Broadband speeds

  • Advertised home broadband speeds must be accurate.
  • We have guidance for providers about how to advertise broadband speeds.
  • Our Measuring Broadband Australia program collects data on broadband speeds and produces regular reports.
  • The program relies on volunteers around the country who host a testing device on their broadband connection. 
  • Volunteers can sign up to participate in the Measuring Broadband Australia program.

What the ACCC does

  • We publish guidance for internet service providers about how to advertise broadband speeds.
  • With the help of volunteers across Australia, we track broadband speeds.
  • We may take enforcement action against providers who mislead people about broadband speed.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We don’t resolve individual disputes about broadband speed.
  • We don’t give legal advice.

Issues with the advertising of broadband speeds

Like all claims in advertising, home broadband speeds advertised by internet service providers must be accurate and must not create a false impression.

In the past, some providers have misled people about advertising broadband plans, using maximum speeds that people can't access in real life.

How providers should advertise broadband speeds

To give a more realistic sense of what speeds to expect, the ACCC has developed guidance for providers about how to advertise broadband speeds.

While providers do not have to follow our guidance, they must follow the law and not make false or misleading claims.

Busy period speeds

According to our guidance, providers should advertise the typical speed of each NBN broadband plan during the busy evening period of 7 pm to 11 pm.

The ACCC’s guidance has 4 labels that providers can use for broadband plans. Each label represents a different level of internet use and comes with a download speed that people should expect during busy periods.

Plan label Speed between 7 pm and 11 pm Typical use
Basic Evening Speed Less than 15 Mbps Web browsing, email
Standard Evening Speed At least 15 Mbps HD video streaming plus web browsing
Standard Plus Evening Speed At least 30 Mbps 4K video streaming plus music streaming
Premium Evening Speed At least 60 Mbps 4K video streaming plus online gaming

Technical issues that affect speed

According to our guidance, providers should warn people about any technical issues that limit the maximum speed of a plan, either when they sign up or as soon as the provider knows about the issues.

Some broadband services have technical limitations that mean customers can’t experience the maximum possible speed. These limitations are common in copper wiring or fixed wireless connections, for example.

Providers should tell people about any limitations to their maximum speed at the time they sign up for a broadband plan.

If the provider only finds out about the limitations after someone has signed up, they should tell them immediately and offer an appropriate solution.

Extra rules that NBN providers must follow

As well as the voluntary guidance issued by the ACCC, there is an industry standard that providers offering NBN plans must follow about information they give people. This standard is made and enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Providers are responsible for resolving issues with NBN services on behalf of their customers.

ACMA provides information for:

Broadband monitoring program

About the program

The ACCC’s Measuring Broadband Australia program tests broadband speed and performance of volunteer households across Australia at different times of the day.

The program provides accurate, independent and comparable information about broadband speeds and performance.

See Broadband performance data and the regular reports we produce to compare the broadband speed and performance of providers.

Volunteer to help track broadband speeds

To provide this information, we rely on volunteers around the country who host a testing device on their broadband connection.

Volunteers have access to information about their internet performance through a dashboard and receive regular report cards.

Sign up to participate at Measuring Broadband Australia

Next steps if you’ve been misled about broadband speed

Contact the provider

If you believe you’ve been misled about the speed of a broadband plan, your first step is to contact the provider to explain the problem.

If the provider doesn’t resolve the problem, there are more steps you can take.

Contact the Ombudsman

You can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. They provide a dispute resolution service if you haven’t been able to resolve your issue with a phone or internet service provider.

Get other help taking a problem further

See also

Broadband performance data

Measuring Broadband Australia latest report

Industry guidance on broadband speed claims

Measuring Broadband Australia website

False or misleading claims