Speed is all about plan, provider

SPEED and a cost-value factor is a major component of the National Broadband Network rollout.

A common point raised by residents with NBN is that while they had ``upgraded'' to the fibre-optic connection, there had been no apparent change to their download speeds.

The problem is only a perceived issue, as confusion about who - or what - to blame for the lack of increased speeds muddles the accuracy of user comments regarding the project.

As with the former copper network, speeds and download allocation vary with each plan.

At the moment users can opt for download speeds ranging from 1 megabit to 100 megabits.

Fibre-optic technology guarantees only the potential rate of transfer; internet service providers are responsible for the speeds that are delivered.

Tas ICT executive Dean Winter said that while most households were likely to opt for a service comparable to their former ADSL or ADSL 2+ speeds, there were businesses and individuals that required faster connections.

``You're paying for speed, essentially, and for data,'' Mr Winter said.

``For most households, they won't need the speed NBN delivers immediately.

``People who are heavily reliant on high speeds for education need, perhaps health needs or business need, they now have the option to go to a much higher capacity of fixed-line internet service.''

He said increasing internet speeds were being utilised by people across the globe and, in return, the rate of data transmission was growing exponentially.

``There's some really incredible statistics about the amount of data being transferred every year and it just increases at a huge rate -  that's another reason we need the NBN,'' Mr Winter said.

``Telecommunications providers, including NBNCo now, have to respond to that - the NBN now is a very useful and timely way to react to that consumer demand, and it's going to continue to drive that.''

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