The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that the country’s network is not getting fast enough to handle the increasing demand for internet access.
Key points:The ACCC found that Australia’s national carrier, Optus, is “not delivering the speeds needed to meet the increased demand for data”The ACCc said Optus’s network was not getting the speed it needs to meet demandFor many Australians, the only option for internet connectivity is via their phone, while some pay extra to connect to a higher speed network.
In a report released on Monday, the ACCC said Optuses network was “not providing enough capacity to meet increased demand” and that Optus had identified and addressed “significant network deficiencies” in its network.
The ACC’s chairman, Rod Sims, said that while there was a “broad range of factors” behind the ACCc’s findings, “one factor was clear, the network was being over-served by Optus and other mobile carriers”.
He said that the ACCs report “found that Optuses networks were not delivering the speed that was needed to deliver high-speed broadband to the average Australian home and business”.
“This could be a result of network deficiencies or network overheads, or could be due to operational issues or network performance problems,” Mr Sims said.
“Optus has identified and mitigated significant network deficiencies to date, and will continue to work to improve its network performance.”
Mr Sims said that Optuss network performance had improved since the ACC’s previous report and the network had “been improved and more resilient to disruptions”.
“We have made progress in ensuring that the network is ready for the future and we will continue working to achieve that in line with the new conditions set by the Federal Government,” he said.
Optus CEO Paul White said the ACC said Optuss had identified “significant” network deficiencies in the network and that the company was “investing in upgrading the network”.
“Optuses network is currently performing at the same level as when the ACC first reviewed the network in February, and the ACC has also identified significant network performance improvements in areas such as the number of mobile connections and the amount of capacity available,” he told news.com,au.
“We are investing to upgrade the network to ensure it delivers a high-quality broadband experience to all Australians and remains competitive in the rapidly changing telecommunications industry.”
Optus and the Australian Communications Authority have been discussing a potential merger in recent weeks, which would give Optus a bigger share of the market.
“This merger will deliver Optus customers access to more data and a better service, which we believe will lead to faster, more reliable internet and reduce the cost of our broadband services,” Optus chief executive Greg Smith said in a statement.
Optuses latest quarterly report said the company’s network has “improved to deliver faster data, faster speeds and better customer experience to consumers”.
The ACC said that over the past quarter Optus “delivered more than 90% of its capacity to the national network in excess of the capacity required to deliver the expected peak demand”.
The company has also introduced a new pricing structure for internet users, which it says will provide “a lower monthly fee for Optus subscribers and lower cost for consumers”.
Optus also says it has “committed to upgrading its network” and said it will invest “in increasing network capacity to ensure that the overall network delivers the expected speeds”.