Report: More NBN customers connecting to high-speed services

Wednesday, 24 November, 2021

Report: More NBN customers connecting to high-speed services

More than 8.5 million residential broadband services are now on the NBN, with over 75% of them on high-speed services of at least 50 Mbps, according to the ACCC’s latest NBN Wholesale Market Indicators report. The report shows that in the September 2021 quarter, retail service providers bought access to about 450,000 more 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps services for residential and business customers. About 150,000 of these were for customers moving up from the entry-level 12 and 25 Mbps speed tiers. Very high-speed services of over 100 Mbps, however, declined by around 195,000 services. This coincided with the scaling back of NBN Co’s ‘Focus on Fast’ promotion, which saw customers on promotional offers returning to their previous speed tiers.

ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey noted that the 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps speed tiers have been popular with customers, with extended lockdowns in several states and territories prompting people to work and learn from home. “As temporary promotions wind down and retailers adjust pricing accordingly, we strongly encourage customers to think about their internet needs and pay for a higher speed tier only if their usage demands it,” Brakey said.

Aussie Broadband continued to make strong gains and accounted for almost one-third of the wholesale services added in the September quarter, lifting its market share to 5.1%. Superloop also increased its share in the quarter, and after acquiring Exetel in August, now has the sixth highest market share with 1.5%. “Smaller niche providers have injected competition into the market for broadband services and they now go some way to constraining the big four of Telstra, TPG, Optus and Vocus. Smaller providers give consumers real choice in the service quality and range of products to meet their needs,” Brakey said.

Retail service providers acquired more Connectivity Virtual Circuit (bandwidth) capacity over the September quarter, with total capacity acquired per user increasing from 2.74 Mbps in the June 2021 quarter to 2.82 Mbps. The amount of bandwidth acquired is one of the key factors that can impact customer experience. Wholesale market shares for Telstra, TPG and Vocus remained stable in the September quarter, while Optus lost market share (down 1.1%) as a result of Exetel’s customer base shifting to Superloop. Retail and wholesale service providers expanded their presence at NBN’s 121 Points of Interconnect (POIs), which are the physical locations where providers can connect to the NBN.

In the September quarter, there were 13 or more retail and wholesale providers at 119 of the POIs (up from 99 POIs in the June quarter) and 14 or more at 110 POIs (up from 87 POIs in June). This offers more choice of internet providers to customers in more locations.

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