back to article According to Netflix, Australia's slowest ISP owns half of Foxtel

Australia's dominant carrier, Telstra, offers Netflix customers the slowest download speeds, the video-streamer says. Here's Netflix's data for Australia. Netflix Australia speed data Netflix's view of Australian internet service provider download speeds Netflix says its index “lists the average prime time bitrate for …

  1. Paul J Turner

    Just for comparison...

    I wonder what average rate Telstra manages during downloading movies to T-box users.

  2. Sanctimonious Prick


    I find it hilarious that Dodo beats Telstra in that comparison!

  3. Mark 65

    Although it's the slowest they are all still pissy rates in general given peering/appliance boosts. Might be interesting to slice and dice the data differently i.e. average speed by telco and technology (ADSL, Cable etc).

    Chances are you'll find that Telstra is still running most of the ADSL that nobody else is interested in. It would also be interesting to see it compared to link speed i.e. if a user can normally connect/utilise at 8Mb/s and they get Netflix at 2Mb/s then there would seem to be a peering or "acting a shit" problem. Likely Netflix may not have access to this. Telstra's Netflix speed on their Cable Broadband network would be interesting.

    1. Diogenes

      and even on-net vs off-net

      Although Telstra is not my ISP, because my ISP (TPG) couldn't put its own DSLAM in the exchange, I am on Telstra's kit. It would be interesting to see say, my neighbour's (offnet) Optus vs my (offnet) TPG vs across the road's Bigpond Netflix streaming speeds as we all seem to speed test within 1-2 k of each other (@ 11-15MB most of the time - depending on weather/day/time/how I hold my mouth) as we are all on the same DSLAM and have virtually the same path (neighbour's is 16 m longer).

  4. Phil Kingston

    It's OK! NBN will be here soon to make it all better and super fast!

    Oh wait.

  5. Owen

    Telstra says nothing wrong.

    I just queried Telstra since I'm on Bigpond Cable @ 30Mb/s (sometimes) and "Ab Fab" on Netflix was full of artifacts and was skipping frames and hanging even on the (presumably) lowest quality that Netflix could automagically stream at.

    Telstra said nothing was wrong with my connection but hey, why didn't I invest $216 in a DOCSIS 3 modem (home gateway) and another $20 / month for even more blisteringly fast download speeds. We'll see what I can report back next week.

    Does anybody know how I can tell what throughput I'm getting from Netflix on either Android (CuBox-i4Pro) or Windows?

    1. pro-logic

      Re: Telstra says nothing wrong.

      On Windows (at least on Chrome) using keyboard mash:

      Ctrl + Alt + Shift + D

      You'll get a debug screen the second last section will read:



      Bandwith (normalized):

      Max Sustained Video Bitrate:

      Simples! *squeak*

      1. Owen

        Re: Telstra says nothing wrong.

        Thanks for the tip. I'll have to let Netflix tech support know. They say any problem with Netflix on mobiles: contact "the makers of Android" or the hardware e.g. Samsung. Any problem with Netflix on Windows call the PC maker or Microsoft - no really!

        FWIW, Bigpond Cable Internet @ 30Mb/s in North Sydney, streaming in (potentially HD - Netflix don't know how to tell) gives these figures for House of Cards when forced to "high" - same in "auto" in profile. (It's filmed in 4K resolution so I should get 1080P if it is working):

        Latency: 0 ms

        Throughput: 25336 KBPS

        Bandwidth (normalized): 25335 KBPS

        Max Sustainable Video Bitrate: 25239 KBPS


        Ctrl + Alt + Shift + D

        You'll get a debug screen the second last section will read:



        Bandwith (normalized):

        Max Sustained Video Bitrate:


        1. pro-logic

          Re: Telstra says nothing wrong.

          CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + S will bring up a speed override thing. On the debug screen you should also see a 'current video rate' thing towards the top.

          Since you seem to be getting 18Mbps+ you should be getting HD without any issues. If not, i'll ask the dumb obvious question:

          1. Are you paying for a plan that supports 1080P? I believe only the top tier 4 device plan supports 1080P and above. The intermediate plan supports 720p and the one device plan supports only TV quality.

