nbn price cuts drive 50 Mbps adoption
nbn co’s temporary discounts for its 50 Mbps wholesale product have encouraged more than 1 million new premises to be upgraded to the speed tier, according to the company’s latest progress report.
Since the Focus on 50 promotional pricing was introduced in December, uptake of retail 50 Mbps services has increased significantly.
The report shows that the proportion of customers on 50 Mbps or higher plans increased from 16% in March 2017 to 37% at the end of last month. This represents around 1.3 million of the nbn’s 3.7 million connected premises.
The introduction of the prices encouraged multiple retail service providers including Telstra and TPG to offer free (and in the case of Telstra automatic) upgrades for customers on the 25 Mbps speed tier to 50 Mbps.
The discount prices were due to expire in April, but nbn co has revealed plans to extend the promotion until October.
“Our team continues to work closely with internet providers to deliver better broadband speeds for Australians connected to services over the nbn access network,” nbn co chief customer officer for residential Brad Whitcomb said.
“Three months ago we had less than one in 15 users connected to our ‘sweet spot’ wholesale 50 Mbps plans — today we have more than one in four signed up to them for better value than what they would have previously been paying.”
Meanwhile, nbn co is preparing to introduce new pricing options in May that are designed to eventually supersede the Focus on 50 offer.
The new pricing options bundle connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) capacity with bandwidth for individual connections. The company will offer a 50 Mbps wholesale bundle with 2 Mbps of CVC capacity for $45 per month, and a 100 Mbps bundle with 2.5 Mbps of CVC capacity for $65 per month.
The latest statistics also show that the proportion of premises that had their nbn equipment installed right the first time increased slightly to 87%, with 92% connected within agreed time frames with its retail service provider customers — up from 85% and 88% respectively a year earlier.
But faults per month on the nbn access network increased from 0.9 to 1 per 100 premises over the same period, and network availability for the nbn access network fell from 100% to 99.93%.
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