The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its first monthly edition of its Measuring Broadband Australia report on Thursday, which covered the performance of the National Broadband Network (NBN) between February and April. The report showed that from the start of coronavirus lockdowns in mid-March, during busy hours, users on 50Mbps and 100Mbps plans experienced drops of up to 14% and 23%, respectively. Users on 25Mbps plan were only hit with a 5% degradation in busy hours. No 12Mbps services were included due to a lack of sufficient sample size. Measuring across all hours, the drops in speeds translated into 12% for 100Mbps, 8% for 50Mbps, and only a few percent for 25Mbps.
New Zealand broadband wholesaler Chorus said it now has 143,000 users on 1Gbps connections, after uptake grew by 7,000 connections during the third quarter. For the three months to the end of March, the company added 29,000 customers across all fibre connections, and said the average monthly data use of fibre increased from 460GB to 491GB. Overall, Chorus saw its amount of broadband connections decline by 2,000 to 1.181 million, with the company blaming it on COVID-19 and the impact it had on network migration and population growth, which it said led to broadband growth being constrained. This, however, was counterbalanced by the return of students from holidays, which Chorus said helped restore some prior period disconnections. In terms of data usage, monthly data use grew slightly from 390GB recorded last quarter to 416GB in March.
Telstra is the fastest mobile and fixed-line broadband provider, according to the latest reports from Ookla, with mobile downloads averaging 53.42Mbps and top download speeds across its fixed-line networks coming in at 72.99Mbps. Telstra also had the fastest average upload speed of 17.53Mbps, with Vodafone following on 13.32Mbps and Optus trailing on 10.14Mbps. Ookla reported Optus as having the lowest latency, however, at 28 milliseconds, while Vodafone's average latency was 30ms and Telstra's 31ms. Overall, Australian carriers provided an average download speed of 49.17Mbps, upload speed of 14.12Mbps, and latency of 30ms. Telstra also took out Ookla's fastest fixed network award [PDF], with a top download speed of 72.99Mbps, top upload speed of 20.14Mbps, and an average latency of 32ms.
The New Zealand government will be establishing a consumer data right (CDR) framework for the nation as part of hopes to put consumers "in the driver's seat" when it comes to how their personal information is used by third parties. "Any data shared through the consumer data right will only take place with a person's informed consent, and would be strictly used for the reasons agreed upon. For example, if a person was seeking financial advice, they could ask their bank to share data, such as transaction information, with their chosen adviser," Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said. "The businesses and services wishing to receive this data would also have to meet a number of safeguards to ensure the information could be handled safely and securely." The country's telcos in March agreed to begin preparation for a CDR, with the New Zealand Commerce Commission six months prior saying it was happy for the sector to look into the design and implementation of the right.
Verizon and T-Mobile are in a heated competition for telecom supremacy in the US, with both companies leading the way in a variety of categories in Ookla's new Q2 2021 US Market Report. Multiple speed tests showed that Verizon led the way as the fastest fixed broadband provider in the US for Q2, while T-Mobile was the fastest and most consistent mobile operator with a 54.13 Mbps median download speed. After Verizon, Cox, XFINITY, Spectrum, AT&T Internet and CenturyLink followed on the list of fastest fixed broadband providers. As other reports have shown recently, T-Mobile is also dominating the 5G market, with the Ookla report finding that it has the fastest median 5G download speed at 99.84 Mbps and best 5G availability. Tampa, Florida had the fastest median download speed with 79.75 Mbps and San Antonio, Texas is the city with the fastest fixed broadband.