About 1.6 million homes and businesses across Australia have either poor or no access to fixed broadband internet, a national broadband survey has found.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said NBN Co would use the information to direct the introduction to under-served areas where it was feasible.
He said the information would be put on a new website to show people how their neighbourhoods rated for internet connectivity and as a guide for the introduction of services.
“If you are going to roll out a national broadband network, if you are going to upgrade people’s broadband services, obviously you should aim wherever possible to target and prioritise those people that have got the worst broadband,” Mr Turnbull said.
The study examined broadband quality and availability to homes and businesses in more than 78,000 areas, drawing on data from all major carriers.
It shows as many as 1.6 million premises throughout Australia have either no access to fixed broadband or very poor broadband connectivity, with peak median download speeds less than 4.8 megabits a second.
The Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia have more areas with poor access to quality broadband services.
Higher-quality services are more available in metropolitan areas. But whether in the city or regional areas, the further a premises is from the telephone exchange, the poorer the service.
About 9.9 million premises (91 per cent) have access to fixed-line broadband through the common ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) technology, which delivers the service through existing copper phone lines.
About 3.1 million premises have access to high-speed broadband through fibre-optic or wireless services.