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05 July 2017

Australia falls in global rankings for digital readiness

Turns out our fixed-broadband speeds are pretty dirt.

WE LOVE to have a whinge over our slow internet speeds and overpriced plans, but our perpetual complaining might be more than just a favourite Aussie pastime.

According to the third edition of the Digital Australia: State of the Nation report, our country has fallen two places in the World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index.

Australia now sits 18th in a list of 139 countries on the Index, which measures the impact information and communications technologies have on the economy and society.

Despite Australia’s Index score remaining the same as it was in 2014, we have slipped in the global rankings because other countries have become more technologically advanced.

“Australia scored well in individual usage of ICT, with the world’s 10th highest penetration of mobile broadband,” the report read.

“However, it was brought down by the cost of fixed broadband. Affordability is Australia’s lowest performing digital readiness aspect, currently ranked at fifty-seventh in the world.”

Even with Australia’s average fixed broadband speeds reaching an record high 11.1Mbps, our distance to those at the top of the global leaderboard has widened, leaving us ranked 50th in the world.

Explaining a few things you might not have known about the change

Average fixed-broadband speeds of 14.7Mbps see our New Zealand neighbours ranked at 27th in the world, while South Korea is setting the benchmark for the rest of the world with internet speeds nearly three times faster than in Australia.

“Assuming that the average download speed remains consistent, a 1.74 gigabyte standard definition video file would take approximately 8 minutes to download in South Korea and close to 21 minutes in Australia,” the report states.

In terms of mobile broadband, Australia is better positioned, with average download speeds of 15.7 Mbps ranking us at 11 on the global ladder.

When focused on the NBN, 63 per cent of Australians have support for the rollout and believe our country needs major digital infrastructure programs in place to ensure a world class digital economy.

On the surface this optimism seems promising, although since 2014 the amount of Australians complaining the NBN is worse than expected has almost doubled.

The NBN being slower than expected/not being satisfied with the speed was the biggest gripe of customers, with unreliable connection and no improvement to previous internet service following close behind.

What are your thoughts on this finding? Continue the conversation in the comments below or with Matthew Dunn on Facebook and Twitter.

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