Consumers in both urban and regional Australia on NBN fixed-line broadband services have seen an improvement to their download and upload speeds since February 2022, according to the ACCC’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia report.

The latest report compares the broadband performance of Australians in urban and regional areas during September 2023. The last time the ACCC monitored this was in February 2022.  

The average download speeds for consumers in urban areas (cities with a population of at least 10,000 people) during the busy weekday hours of 7-11pm increased to 99 per cent of the maximum plan speed in September 2023, compared to 96.8 per cent in February 2022.

The average download speeds for consumers in regional areas increased to 97.2 per cent of plan speed, up from 94.2 per cent.

Average upload speeds have also improved in regional areas and are now 1.8 per cent lower than the average in urban areas, compared to five per cent lower in February 2022. Average busy hour upload speeds in regional areas increased to 86.1 per cent of the maximum plan speed, up from 79.8 per cent. In urban areas, average upload speeds increased to 87.9 per cent of plan speed, up from 84.8 per cent.

Figure 1. Average busy hour performance across urban and regional areas

NBN fixed-line connections, including underperforming services



“The internet is an essential service for Australians, making it vital that all consumers receive reliable internet speeds irrespective of where they live,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“It is encouraging to see the gap in broadband speeds narrowing and regional Australians receiving largely similar speeds to those in urban areas.”

While average broadband speeds have increased across the board, regional consumers continue to be impacted by underperforming services more than their urban counterparts. Underperforming services are those that rarely or never achieve the plan download speed. This is often, but not always, caused by a known physical impairment to fibre to the node services.

The report found that seven per cent of regional services were underperforming compared to four per cent in urban areas.

“There is a higher proportion of consumers in regional areas using fibre to the node services, which are more likely to underperform compared to NBN’s other technologies,” Ms Brakey said.

“We expect NBN Co and broadband retailers to work together to improve their underperforming services so that all Australians, regardless of their location or connection type, have access to the broadband speeds they are paying for.”

The report also found that NBN fixed-line download speeds (including both urban and regional services) during the busy hours are the highest recorded in the program at 98.8 per cent of plan speed, compared to 98.5 per cent last quarter. Results were steady for other monitored technologies and networks.

Further information on the report’s full findings is available on the ACCC website at Measuring Broadband Australia program.

Note to editors

The Measuring Broadband Australia program measures the number of high-definition and ultra-high-definition Netflix streams that each popular NBN speed tier can support.

The ACCC and its testing provider, SamKnows, are currently investigating whether previous MBA reports have understated the required bitrate to stream Netflix titles, following concerns raised with us.

For this report, the ACCC has adjusted the bitrate calculation based on a range of reference material, including Netflix’s recommended broadband speeds and its Internet Service Provider Speed Index. The revised metric continues to show that each NBN speed tier can support multiple full-high-definition Netflix streams; however, the number of simultaneous streams had reduced for some speed tiers.

The Netflix streams graphic based on higher bitrates can be found on page 5 of the report.

Addresses are classed as “urban” or “regional” based on NBN Co’s classification. An urban service is supplied in a population centre with 10,000 or more residents, while a regional service is supplied in smaller population centres. This is a standard grouping used in the communications sector.

There have been some changes to the panel compositions since the previous report that compared regional and urban area broadband speeds in February 2022. These changes may have a minor impact on the comparability of results.


This report’s comparison of regional and urban broadband performance only includes NBN fixed-line connections. However, many regional, rural and remote Australians access the internet via fixed wireless and satellite connections. The ACCC is currently examining whether the performance of satellite services, such as those provided over NBN SkyMuster and Starlink, could be monitored as part of the Measuring Broadband Australia program.

The ACCC is looking for volunteers who use satellite services to sign up via the Measuring Broadband Australia website.

The Federal Government funded the ACCC to run a national broadband performance monitoring and reporting program from 2017-25.

Data for Measuring Broadband Australia is provided by UK-based firm SamKnows using methodology based on established speed testing programs in the US, Canada and New Zealand.