NBN fixed wireless

Agree it’s typical of a congested service. There is related discussion on the ACCC NBN performance measurement program at Has any actual NBN customer speed data been published? - #233 by mark_m

Lucky to have an ACCC white box (SamKnows) to collect NBN performance data. The NBN independent of the ACCC measures the performance of everyone of its more than FW 2200 towers and 10,000 cells. Those measurements are not shared with consumers. CIC🙄. Should consumers ask for this to be published. It’s currently still in government ownership.

The ACCC collected in March data from 85 FW customers. It’s a small sample. It reports the averaged down load speed across ‘the busy hours’ across all these services. Some towers have many customers, while there are a significant number of lightly loaded towers. We don’t know how the distribution of white boxes across the NBN sites. It’s an approx 1% sample size relative to cell count.

The baseline NBN service standard was previously a busy hour/s download average of 6Mbps over the month with a minimum of 2Mbps, (one full HD streaming service minimum speed?). FW is described in more recent releases as a ‘best endeavours’ service to avoid any consumer argument over what is a pass/fail.

As good as it has been 6 months ago, approx 18Mbps average download for ‘the busy hour’ for Oct 2022. It’s not reflective of the slowest busy hour for that month, just the average of all the better and all the not so good days. “Lies, damn lies and statistics”, remain the shields for governments and the NBN in this instance.

Over time the average maximum speeds around 2am have remained above 60Mbps which confirms the signal strength at our home is not a concern. Speculatively it’s in part due to the choice of the NBN to connect the local FW towers through a daisy chain of microwave (wireless) links. They are not individually connected directly to the fibre network.

We held onto our ADSL2 copper line service which could deliver 10-12 Mbps until we had 6 months of reliable NBN. Expensive to do so. We only made the move to the NBN last year after more than 18 months of torture with copper line faults. Everyone else along our road had given up on the copper. The techs sent to repair all said there was no way Telstra would replace the line.

What the NBN can deliver on Fixed Wireless when it provides the capacity at the connected tower. The NBN recently in a move to encourage uptake of faster plans forced RSPs to increase their customer charges in particular for those on lower speed tiers. One would hope for a better service in return for paying more?

More than a year on from the previous post, the NBN scheduled major works for our FW tower. A change for the better considering towards the end of 2023 the evening down load speeds often fell to as low as 2Mbps.

The most important comparison is of the download speeds for the hour of the day. The first graph is how the last week has been since upgrade works appear to have been substantially completed. The second how it was for the preceding month of Dec 2023. The more detailed reports for Dec indicate the typical download speeds dropped fell below 24Mbps on 20 out of 31 evenings and lower than 12Mbps on at least 6 evenings.

The most recent week to 2nd Feb 24.

Note the data averages results over 7 days and 31 days respectively. Fixed wireless performance is highly variable. Some days the results are better than the average and in others far worse. Averaging data unfortunately does not reveal how often the NBN cannot deliver.

A positive on the relative improvement in performance. The next graph plots every speed test result for the previous 33 days. IE no averaging. The big drop in performance mid data is associated with disruptions due to the upgrade works.

One should be most pleased that the loss of performance in the evenings appears to have been nearly eliminated. The upload speeds are also reporting averages close to the 10Mbps vs the 4Mbps or less in previous months.