Friday, 21 May 2021 16:56

Half a million Aussies moved to faster NBN plans in March quarter Featured

Half a million Aussies moved to faster NBN plans in March quarter Renato Nardella from Pixabay

More than 500,000 Australians moved to faster NBN plans in the first quarter of 2021, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says in its latest Wholesale Market Indicators Report.

The report showed that about 8.3 million services were now connected to the network which is being rolled out by the NBN Co.

ACCC commissioner Anna Brakey said more than two-thirds of all NBN connections were now 50Mbps or above, and about 17% were using connections that delivered 100Mbps or above.

On the downside, there were almost 465,000 fewer ‘Home Fast’ (100Mbps) and 100/40Mbps services in the same quarter, which the ACCC said was partly due to the end of a particular promotion. Other promotions aimed at even higher speeds had now been introduced.

“New incentives offered by NBN Co have enabled retailers to allow consumers to test or shift to higher speed services, particularly services with speeds of 250Mbps or above,” said Brakey.

The ACCC report showed that there was "significant" take-up of services above 250Mbps - which it calls superfast - in the first quarter, with the number growing from 11,136 at the end of the final quarter of 2020 to 490,000 at the end of March this year.

The number of connections that the ACCC calls ultrafast — 500Mbps to 1000Mbps — grew from 9924 to 83,000 by the end of March.

“Before moving to higher speed services, the ACCC recommends that consumers consider the value of new promotions, how long they run for, and how they align with their particular needs,” said Brakey.

“Many consumers will continue to be adequately served running multiple devices on plans with speeds of 50Mbps or below.”

The report pointed out that service providers bought a little more bandwidth in the March 2021 quarter, which led to total connectivity virtual circuit per user increasing marginally from 2.44Mbps to 2.54Mbps.

“It’s important that retail service providers acquire CVC capacity in-line with the growth and features of their customers’ services, to ensure consumers receive the service they are paying for,” said Brakey.

The ACCC said wholesale market share was more or less stable in the March quarter, and only Telstra’s share fell slightly from 45.5% to 45.1%. Smaller RSPs were now acquiring 7.8% of all services, up from 7.5% in December 2020 and 6.2% in March 2020.

The number of wholesale access seekers connecting to all 121 NBN points of interconnection was unchanged and at least 11 providers were acquiring wholesale services from NBN Co at all PoIs.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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