Not to pre-empt anything, but this year I expect to have two film and television students in the house.
For this, I’m considering upgrading my Internet.
We’re currently on iiNet Naked ADSL2+ costing $69.99 per month (for 1000 Gb of data, of which, to my surprise, we’re using about a quarter). Actually I’m paying an additional $10 for VOIP, but I’m planning to ditch it because we rarely use it, and it seems quite unreliable — the handset frequently can’t get a signal. I don’t know precisely where the problem is, but given everyone in the house has a mobile phone, it seems an unnecessary cost.
Why upgrade the Internet? Well one of the things the boys have highlighted is the relatively slow upload speeds.
This is important for film students, because these days everything is digital, and moving big video files around quickly is important.
Our download speeds are okay. Our upload speeds… aren’t.
Using the iiNet broadband test:
- Latency 12ms
- Jitter 3ms
- Download 7.63 Mbps
- Upload 0.68 Mbps
Using the Department of Communications My Broadband test:
- Latency 15ms
- Jitter 0ms
- Download 7.54 Mbps
- Upload 0.53 Mbps
This isn’t good. By my calculations it means that a 50 Mb file (which is not that big by modern video standards) would take 12 minutes, and that’s assuming no other bottlenecks.
A 500 Mb file would take over two hours.
This explainer web page from Optus compares theoretical speeds, and notes that the limit of ADSL2+ upload is 820 Kbps (eg 0.82 Mbps).
The ADSL upload speed is so slow that when Isaac wants to send a big file to Dropbox (or whatever), it’s often quicker to go into campus (about an hour’s trip away) and do it there, then come home again. I suppose it gets him out of the house, but it’s not brilliant, is it.
It’s not just study. He’s starting to do post-production work as a part-time job. This is the kind of agile digital economy PM Turnbull often drones on about.
Cable internet is faster; around 3 times faster for uploads. DOCSIS theoretically allows faster upload, but queries from customers were answered in a vague way by Telstra. The speculation is the Telstra and Optus cable internet networks are set up for cable TV, which are pretty much all download.
If only we had some kind of universal super-fast internet service providing a future-proof fibre connection to everywhere. Some kind of Network of Broadband right across the Nation.
Well, I checked. NBN (especially proper NBN, fibre-to-the-premise/home, but even fibre-to-the-node) would be great, and would improve upload speeds by up to 50 times, but isn’t getting to my area anytime soon.
So what are the options?
Given their enlightened social media operative Dan, I’d be more than pleased to sign up for Optus Cable… if they serve my street. This is confusing as their web site variously says Yes or No depending on how I enter the address. I suppose I’m going to have to ring them up.
Also notable: complaints about speed from local Optus cable users.
Telstra cable does serve my street. Theoretically may get me about a threefold increase in upload speeds (around 2.4 Mbps), for $95/month for 500 Gb or $115/month for 1000 Gb — and appears to include a home phone service.
Importantly, with cable there are no guarantees about speed — it depends on network congestion.
I’m sure I’m not the only one in this position. Assuming I don’t want to pay a heap of money for a fibre connection myself, are there any other options?
I finally made the switch, to Optus Cable. Comparing the My Broadband test old and new results:
Old: Latency 15ms / Jitter 0 ms / Download 7.54 Mbps / Upload 0.53 Mbps
New (at lunchtime): Latency 1 ms / Jitter 12 ms / Download 27.61 Mbps / Upload 1.96 Mbps.
New (at 6:15pm): Latency 78ms / Jitter 24 ms / Download 19.80 Mbps / Upload 1.29 Mbps. So download and upload speeds have both increased by about 3-4 times.