Australia’s Automotive Internetworking Networking Association says the industry needs to be “automatically upgraded” to the standards required by federal regulators, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Federal Government.
The ACCC says the ACCC has made “multiple recommendations” to improve the industry’s broadband speeds and speed, but “no significant changes” to speed have been made.
The organisation says the National Broadband Network has been “very successful in delivering speeds in excess of 100 megabits per second” and it has recommended that the Government “take a more proactive approach” to upgrading the industry.
In response to the ACCCC’s recommendations, the industry is calling for a “sensible, cost-effective and consistent” approach to broadband, and is encouraging its members to lobby the Government for changes to the rules.
“If the Government were to change the rules it would need to come out and say so,” ACCC CEO Andrew Colvin told the ABC’s The Drum.
“The rules have changed and they have changed to reflect the speed of the network, not necessarily the speed at which people are accessing the network.”
Mr Colvin said the organisation’s recent research shows that the speed needed to be improved on average was between 10 and 20 per cent faster on average compared to the industry average.
“It’s not just the speed that matters,” he said.
“There’s also the efficiency of the infrastructure.
It has to be a very consistent network across the whole country.”
But the Association of Automotive Networks, which represents operators, said it wanted to see “a sensible, cost effective and consistent upgrade”.
“The Government needs to get on board and deliver a sensible, high-quality upgrade to the automotive internetwork industry,” ACCN national secretary Tony Nappier said.
The group’s report on the state of the automotive network, released on Monday, said the average speed of connected cars in Victoria was currently “only” about 10 megabit per second, with a “low penetration” of up to 50 megabets per second.
The average speed for cars in other states was “in excess of 50 megabit per second”, but the report said that “at the moment” the network had “little capacity to accommodate high speed, high data-rate applications”.
ACCN says its research has shown that a “significant” number of people in Victoria had “significantly lower” average speeds, with the average in-car download speed in Victoria at 10 megabit.
The National Broadmedia Network is currently being developed by the Department of Communications, with “significant support” from the Department for Communications, which said the network’s speeds would be “well above” that of a typical Australian city.
ACCN’s report says the network should be “widely deployed” across the state and “at least to the extent that it is feasible to do so” and that the average upload speed should be at least 20 megabitts per second by 2025.
Mr Nappie said the ACCN was concerned about the impact of a “transition” to a faster internet network on business and consumers.
“We would like to see the transition to a fully-managed and cost-effectively managed automotive internetworks network happen at a rapid pace so that all Australians have a strong, reliable, secure and competitive network that they can access online and use on a regular basis,” Mr Nopier said, adding that the “transitional” network should include “a reasonable, cost efficient and consistent level of network capacity”.
The ACCN wants to see an “industry-wide” transition to the National Digital Infrastructure Network (NDINet), which will be a more efficient way to deliver the network and allow for “more efficient and cost effective network investment”.
Mr Noppier said the NDINet was “the best possible outcome for Australia”.
The report found that the NDIS had “high penetration” and a “high speed of data”.
It also said “broadband is likely to become the industry standard for the foreseeable future”, and that its use “will be expected to be more widespread in the longer term”.
Mr Colvins said the company was “very happy” with the Government’s “satisfactory” response to its concerns.
“I think we have a good position here, we’re happy with the industry as a whole,” he told the broadcaster.
“But at the same time we need to get a sensible change that’s made to the NBN so that it’s more efficient, more reliable and that we can use the NBN to deliver broadband to the population.”
He said the NBN’s speed could “take the burden off” of the existing NBN rollout, and he hoped the “government is ready to make that happen”.
“We need to start working towards a better NBN, we need a more predictable NBN,”