Thursday, 15 August 2019 11:40

RSPs grab small slice of NBN wholesale marketshare from Telstra Featured

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The entry of smaller Retail Service Providers in the NBN wholesale market has put a slight dent in Telstra’s dominance of the market, with the big telco retaining its dominant position despite the RSPs increasing their collective share from 6.8% to 7.1%.

The ACCC’s latest quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report released on Thursday shows that Telstra is under some pressure, with at least eight access seeker groups acquiring wholesale services directly from NBN Co at all of the 121 NBN points of interconnect (POIs) nationwide – and with at least nine groups at 120 POIs and at least 10 at 115.

Noting the greater competition in the wholesale market, Chair Rod Sims says the ACCC is pleased to see the growth in the number of RSPs acquiring wholesale services directly from NBN - “which is good for both consumers and businesses.”

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

“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,” Sims says.

The ACCC report shows that more than 5.6 million Australian premises are now connected to the NBN, after a 9.2% rise in the number of residential NBN connections during the past quarter.

And, the report also reveals 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, which the ACCC says accounts for 55.4% of connections, up from 50.4% the previous quarter.

Sims says that while there is greater take up of high speed products, there are a significant number of consumers who prefer entry-level products - and 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,” Sims says.

“We remain in active discussions with NBN Co about wholesale pricing.”

The ACCC’s report also shows that Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) - which is the NBN bandwidth acquired by RSPs to provide data to their customers - increased 4.7% on a per user basis over the quarter from 1.67Mbps to 1.75Mbps.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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