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ACCC Picks UK’s SamKnows To Test Broadband Speed

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has named UK-based SamKnows, a sometimes controversial operator, as the successful tenderer to undertake a $6.5 million broadband speeds monitoring program. This follows a competitive tender launched in May this year.

Under the deal SamKnows says it will measure the delivery of broadband speeds across across 4000 Australian homes over the next four years.


In the first year of the program, around 2000 Australian households will receive testing devices. Results of the speed tests will be reported publically by the end of the first quarter in 2018, the ACCC says.


“Our Measuring Broadband Australia program is going to be a real game changer for Internet users and for the broadband market, especially as consumers shop around for NBN services,” said ACCC chairman Rod Sims, announcing the deal.


“We’ve had more than 8000 households sign up to take part in the program, and we’re pleased to be launching this in the next month. There will be a huge amount of interest in the results.”


Alex Salter, CEO of SamKnows, said “We are excited to launch Measuring Broadband Australia. We will work hard to help improve Australian Internet performance with accurate and independent data. We thank the ACCC for the opportunity and encourage everyone, consumers and industry alike, to get involved in this important project.”


SamKnows’s monitoring techniques have come under some criticism in Britain and the US. One vocal critic has been Michael Fraase, who in a recent report headed “SamKnows Nothing Much At All,” commented: “SamKnows suffers the same problem as speedtest.net and all the other popular bandwidth test sites: none of them measure reality. 


“The last-mile ISPs from whom most all of us purchase our connectivity and bandwidth know damn good and well where these target Web sites and servers are located and prioritise those connections.” 

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