The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released a report on the performance of Australian Internet services.

Understanding your internet quality of service 2004–05 examines the following issues:

1. download data rates on a major city and regional basis;
2. upload data rates on a major city and regional basis;
3. data rate variation by time of day;
4. Internet service availability;
5. domain name server (DNS) lookup times; and
6. latency (an indicator of the time delay of information to pass through a network).

ACMA found that, in general, Internet download speeds are not as fast as consumers are led to believe, with DSL and dial-up (which serve the majority of users) operating at an average of approximately 83% and 74% of advertised rates or maximum modem speeds, respectively.

The other key findings included the following:

— There was little difference in digital subscriber line (DSL) data rates between major urban and regional areas.

— Availability of Internet connectivity was estimated at 99.85%, when all connection technologies (e.g, cable broadband, DSL, wireless) are taken into account.

— Latency was found to be low for DSL, cable broadband, and ISDN, but higher for satellite, as was expected due to the nature of the respective technologies. The report noted that latency issues will become particularly important as technologies relying upon low latency (such as VoIP or online gaming) become more popular.