Up to speed: gold for Aussie 4G

An analysis of ZDNet's Broadband Speedtest shows that 4G in Australia is racing ahead of the pack.

While DSL broadband speeds are much of a muchness between the US, the UK and Australia, when it comes to 4G wireless, we're way ahead down under.

The results of our ZDNet Broadband Speedtest show the extent to which Telstra has led the charge for 4G, and how Australia has embraced the technology. The average speed attained by Aussies running the test (downloading a 3MB file) on a 4G device was 11.1Mbps; 77 per cent faster than the average 4G speed in the US. Britain's performance managed three quarters of the Australian download speed — but with only 0.1 per cent of all UK tests made on a 4G device, they really should be disqualified from the category for not trying hard enough.

Over in the DSL arena, the results are very close indeed, but it's another Aussie gold. Australia's average speed of 6.8Mbps just pips the Americans, who were at 6.3Mbps, and the Brits, who averaged 6.2Mbps. The Aussies did have an advantage here, though, clocking 60 per cent of all the tests made across DSL, compared to just 45 per cent in the UK and only 30 per cent in the US.

Team Great Britain has to win gold for commitment to fibre. The average speed on fibre connections was close across all three countries (around the 21Mbps mark), but in the UK, 13 per cent of all tests were run across the technology (compared to 8 per cent in the US and only 2 per cent in Australia).

Britain's commitment to the latest technology improves its opportunity for future gold, but there's clearly a need for more focus; 17 per cent of people taking the test there didn't know what sort of connection they were on, which was 2.5 times worse than the Aussie rate.

Sadly, despite strengths in 4G, it wasn't enough to secure Australia anything other than third place in the overall rankings. The higher ratio of cable in the US (21 per cent) and Britain's stronger performance in 3G pushed Australia down in the overall speed ranking.

As you reel in Australia's mediocre performance, don't think of blaming the home-ground advantage. The ZDNet Broadband Speedtest is served round the world on the Akamai network, so everyone had an equal chance at gold. Now, in recognition of the winner, please feel free to download the US national anthem — or watch it here.


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