CHOICE membership

Has any actual NBN customer speed data been published?


Hi phbriggs2000;

The ISP’s are not responsible for shaping the connections (except for FTTP, but if they don’t NBNco has policers that squelch the connection, so it ends up slowing to a virtual halt with high packetloss. Net effect is non-working connection, so if the ISP was failing to shape the connection would not work).

FTTN specifically, the line is locked to a certain sync speed by NBNco. This is a physical limitation that cannot be exceeded, the technology in effect shapes the connection itself. While the line may have a higher “attainable” rate, the actual sync speed governs the maximum bitrate. If your line is capable of for example 100Mbps, but you are on a 25Mbps plan, the NBN equipment modifies the line condition so that the customer modem syncs at 25/5.

I suspect the main issue is that Enex (who have been fairly useless) are not tracking when test users change plan speeds and ISP’s. People probably joined on 25/5 plans, and then upgraded to higher speed plans, thus corrupting the data. Enex don’t track or care if you change ISP’s or speed tiers(unlike samknows with the ACCC program). There are likely MANY test customers on different plans or providers since they joined.

It just makes the whole program unreliable with data that simply cannot be trusted to be accurate.


I was including NBNco as part of the ISPs as to most they won’t know the difference and only deal with the retailers.

Yes, you are correct and there are three parties and not two as outlined in my previous post. One could point the finger at the eMetric Smart Meter users.

It is also not Choice’s responsibility of users of the eMetric Smart Meter don’t update their contract details.


I disagree.

Firstly, Choice are publishing the results and drawing conclusions. This means the data needs to be accurate. It is their responsibility to ensure it is - faulty data is of no use to anyone.

Secondly, it is fairly trivial for Enex to detect when a connection is exceeding the speeds of their nominated plan. If a customer has indicated they are on a 25Mbit plan and their testing is showing download speeds of (for example 40Mbps) then that user’s data should be discarded and their account locked until they are notified and their details updated.

Same for change or provider - it’s fairly easy to detect based on IP address if a customer has changed providers. Once this change is detected, all data discarded + account lock until they are notified.


I completely agree with DrSpock. The methodology or implementation of this “test” is floored.

There are too many factors outside Choice’s control.

It would be better to scrap the test rather than publish false results which will tarnish Choice’s reputation.


Hi there, Thanks for raising this.

We’ve utilised an earlier version of the draft results which doesn’t exclude the outliers (people who have had their plan upgraded).

We’re currently correcting it and will publish again once it’s ready.




What is the definition of “physical limit”? If my connection could carry an upload of (say) 20 Mb if I paid for it but my contract is for only 5 then which is the physical limit?


20 Mbps is the physical limit…ie the line and connections cannot support more than that speed. 5 is the software implementation of your threshold and is imposed by various means to throttle the connection.


Hi Matt,

That’s good, but how can you be confident of your data. What about people that have moved from higher speed to lower speed plans? Someone switching from 100Mbps to 12Mbps will post awful results for a 100Mbps line if that change wasn’t notified (and let’s face it, most wont be).

FTTN specifically, the download speed especially at higher tiers is restrained by the sync speed, so somebody on a 100/40 plan that can only sync at 68Mbps will show terrible results, but this is out of the ISP’s hands completely, even though they may be providing a 68Mbps uncongested service.

I also see you’ve hidden the max download/upload fields - but the rest of the data is unchanged. How does that achieve anything other than hiding the fact the data is flawed?


Hi there,

Thanks for the comment. It’s allowing us to target some data issues.

We’ve had another look at the data and it needs rechecking back with Enex (we’re not happy with max ul and max dl differentials), so we’re going to pull it and wait for them to come back to us. We’ll roll back to a previous version that’s more reliable.

We’ll have to leave the max ul and max dl speed off, because I’m unable to reactivate them (CMS issue). [fixed now]




That is what I thought, the benchmark is not the physical limit but that maintained by software.


That’s something I’ve been scratching my head over, but in relation to the separate issue of data usage, since I found it could be quite significant as a proportion of lower-quota plans. The participant specifies their plan speed and quota when signing up for the program, but what if they downgraded from, say, a 500 GB to a 100 GB plan? How would Enex know unless told?

