Kazakhstan, Ukraine found to have faster broadband than Australia

Australia has the 55th slowest fixed broadband speed in the world, according to the latest global index. Pictured is a file image. Source: AAP

Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Guam are among the 54 countries that have faster fixed broadband than Australia.

Australia has been bested by Kazakhstan in a new global ranking of fixed broadband speeds.

The latest Ookla Speed Test Global Index found the former Soviet republic was among 54 countries and territories – including Ukraine, Panama and Guam – that have faster fixed broadband than Australia.

Australia dropped two places to 55th in the world for fixed broadband speed, with an average download speed of 25.88 Mbps and an average upload speed of 9.17 Mbps.

Both these upload and download speeds were well below global averages.

This drop in rankings comes as the government continues to roll out the $49 billion National Broadband Network.

But a spokesperson for NBN Co told SBS News it was still too early for the project to impact national fixed broadband speed averages.

The spokesperson said there were currently only about three million premises receiving services on the NBN, meaning the numbers captured by the Ookla Speed Test Global Index are "being generated by the five million or so legacy services on slower ADSL services".

She said the target of eight million activated NBN premises by 2020 was when "we expect to see the overall fixed broadband speeds in Australia increase significantly".

But Associate Professor Mark Gregory, from RMIT University, was not convinced.

Assoc Prof Gregory told SBS News two factors would impede a rise in the rankings - the cost of NBN plans and the government's decision to ditch Labor's fibre-to-the-premise plans in 2013.

He said because of this other countries would likely continue to overtake Australia in the years ahead.

"The overall trend is that we are continuing to go down (compared to other countries) ... This is very negative," Assoc Prof Gregory told SBS News.

There was some good news in the Ookla Speed Test Global Index. Australia remains a world leader in mobile internet speeds – actually surpassing fixed broadband averages.

For mobile technology, the average download speed was 48.87 Mbps and average upload speed was 14.70 Mbps. This ranks Australia as seventh in the world.

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