More competition in NBN wholesale market

15 August 2019

More retail service providers (RSPs) are directly accessing the NBN in more locations around Australia, offering greater choice and potentially better services for consumers and businesses, according to the ACCC’s latest quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report released today.

There are now at least eight access seeker groups acquiring wholesale services directly from NBN Co at all of the 121 NBN points of interconnect (POIs) nation-wide, with at least nine groups at 120 POIs and at least 10 at 115.

Telstra remains the dominant wholesale access seeker, but its market share declined slightly, while TPG and Optus made small gains. Smaller RSPs also increased their collective share from 6.8 per cent to 7.1 per cent.

“The ACCC is pleased to see this growth in the number of RSPs acquiring wholesale services directly from NBN, which is good for both consumers and businesses,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“Connecting directly to the NBN allows RSPs to better control the quality of service they can provide to their customers.”

More than 5.6 million Australian premises are now connected to the NBN, after a 9.2 per cent rise in the number of residential NBN connections during the past quarter.

The report shows that the number of higher speed plans taken up by Australian consumers continues to increase. More than 3.1 million 50Mbps services were in operation at the end of June 2019, accounting for 55.4 per cent of connections, up from 50.4 per cent the previous quarter.

The number of 100Mbps services rose 16.9 per cent in the June quarter, and now represent almost 9 per cent of all residential services.

“While the total number of connections to the NBN has been increasing at a steady pace, there is strong growth in higher speed plans. Almost two out of every three NBN users are choosing plans at 50Mbps and above,” Mr Sims said.

About two million Australians remain on entry-level 12Mbps and 25Mbps plans. Although the market share of these plans declined slightly in the three months to June, they still account for more than one third of all NBN services across Australia.

While there is greater take up of high speed products, there are a significant number of consumers who prefer entry-level products. Many consumers, particularly those on low incomes, do not have a genuine choice between entry level and higher speed NBN plans.

“We remain concerned about the entry-level options that are available on the NBN. Consumers must have a genuine choice. They should not be forced to take up higher-speed plans due to a lack of entry-level products that are affordable and that offer adequate data allowance. We remain in active discussions with NBN Co about wholesale pricing,” Mr Sims said.

Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC), which is the NBN bandwidth acquired by RSPs to provide data to their customers, increased 4.7 per cent on a per user basis over the quarter from 1.67Mbps to 1.75Mbps.

Further information, including time series data, is available on the ACCC website at NBN Wholesale Market Indicators

Background

The ACCC’s Wholesale Market Indicators report contains information on wholesale access services acquired over the NBN.

An NBN wholesale access service is used by an NBN access seeker to supply a retail service to its own customers or, alternatively, to supply a wholesale service to another RSP.

Most small RSPs do not directly connect with NBN Co, instead reselling NBN services acquired from other NBN access seekers (such as Telstra, TPG and Optus).

Change in speed tier December 2017 to June 2019

TC4 AVCs

12Mbps

25Mbps

50Mbps

100Mbps

December 2017

1,022,494

1,884,662

158,959

400,848

Low/high speed

83.8%

16.2%

June 2019

953,941

1,097,578

3,147,021

481,683

Low/high speed

36.1%

63.9%

Release number: 
148/19
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