Telstra nbn customers upgraded to 50 Mbps

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 26 February, 2018

Telstra nbn customers upgraded to 50 Mbps

Telstra will upgrade around 850,000 of its nbn customers on to 50 Mbps speed plans in the wake of nbn co's decision to discount wholesale prices to encourage adoption of higher-tier services.

Telstra is in the process of providing automatic free upgrades for households and businesses from 25 Mbps plans to 50 Mbps plans, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing comments from the company's head of Fixed Products Jana Kotatko.

While Kotatko acknowledged that not all customers will be able to take advantage of the higher-tier speeds due to technical limitations with the nbn, she said the vast majority should be able to achieve 50 Mbps speeds.

The move follows nbn co's price cuts in December involving providing 50 Mbps wholesale services at a potential discount of 27% compared to the previous offering. The price cut was made with the expectation — but not the requirement — that the discounts be passed on to end users.

The price cuts appear to be having their intended effect — while prior to the discounts, fewer than 5% of new customers were choosing 50 Mbps plans, this had grown to around 30% by early January.

Telstra also plans to provide all new and re-contracting nbn customers with a smart modem including a built-in 4G SIM, to allow customers to access the internet over Telstra's 4G network as a fall-back if there are line outages or delays with the nbn connection.

Meanwhile in the UK, regulator Ofcom has published a new package of measures aimed at further increasing investment in full fibre broadband networks.

The draft decisions include new rules requiring formerly government-owned monopoly BT to make its telegraph poles and underground tunnels open to rival providers, as well as a decision not to regulate the prices of the fastest wholesale broadband products provided by Openreach, BT's structurally separated wholesale division.

But Ofcom has also decided to cut the wholesale price that Openreach can charge operators for its basic 40 Mbps down 10 Mbps up broadband service in a move aimed at helping rivals compete for customers. Finally, the rules will include stricter requirements on Openreach to repair faults and install new broadband lines in a timely manner.

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