Most NBN consumers now on higher speed plans

Almost 4.8 million Australians are now connected to the NBN, with more than half subscribed to higher speed plans of 50Mbps or more, according to the ACCC’s quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report, released today.

The report shows that NBN residential broadband connections across Australia rose by 6.8 per cent in the December quarter, up from 4.5 million at the end of the previous three months.

Higher speed services now represent 56 per cent of all NBN broadband connections, with almost 2.7 million subscribers on services of 50Mbps or above.

The report shows that the number of 50Mbps plans taken up by consumers continues to grow, reaching almost 2.3 million services at the end of December. This is a substantial increase from the 159,000 consumers on those plans in December 2017. The ACCC’s report shows that a large number of higher speed plans are likely being taken up by customers newly connected to the NBN, after switching from ADSL and HFC.

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This follows the launch of NBN Co’s promotional Focus on 50 wholesale pricing offer in 2017, which was recently replaced with new wholesale bundle offers for 50Mbps and 100Mbps services.

“It’s good to see that retail services providers (RSPs) have been able to offer higher speed plans at more affordable prices – thereby giving many consumers more choice,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

Meanwhile, there remains a large number of customers on the most basic 12Mbps service with 1,164,157 customers on the lowest speed plan.

“While there is clearly a trend towards higher speed plans, it is important that consumers continue to have the option of affordable, basic plans, which still make up one quarter of all services,” Mr Sims said.

Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC), which is the NBN bandwidth acquired by RSPs to provide data to their customers, fell slightly on a per user basis over the quarter, from 1.71Mbps to 1.65Mbps. The introduction of the new wholesale plans and the end of the Focus on 50 promotion is likely to have contributed to this drop.

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“We will continue to monitor the amount of CVC RSPs provide to their customers, and whether customers are getting the service they are paying for, including those on the lowest speed plan,” Mr Sims said.

RSPs’ market shares remained mostly stable during the December quarter, with smaller retailers slightly increasing their collective share from 6.3 per cent to 6.6 per cent – a rise of about 34,000 services.

There were at least six access seeker groups acquiring NBN services directly from NBN Co at all 121 POIs. There are at least 7 access seeker groups at 120 of the POIs.

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