Having been on a 500 GB plan when I signed up, the meter uses about 45 GB/month, which didn’t change after upgrading to a 1000 GB plan. But what if I’d downgraded to a 100 GB plan? Few users would know much about the meter’s usage (the FAQ is really vague, in effect telling the participant that ‘it’s small, don’t worry, we’ve got it covered’) and it may not occur to them to tell Choice/Enex about their plan change.


I asked, being on a small data allowance with satellite, and they aim to limit it to 10%.

:rofl: that would be a huge upgrade for me!


Hi all, We have now published the May supply of March data. Apologies for the interrupted start/stop. We’ve cleaned the data and have put in place some additional steps for verification.




I do not see a filter for connection type. I think everyone would be most interested in performance on what is available to them, and not very interested in what others might have, as a product issue.

However, seeing the entire picture is necessary discussing NBN as a consumer issue.


An update regarding the Choice program, although it wont affect anyone, being just a name change:

Introducing Honesty Box
eMetric has a new name and a new look

Exciting news! We’ve got a new name and a new look.

Introducing Honesty Box
We’ve rebranded to become Honesty Box. It’s simple really. We changed our name to reflect what we believe in … and that is, honesty is the best policy built on a foundation of “act with facts".

  • We believe that honesty is the best policy.
  • We’ve taken a stand for internet fair play.
  • We only act on facts.
  • We’re here to provide independent broadband measurement.

Will anything change?
The only thing that changes is our name. The CHOICE Broadband Performance Measuring Program will continue as is. Everything else remains the same.


I still have some reservations about the accuracy of the Choice data in the latest July(April) report.

In addition to DrSpocks comments which are all spot on and really need to be addressed, I find the variations in the maximum download speeds recorded very strange. On a 100/40 FTTP plan, I would have expected that the maximum download speed recorded for all providers would be near identical as all RSP’s should be able to achieve a near identical maximum speed in non-peak times, yet there seems to be significant variation. Furthermore I have been with multiple RSP’s and on a 100/40 FTTP connection I have always been able to achieve file download speeds of around 94Mbps outside of peak times yet only one provider in your results achieves 91 and the majority are around mid to low 80’s which I find extremely odd.

Are the Choice tests long enough to eliminate variables caused by ramp up time from TCP congestion control?


All good questions.

Are you aware that an important part of the speed equation is your own kit as well as the RSP’s servers and routers, that include all of hardware and software and human management and configuration? Even small changes or variations can have significant consequences or improvements.[quote=“macca, post:76, topic:14645”]
I have been with multiple RSP’s and on a 100/40 FTTP connection I have always been able to achieve file download speeds of around 94Mbps outside of peak times yet only one provider in your results achieves 91 and the majority are around mid to low 80’s which I find extremely odd.

You are reporting your experience of ‘1’ on X number of RSPs while Choice is reporting averages of many users per RSP.

I trust this helps at least a little.


I’m of a similar view on the need to filter the data set on key criteria. Knowing the ISP and speed plan for each data point is from other observations also necessary for reliable comment.

The Commentary by the NBN Co and current Fed Govt is biased. The reporting bias is towards the more favourable outcomes for customers in the faster plans.

Consumers deserve better than the same advertising speak as ‘nine out of ten dentisits’ Or ‘nine out of ten kids are …’

We continual here facts relating to up to 90% of fixed line customers and similar. While possibly deceptive and misleading relative to all the facts, it is not dishonest? If the NBN Co and Govt can cherry pick the data - so should we the customer. If only to reveal all the facts.


Unfortunately that is not limited to NBN speeds :frowning:


In our case the results on average reflect fairly closely what we get. Do you participate in the Choice testing program? If not I do encourage you to join and if currently you do participate raise the issue with the testing business as they have always responded to my queries (sometimes if asked by email the response time is slowish but comprehensive). The testing also removes outliers data and so will cut results from some users. I am awaiting the access to personal data so that I can look more closely at our particular results and when we get that access your data will hopefully be showing your results and if not then you can obviously raise that difference with Choice and the Testing facility.