An Australian government study into the performance of local NBN services has found that the situation for online gaming is pretty peachy nowadays, that is, as long as you live on the east coast. The study, conducted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, has substantiated with statistics what most people already know: that Western Australia is by far the worst place in the country to be a competitive gamer, with an average ping rate of 56ms on Australia-based servers. That's compared to the two best states, New South Wales and the ACT, which enjoy 13 and 14ms averages respectively.
That, of course, can be blamed on where the key servers are situated. Western Australia's capital Perth is over 3,000 kilometres away from Sydney, where most Australian gaming servers—belonging to the likes of EA, Activision and more—are located. So it makes sense that the ping rises the further you get from there: Victoria gets 23ms, Queensland 26ms, Tasmania 29ms, and the Northern Territory and South Australia get 34ms.
The study results are pretty much in-line with common sense, for the most part. It also measured the best ping for 16 of the most popular online games, and surprise surprise, those with Australian servers tended to perform better. Of most interest is that the average latency suffered by Among Us players in Australia is 163ms, while Hearthstone's North America-based servers offer an average of 190ms, but that's unlikely to make a difference in those games.
Other facts gleaned: your plan's download speed won't affect latency by any more than 5ms, and as far as download speeds go, NBN fixed-line and fixed wireless providers are generally achieving their advertised speeds, with 99.1 percent hitting targets during off peak, and 97.7 percent hitting it during peak hours.
If you're looking for the best download speeds and ping rates per provider, check out our guide to the best NBN plans for gaming in Australia.