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Australia boasts the best (and worst) of internet speeds

According to Akamai's latest State of the Internet report, we're facing a tale of two speeds in Australia: magnificent on mobile, bloody awful on fixed broadband.

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Steven Puetzer/Getty

When it comes to mobile and fixed broadband speeds in Australia, this country is experiencing both the best of times and the worst of times.

When it comes to top speeds on mobile devices, Australia is ranked second in the world, just behind Germany. But when we're connecting to fixed broadband, we're still trailing way behind in 56th place.

The figures come from the latest State of the Internet report from Akamai, the global speeding ranking index that shows Australia's (often disappointing) place in the world of internet speeds.

Australia has certainly moved in leaps and bounds in the mobile space in recent years, with the major telcos investing in advanced 4G LTE and 5G networks. By comparison, the rollout of broadband across the country has become bogged down in debates over technology and just how much we should rely on old copper networks versus new fibre.

According to Akamai, Australia is one of just four countries globally to see peak mobile speeds above 100Mbps. We clocked in at a top of 147.6Mbps, just behind Germany (171.6Mbps) and ahead of Thailand (118.3Mbps) and Israel (115.8Mbps). New Zealand came in just under the 100 mark, recording average peak mobile speeds of 96Mbps.

But just a day out from the election, after politicians of all stripes have spent weeks treating Australia's national broadband network as a political football, the report card for Australia's fixed line services makes for sobering reading.

In the first quarter of 2016, Australia edged up from a grim low of 60th place for peak connection speeds, coming in at 56th. Australia notched up peak speeds of 43.8Mbps, compared with world leader Singapore, which saw peak speeds of 146.9Mbps.

During the quarter, Australians saw average connection speeds of just 8.8Mbps, leaving us 48th in the world, and roughly a third of the average speeds of world leader South Korea (which averaged 29Mbps).