More consumers take up faster NBN plans

20 August 2021

About 400,000 residential broadband customers moved to higher speed plans in the June 2021 quarter as the recent trend of Australian consumers upgrading to faster NBN connections continued, the ACCC’s latest NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report reveals.

The report, released today, looks at the wholesale market for NBN services in which retail service providers purchase access to the NBN so they can supply broadband internet to consumers and businesses.

Consumers and businesses increased their take-up of higher speed services of 50Mbps or above in the June quarter. Almost three-quarters of all NBN wholesale connections are now at speeds of 50Mbps or above, including 17.3 per cent of all services at speeds of 100Mbps or above.

“Most broadband customers are now using higher speed tiers and that is a result of more retail providers and NBN promoting higher speed plans,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“NBN Co’s incentives for retail providers, such as its ‘Focus on Fast’ promotion, have been welcome as many Australians work and study from home.”

“Retailers may revert to standard pricing for premium services once a promotion ends, and we urge customers to monitor their usage to make sure that their service meets their ongoing needs,” Ms Brakey said.

Retail service providers acquired significantly more bandwidth over the June quarter, up 9.2 per cent, which resulted in total Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) acquired per customer increasing from 2.54Mbps to 2.74Mbps. The amount of bandwidth acquired is one of the key factors that impact customer experience.

“We are pleased that retail providers are acquiring additional capacity to support network demand and keep consumers connected,” Ms Brakey said.

“The ACCC will continue to monitor CVC to see what effect the end of the ‘Focus on Fast’ promotion has on it.”

Wholesale market shares for the four main retail service providers remained fairly stable in the June quarter. Of the smaller retail providers, Aussie Broadband continued to make strong gains and accounted for 26 per cent of the wholesale services added in the quarter, lifting its market share to 4.7 per cent.

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 NBN’s provision of services to retail service providers. It does not report on the services supplied by retail service providers to end users.

Retail service providers use the NBN’s wholesale access service to supply retail services to their own customers or, alternatively, to supply a wholesale service to another (usually smaller) retail service provider.

Most small retail service providers do not directly connect with NBN Co, instead reselling services that they buy from larger providers (such as Telstra, TPG and Optus).

Change in speed tiers December 2017 to June 2021*

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 2021 968,644 1,165,170 4,585,863 1,451,104
Low/high speed 26.1% 73.9%

*NBN ‘Wireless Plus’ services (2.4%) are excluded from the table, as they cannot be categorised by speed tier.

Release number: 
131/21
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