A new report from the Commonwealth Bank says Australia’s rural population needs to upgrade their broadband to gigabit speeds, to help prevent rural Australians from falling behind.
The report found that in 2016-17, rural Australians had a median broadband speed of 13.9 megabits per second (Mbps).
This equates to a total of 21.7 gigabits of upload speed.
However, the report found, the number of people accessing broadband at that speed fell by 15.3 per cent from 2016-2017.
This meant that while rural Australians were accessing high-speed internet, the proportion of people connected to a single internet connection dropped from 79.7 per cent in 2016 to 76.6 per cent by 2021-22.
While the rural population has historically used a mix of fixed and mobile broadband, the authors of the report say this trend has reversed in recent years, with people increasingly using the NBN.
As a result, the researchers say the country’s rural broadband penetration rate has fallen from 83.1 per cent to 76 per cent.
“We believe this decline is due to a combination of factors, including the rollout of NBN and the fact that more and more Australians have switched to the NBN,” the authors said in a statement.
For those without a broadband connection, the NBN will allow them to access the internet via a mobile device.
To make matters worse, the study found, many people who do not have a broadband service are not able to access their preferred ISP, because they have not yet connected to the network.
But for those with a broadband internet connection, that will change soon, according to the report.
In its 2018-19 report, NBN Co said it will start rolling out a nationwide roll out of fibre-based broadband by 2019.
Read more about NBN here: Read the full report: The Commonwealth Bank has produced a report that shows how Australians in rural areas are still not being able to get the NBN service they need.
We found that a majority of rural Australians have been accessing broadband services at a slower rate than the national average.
What can you do to get a gigabit connection?
If you need a gigabyte of data at the right speed, the best thing you can do is choose a service provider that has fibre to the premises.
Find out more about using fibre to your home here:Read more on how to get broadband: What’s the cost of the NBN?
The cost of using the national broadband network varies widely across different parts of the country, from $7.90 per gigabyte to $180 per gigabit.
There is a small difference between the cost in Melbourne and Sydney where it can range from $12.90 to $140.
Depending on your area, it’s not possible to get NBN services for less than $40 per month, while you can get NBN for more than $150 per month.
Check out our comparison of different types of broadband to get an idea of how much you can save.
Download the Commonwealth bank report: