26 September 2023

ACCC’s bets off as online gaming weighs in

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Australian online gamers are enjoying fast connections to online gaming via their home internet, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC),

Commissioner at the ACCC, Anna Brakey said that for the first time the ACCC had measured Australians’ online experience for gaming services in its latest Measuring Broadband Australia report.

“The report found that latency to Australian servers for popular online games like Fortnite and League of Legends averaged 15 to 30 milliseconds per test on different NBN fixed-line technologies,” Ms Brakey said.

“This means users generally have a good gaming experience, with minimal stuttering or lag,” she said.

“The report found that a key influence on gaming experience is the distance to gaming servers, with latency increasing when the server is further away.”

Ms Brakey said Australians playing online games where the server was located overseas may notice a lag or have a poor gaming experience.

She said that in comparison, when a gaming server was located in Australia the latency was lower.

“Gamers in NSW and the ACT enjoyed the lowest latency for gaming servers located in Australia, averaging between 10 and 20 milliseconds across various games, due to most Australian gaming servers being in Sydney,” the Commissioner said.

“The average latency increased for these games when measured from States further away from Sydney, reaching over 50 milliseconds in WA.”

Ms Brakey said the report showed that latency did not depend on the selected speed tier, “which means that upgrading to a faster plan will not necessarily improve a consumer’s gaming experience”.

She said that while fibre to the premises and fibre to the curb connections generally had the lowest latency, all fixed-line access technologies had relatively low latency for games hosted in Australia.

“Consumers on fixed wireless connections experienced higher latency than those using fixed-line technologies,” Ms Brakey said.

“This is expected given the nature of fixed wireless technology.”

The ACCC’s 34-page Measuring Broadband Australia report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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