speeds and average price per MB, at 15th and 27th respectively.
According to the statistics, Australia is one of a diminishing group of countries which still offers broadband caps. The US, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Korea, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, and Finland no longer have plans offering caps. Of countries where caps are used, Australia has the fourth most expensive average charge per excess MB.
At an Australian Telecommunications Users Group (ATUG) event on Monday, Communications Minister Helen Coonan said that she did not think Australians should "put too much influence" on the OECD statistics, and has some concerns about the methodologies that had been used in the past.
A survey released earlier this year by the OECD found Australia ranked second from bottom among its OECD peers by average speed.
In ZDNet Australia's own Broadband Speed Test, Japan ranked sixth in average speed, while Australia ranked 22nd.
Among the country's largest ISPs, iiNet had the highest average speeds, with Optus and Telstra only reaching sixth and ninth places respectively.
The highest and lowest speeds recorded by the ZDNet Australia speed test were both recorded by Telstra users.