Industry analyst BuddeComm has launched an attack on recently released broadband statistics in Australia and New Zealand, labelling them "meaningless".
The recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures placed Australia as the country with the 12th highest broadband penetration in the world, and New Zealand with the 20th highest.
BuddeComm managing director Paul Budde noted that the figures showed both Australia and New Zealand more than doubling their broadband penetration in the last year.
But overall he was not impressed.
"While this is great, it is nothing new," he said.
According to Budde, the quality of Australian and New Zealand broadband is still far behind that in the rest of the world, limiting the potential of services in electronic health, energy savings, education and entertainment.
"This is where Australia is still lagging - in terms of average download speed and of cost," Budde said. "But this is certainly not accurately reflected in the OECD rankings."
"The figures for average advertised download speed are meaningless."
Budde said that the average Australian download speed of 12.1 Mbps is misrepresentative, with only a small percentage of the population achieving such speeds. The same goes for the NZ figure of 13.6 Mbps.
Furthermore, he criticised Australian and New Zealand service providers for applying download limits to their offerings, since this stops consumers from using bandwidth-heavy applications as they are fearful of going over their cap, as it would either slow their connection or cost them heavily.
But local content providers are aware of this fear, meaning they don't develop applications that need such bandwidth in the first place.
"So in this way, we do keep our users 'dumb' and we certainly don't allow the country to fully utilise the many social and economic benefits that broadband has to offer," Budde said.