I recently stumbled onto this site How Fast is the NBN? which compares the broadband speed of Labor Party NBN with the Coalition NBN. In the distant future, The National Broadband Network (NBN) is expanding across Australia and will soon be inside your homes.


What is the National Broadband Network? Well, it is the next-generation broadband network designed for Australia’s future internet needs. Apparently, it will provide faster, more reliable broadband access to all Australian households and businesses using a combination of three technologies of optic fibres, fixed wireless and next-generation satellites. The NBN is described to be the biggest telecommunications reform in Australia’s history.


In “How Fast is the NBN?” website, it provides an interactive website that allows people to visual compare the broadband speeds of various internet tasks between the proposed two political parties’ NBN policies. Labor’s NBN is proposing a broadband speed of 1000/400 Mbps by installing optic fibres to every household. On the other hand, Coalition’s NBN is proposing a broadband speed of 25/5 Mbps using copper wires connected to a telephone NBN node. Firstly, it compares the upload speed of sending wedding photos to Facebook. Within the simulated Facebook upload, Labor’s NBN managed to upload 1 GB in 20 seconds whereas the Coalition’s NBN is still taking its time uploading and would require 26 minutes to finish.


Secondly, it compares the download speed of a HD TV episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” from iTunes. To test this comparison, the site creates a scenario where an individual wants to complete downloading the episode within 5 minutes before his bus to work leaves. The simulated download reveals that the Labor’s NBN managed to download 2 GB of data within 16 seconds whereas the Coalition’s NBN shows the download taking about 10 minutes to finish. Lastly, the site shows simulations of the uploading speed of YouTube video and syncing documents online on a school server.


In every simulation, it shows the Labor’s NBN being the clear winner against the Coalition’s NBN. However, supporters of the Coalition NBN plan have claimed that the website is misleading because it compares the “maximum” Labor NBN speed with the “minimum” Coalition NBN speed.


Right or wrong, “How Fast in the NBN?” is a great method of showing the difference in broadband speeds in a tangible way.