Up to speed: Telstra and Optus race ahead

Up to speed: Telstra and Optus race ahead

Summary: The latest data from ZDNet's Broadband Speedtest not only shows how Optus is vying with Telstra for leadership in the broadband speed stakes, but also how the two of them are way ahead of the pack.


All change!

What's clear from this wealth of data is how quickly the dynamics are changing — speeds are increasing, market share is shifting and mobility is rising, month by month. This has to be encouraging for the user, who should be experiencing a noticeable improvement in service. Of course, the data also suggests there is a huge variety in the quality of service, with some providers showing lower speeds and higher TTFB than others. It demonstrates the need to maintain quality if providers want to stand a chance in such a cut-throat market.

Price reductions will bring short-term gains, but is such a tactic sustainable? Customers will continue to expect quality improvements. Dodo, for example, increased its share while increasing speed from an average of 3.7Mbps to 4.4Mbps, and while reducing TTFB — clearly an issue — from an average 1343 milliseconds down to 918 milliseconds. Compare that to Optus. Its TTFB and speeds are better, but Optus' share of speed tests fell 2 per cent over the six months of the analysis, during which time TTFB increased from an average of 625 milliseconds in May to 690 milliseconds in October (all over fixed connections).

These are still a lot better than the Dodo figures, but Dodo has always sold on price. Today, these figures seem to show, price is important, but it needs to be matched with faster speeds and lower TTFB if you are a service provider that wants to be in with a fighting chance.

Topics: Broadband, Telcos, Optus, Telstra, NBN


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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  • Telstra is so awesome that 12km from Canberra CBD I am on a RIM service where I can regularly get speeds of up to 500kbps and because of the eventual NBN roll out they do not plan on upgrading it. Thanks guys.
    • Weej, I assume from your comment that you live in the northern part of Canberra, you should try TransACT's point to point wireless product which is available in the RIM fed area, providing you can see the hill with our tower (most houses can), you should be able to get 5mbps download 1 mbps upload.

      Ivan Slavich
      Ivan Slavich
    • weej

      A victim of comercial realites. Some may have to wait years due to NBN snail pace. whilst the watch dog is having a self fame ball.
      Vasso Massonic
      • To be fair Telstra were not interested in upgrading the service in our area before the NBN was announced either. It has been something the local residents have been trying to get fixed for years without success, but guess what. Telstra don't care.
  • 900 ms average latency? Congratulations to ZDNet for putting the test-node in orbit. Latency of a geosynchronous satellite link is ~ 500ms, and round trip to the moon and back is ~2560ms, so the test node must be about half-way to the moon!!
    • Hi P,
      Very good point! After talking with the tech guys here (who created the test), I have added a footnote that I hope will clarify things. (We will work on rewording the actual graphs today and reposting them. Please note that they still accurately show relative performance!) Thank you. -Brian
    • I can vouch for the 900ms, that was the standard ping my parents used to get to google on satelite