Broadband internet, utilising fibre technology, is capable of transmitting large amounts of data at high speeds, while copper line connections are likely to be significantly slower.
Internet providers sometimes claim their services have a ‘peak speed’ or ‘maximum speed’, or that you’ll receive ‘up to’ a certain speed—for example, ‘speeds up to 10Mbps’ (megabits per second).
Be aware that this speed can be quite different from the actual speed you experience. This is because a number of factors affect speed, including:
- the source of the content
- the type of content
- your equipment and software
- your distance from the nearest phone exchange (in the case of ADSL or ADSL 2+)
- your distance from the nearest phone tower (in the case of mobile wireless broadband)
- the number of people using the network—your connection will be slower at busier times.
The ACCC has provided guidance to service providers to ensure that their advertised broadband speeds represent those actually achievable by consumers, and not just theoretical maximums.