          2. If you do, check that you don't have bandwidth limiting enabled in your netflix account.

          I believe Netflix like Aussie television stations define HD as 720p, not 1080p.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm using Telstra

    I'm using Telstra because they are the only choice where I live.

    It's slow, it's probably insufficient for streaming and it's expensive.

    It's all we have and there is no further upgrade path thanks to Malcolm Turnbull.

    Streaming, I've heard of that.

  7. Nikerym

    interestingly enough, many of the "better" services are wholesaled from Telstra backbone anyway, so we know the Telstra infrastructure can handle higher speeds. My guess is that this calculation includes everything, including places where Telstra is the only option (regional towns etc) Whereas the other companies are only operating in CBD's and high density surburbia where they get better ROI for their efforts, but are also closer to exchanges etc. so get higher "averages" as a result.

    Don't get me wrong. 3.3 or whatever it was for TPG is still abysmal. and all Australian ISP's need to lift their game. but without knowing the footprint, the comparison between the two needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

  8. ManFromOz

    malice or incompetence

    "Might Telstra have decided it won't do everything in its power to ensure that data flows well from Netflix's peers?"

    Don't rush to ascribe malice to actions that can better be explained by incompetence..

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: malice or incompetence

      It's possible that being Telstra, it's malicious incompetence.

  9. Brictoria

    As for the side effects...

    It's just a shame that if you're trying do anything online other than watch Netflix on Optus, you can expect your speed to really drop:

    ADSL 2+

    Pre netflix: approx 8Mbps (generally constant across the day.)


    Prime time: 1.1Mbps

    During the day, 6Mbps.

    Not that Optus would do something as underhanded as prioritising Netflix traffic to try and gain more customers, of course...

    1. Benno

      Re: As for the side effects...

      The other scenario (and names have been omitted to protect the innocent!), is that your ISP of choice is suffering massive increases in bandwith demand since Netflix launched. I've heard double-digit % increases _every week_ on the network load in some cases, and it's all Netflix traffic.

      It's going to be a wake up call for those providers who may have over-committed their backhaul/peering bandwidth just a bit too much...

      1. Brictoria

        Re: As for the side effects...

        That may be true, but if so it wouldn't explain the fact that the listed transfer rate for Netflix is considerably higher than that for any other online activity via the ISP since unmetered Netflix was made available.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just about all of those ISPs

    ...have Netflix CDN nodes on their own networks.

    Except for Telstra.

    That's probably the main reason for the performance difference.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm not sure you can really reach any conclusions based on the data available. It doesn't specify what spread of inner city vs regional customers were measured.

    As telstra has the majority of regional connections where bandwidth is likely to be lowest, surely it would pull down their score if these were included.

  12. stalle

    the biggest issue with those rates is that they are all dependent on the throughput of our undersea cables and satellite links to the US, those speeds would increase dramatically if each major ISP installed a mirror of netflixs movies on their own network - probably only taking up about half a standard rack :P

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's already here.

      the biggest issue with those rates is that they are all dependent on the throughput of our undersea cables and satellite links to the US

      Netflix Australia content comes from Melbourne. It's on a peered connection and has more direct routes to a couple of ISPs via CDN boxes. The RRDtool graphs from the first few days were "impressive".

      Nope... Telstra really is that crap.

      (I tell a lie. I know Telstra will hook up customers outside of the minimum signal strength. A good trick is to ask the normal ISP to start the procedure on the line, even though it's out of spec. Then sign up with Telstra who will provision the line, create an account, and tell you it's right to go. Complete the normal ISP's procedure since the line now has codes but the orginal ISP's codes apply first because they registered the port first. Ask Telstra why they've created an account on a port that doesn't belong to them. Been that way for years...)

      Posting anon. because I like my job...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lies, Statistics and Marketing

    These numbers are averages including both ADSL and Fibre speeds. They will be biased towards providers with higher percentage of Fibre customers. Until they provide a breakdown by service type the numbers are just meaningless marketing stats - and as mentioned Telstra own a competitor so Netflix have a vested interest in making them look bad.

  14. DanielR

    100mbs HFC here, but in reality 115mbps with my router because i'm bridging to an edgmax, don't use their crappy routers ever they are insecure and have all firewall features turned off !

    However it goes down when it rains so a pile of crap. It also went down for half of sydney 4 months ago for 6 hours , no media report and total silence from them.

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