Key NBN broadband services used by small and medium sized Australian businesses typically provide good support to popular business applications, particularly those hosted within Australia, the ACCC’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia report has found.

The Measuring Broadband Australia program reports on the typical speed and performance of home and small business internet plans; however, this report also looked at the support these plans provide for accessing online applications that are popular amongst small and medium sized businesses. These included video conferencing applications as well as email, accounting, e-commerce and customer relationship management platforms.

The report found that these businesses generally experience good connectivity due to most of these applications being hosted locally, meaning there is a shorter distance between the server and the end-user.

“The location of the hosting server is one of the key factors in determining the quality of the experience when people access web-based platforms,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“With most of the tested applications hosted locally, small and medium sized businesses should receive a good experience regardless of their internet connection type or plan speed.”

The study compared connection speeds for paid and free video conferencing services and all but one of the free services recorded speeds similar to the paid version. The outlier was a free video conferencing platform hosted outside of Australia, which resulted in significantly higher latency. See figure 1 below.

Latency refers to the time it takes to send data from a user’s device to a server and back. Higher latency means there are delays in sending and receiving data, which can impact video conferencing experience.

The study found that while fixed wireless connections have slightly higher latency on average, the difference in average performance is not likely to impact experience.

Figure 1. Average latency to video conferencing services during all hours

Toggled chart showing average latency to video conferencing services during all hours by NBN access technology and by NBN plan speed. ‘Service 1 (Free)’ is the video conferencing service hosted overseas.

  • Note: The “By NBN access technology” chart excludes results from very high speed services (i.e., the download plan speed exceeds 500 Mbps). Please refer to the main report for those results

However, there are other important factors in addition to broadband connectivity that will influence user experience such as security, ease of use and application functionality.

The study also compared the webpage loading times for websites that small and medium businesses frequently use to access accounting and other online business platforms. It found that webpage loading times are not noticeably affected by the fixed-line access technology or plan download speed. Webpage loading times depend on many factors, including the distance between the website hosting location and the end-user, as well as the complexity and design of the webpage.

“While all connection types were found to provide good access to the applications that small and medium businesses rely on for their day-to-day operations, these businesses could benefit from higher speed connections when using multiple online applications or transferring large files at the same time,” Ms Brakey said.

Broadband service availability is also a key factor for user experience on business applications. The results for outages on NBN fixed-line connections showed little impact on end user experience, with 95 per cent of connections experiencing fewer than 1 outage per day, and 57 per cent of outages not lasting longer than 3 minutes.

Fixed-line connections record their highest download speeds

The report also found that NBN fixed-line services recorded their highest ever download speeds during the busy hours (7 to 11pm on weeknights) at 98.5 per cent of plan speed, compared to 98.1 per cent in the March 2023 report. On average, upload speeds on NBN fixed-line plans were 86.2 per cent of plan speed during busy hours, compared to 85.4 per cent last quarter.

Underperforming services represented 4.7 per cent of the NBN fixed-line services tested in this report, compared to 5.6 per cent in the previous quarter.

“While we welcome the decline in underperforming services, some consumers are still not receiving the speeds they are paying for. We will continue to monitor underperforming services to see whether this decline is sustained,” Ms Brakey said.

Smaller providers continue to deliver strong results

For the seventh quarter in a row, two of the top three performing broadband retailers for busy hour download speeds were smaller providers.

“Smaller providers continue to deliver some of the best download speeds available for consumers, which is good for competition in the market,” Ms Brakey said.

The report also found that other superfast networks performed well, with average busy hour download speeds of 105 per cent of plan speed and 89 per cent for upload speeds. Other fixed-line superfast networks monitored are fibre to the premises, whereas NBN fixed-line also includes fibre to the node, fibre to the building, fibre to the curb and hybrid fibre coaxial.

Fixed-wireless plans show small improvement

There was a slight improvement in NBN fixed wireless download and upload speed results this quarter. Busy hour download speeds were 87.5 per cent of plan speed, compared to 86.2 per cent in the previous report. Upload performance during busy hours also increased to 63.4 per cent of plan speed compared to 60.5 per cent in the previous quarter.


The ACCC encourages other superfast access network operators to support the Measuring Broadband Australia program and contact the ACCC if they are interested in joining. 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 UK, US, Canada and New Zealand.

To sign up, visit Measuring Broadband Australia