Reliable internet connection is a precious commodity that is essential to many aspects of daily life. Throughout different parts of the day, people require more internet usage, which impacts service speed and quality. From research during the day to streaming movies and shows by night, there are peak hours for usage. The more people connected to and using a network, the more the speed is negatively impacted and performs at lesser quality. To contract the most optimal internet plan, here is what internet providers need to tell you about internet speeds during peak hours.
Broadband speed claims
Australian Consumer Law has established guidelines for internet service providers on advertising broadband speeds for fixed line services. In order to comply with Australian Consumer Law, internet providers must provide users with information about the average speed of their National Broadband Network broadband plans during peak evening hours from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Additionally, providers must disclose the maximum attainable speed of an NBN service using fibre to connect to a basement or to a technology node and whether or not this connection can reach the peak speed advertised by the chosen plan. Compliant providers are obligated to fix speed issues and provide users with fixes when applicable. If a provider cannot swiftly diagnose and address a customer report, they should offer an alternative solution such as refund, compensation, reduced bills, rebates, a different plan, or allow customers to terminate the contract free of charge.
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Busy period speed information
Having the necessary information about peak hour speeds allows users to see how their connection is meant to perform, compare services from various internet providers, and determine if a chosen service is performing as advertised. Under the guidance of the Australian Consumer Law, internet providers use four labels to demonstrate how different services perform between 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
The four labels are as follows:
Basic Evening Speed is a basic level plan with a typical speed of less than 15 Mbps.
Standard Evening Speed operates at a minimum speed of 15 Mbps and supports usage typical of residential customers.
Standard Plus Evening Speed provides a minimum speed of 30 Mbps and is ideal for a higher usage profile, such as customers streaming high-definition movies or streaming music on multiple devices.
Premium Evening Speed delivers a minimum speed of 60 Mbps and is ideal for a higher usage profile more than Standard Plus. For example, customers who stream in high definition while gaming at the same time.
All internet service providers purchase a theoretical maximum off-peak speed from the NBN which limits how fast a plan can work at any given time of day despite the amount of active users. Providers should disclose if a network has a limited maximum speed if they have that information at the time of contracting, or if that information becomes available at a later date. If a provider sells a service with a specified maximum speed that a customer’s connection cannot accommodate because the maximum speed was not known, they are obligated to address the issue.