“Who’s downloading!?” is a common lament in any gaming household in Australia. The internet is already slow, download sizes are massive and the moment anyone starts downloading something, the speed drops out of the network and access across the whole house bottoms out.
NBN chief executive Bill Morrow’s explanation for why NBN Co’s Fixed Wireless network is creaking under its own weight is essentially the same thing, on a nation-wide scale. According to Morrow, there’s too many gamers downloading their games at once and its guttering network speeds.
NBN Co’s plan to address slower speeds on the network is to impose the kind of speed-shaping or download limitations adopted by Australian broadband providers in the mid-2000’s. Go over your download limit and have your connection speed reduced to a crawl.
It’s worth noting that the NBN already has a fair use policy in place which limits NBN satellite users to a peak hour usage total of 75 gigabytes over the course of four weeks. As any gamer can tell you, that is about enough to download one AAA release per month, and maybe a single Day One patch.
While tightening those reigns further might help to limit network congestion, perhaps the better question is why the network is struggling to handle what should be fairly ordinary traffic demands in the first place.
While Morrow initially pinned the blame rather squarely on gamers, he later reframed his comments as being about “people who have a familiarity with (the internet).”
We go now to Mr. Morrow for further comment.