The Turnbull Government has announced a new program on April 7 2017 to provide consumers with greater information on the speeds and experience they can expect from fixed-line broadband services delivered over the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The Broadband Performance Monitoring and Reporting (BPMR) program, to be implemented by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), will source performance data from around 4,000 volunteer customers of retail service providers across the country.
Following a successful pilot program in 2015, approximately AU$7 million over four years will be provided to the ACCC from 1 July 2017 to implement the programme. The programme is modelled on similar successful schemes in the UK and the US.
The BPMR programme will enable consumers to compare speeds delivered in peak periods via independent reporting of broadband speeds.
Performance information is a key factor for consumers when purchasing plans from a retail service provider. The Government acknowledges that this will be vital as demand for data grows.
By collecting and publishing information about the speed and reliability of broadband packages, consumers will be better placed to choose a plan that is right for them. It will also encourage retailers to compete on the quality of their broadband plans.
The ACCC will now conduct a tender process to appoint an independent provider to run the program and consumers will be invited to participate.
Participation will involve the installation of a small device on home internet connections. The device will provide valuable and reliable real time data on the performance of the NBN fixed-line broadband service. According to the State of the Internet Q3 2016 report, Australia was ranked 50th globally for the Average Connection Speed (IPv4) by APAC Country/Region so the BPMR program will definitely work towards improving that ranking.
Performance information will be made publicly available for the benefit of all Australians.
Further information about how to sign up will be available on the ACCC website shortly.