More than 8 million broadband connections now on the NBN

19 February 2021

More than 8.1 million household and business services are now connected to the NBN, according to the ACCC’s Wholesale Market Indicators Report released today.

The 3.6 per cent growth in the December 2020 quarter, which saw an additional 279,347 new households and businesses connect to the NBN, coincided with the Minister for Communications declaring in late 2020 that the NBN build was complete and fully operational.

Almost 5.5 million broadband connections, or 68 per cent of all services acquired from NBN, are on higher speed tiers of 50Mbps and above, including about 16 per cent of wholesale services acquired at speeds of 100Mbps or above.

“Most customers now use the higher speed tiers, which is a result of more retail service providers promoting higher speed plans,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“NBN Co’s new incentives to retail service providers, such as its Focus on Fast promotion, is welcome as many Australians now work and study from home at least some of the time. Customers should consider their usage and needs, and explore whether these promotions offer them a better deal.”

Retail service providers acquired slightly less bandwidth in the December quarter which led to total Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) per user falling marginally from 2.59Mbps to 2.44Mbps.

“NBN’s temporary COVID-19 CVC boost offer has expired, so it’s important that retail service providers provide sufficient CVC capacity for consumers to continue to receive the speeds they are paying for, particularly during periods of high demand,” Mr Sims said.

Wholesale market shares remained stable in the December quarter. While Telstra’s share of services acquired from NBN fell slightly to 45.5 per cent, the market shares of the other large retail service providers were largely unchanged.

Among the smaller retail service providers, Aussie Broadband increased its overall market share to 4.2 per cent in the December quarter, up from 3.9 per cent in the previous quarter. Other small retail service providers accounted for the remaining share of 3.3 per cent.

Retail service providers also continue to expand their reach to more NBN points of interconnection. There were at least 11 retail service providers connected at all of the 121 NBN points of interconnection at the end of the December quarter, up from the 9 reported at the end of September. At least 12 different providers were connecting at 112 of the points of interconnection.

“Having more retail service providers directly connecting with NBN’s network increases competition and provides more choice for consumers. Customers can shop around to compare retail offers, to see if they can get a better deal,” Mr Sims said.

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

Change in speed tiers December 2017 to December 2020*

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%

   December 2020   

1,048,286

 1,373,804

 4,200,757 

1,292,305

     Low/high speed     

29.9%

67.8%

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

Background

The ACCC’s Wholesale Market Indicators Report contains information on NBN’s provision of services to retail service providers. It does not provide information regarding 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 its 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, these small retail service providers resell NBN services that they buy from larger retail service providers, such as Telstra, TPG and Optus.

Release number: 
10/21
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