Why are download speeds important?

Understanding download speeds is an important part of enabling students in your course to access your content online. It is important to realise that the time it takes to access your files can be impacted dramatically by the download speeds available to your students. Download speeds will vary greatly depending on their geographical location and this can impact a student's online experience.


The below table can be used to gain an indication on the approximate download times for a variety of connection speeds and file sizes.

File Size


Download time in some regions (0.5 Mbp/s)

Download time on common NBN (24 Mbp/s)

Download time on UQ Wireless (56 Mbp/s)

200 KB PDF Document
Word Document
3 Seconds Less than 1 second Less than 1 second    
5 MB Large PDF
1 minute 21 seconds 1 second Less than 1 second
75 MB 2-hour lecture downloaded from Echo360 in standard definition 20 minutes 28 seconds 26 seconds 11 seconds
210 MB 2-hour lecture downloaded from Echo360 in high definition 57 minutes 20 seconds 1 minute 13 seconds 31 seconds

Warning: The times presented in the above table are estimated speeds and should be used as a guide only. Many factors can impact the speed in which a file is downloaded, these include computer hardware, network congestion/interference, distance and protocols.

Example of downloading files at 0.5 Mbp/s