Internet speeds in regional areas slower than cities

IN MOST of Australia, internet download speeds are 10 to 15 times slower than world best practice, and Darwin has the fastest upload speeds out of all Australian capital cities, a report has shown.

Released yesterday, the Australian Local Government Association's State of the Regions report for 2016-17 highlights how Australian regions are performing economically.

The report says Australia is behind the world in internet download speeds, but upload speeds are much worse.

The report said upload speeds for some Australian households and businesses could be up to 50 times slower than world best practice.

"This is a very serious issue for established Australian industry and for start-ups alike," the report said.

"These very low upload speeds are turning Australia into a society of passive consumers of the internet rather than a country with active global participants in the development of web-based businesses."

Darwin had the highest average internet upload speeds of Australia's capital cities, with an average speed of 7.6mbps, followed by Hobart (5.3mbps), Canberra (4.6mbps), Melbourne (3.8mbps), Sydney (3.1mbps) and Brisbane (2.3mbps).

The report - which examines all regions in Australia, including metropolitan areas - said infrastructure deficiencies made it difficult for high-unemployment regions to increase productivity.

In the past year, most of the regions that recorded the biggest declines in engineering construction expenditure were in Queensland.

These included Townsville, Logan, Gold Coast and Moreton Bay.

Regions in Sydney, Adelaide and the New South Wales mid-north coast recorded the highest percentage in engineering construction expenditure.

When it came to growth, the report said the regions with the largest productivity increases were areas that had contributed the most to Australia's overall GDP growth in recent years.

Between 2014 and 2016, two thirds of Australia's economic growth occurred in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and the Pilbara-Kimberley regions.

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