More than half a million Australian households moved to faster NBN plans in the March 2021 quarter, the ACCC’s latest 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. It shows that nearly 8.3 million broadband services are now connected to the NBN.
“More than two-thirds of all NBN connections now relate to services of 50Mbps or above, and about 17 per cent of customers are using 100Mbps or above,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.
However, there were almost 465,000 fewer ‘Home Fast’ (100Mbps) and 100/40Mbps services in the March 2021 quarter, partly due to the end of a particular promotion. NBN has since introduced other promotions aimed at even higher speeds.
“New incentives offered by NBN Co have enabled retailers to allow consumers to trial or shift to higher speed services, particularly services with very high speeds of 250Mbps or above,” Ms Brakey said.
The report shows that there was significant take up of very high speed services in the March 2021 quarter. The number of ‘Home Superfast’ services (250Mbps) increased from 11,136 in December 2020 to almost 490,000 in March 2021. The number of ‘Home Ultrafast’ connections (500-1000Mbps) grew from 9,924 to almost 83,000 in the same period.
“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,” Ms Brakey said.
“Many consumers will continue to be adequately served running multiple devices on plans with speeds of 50Mbps or below.”
Service providers acquired slightly more bandwidth in the March 2021 quarter, which led to total Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) 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,” Ms Brakey said.
Wholesale market shares remained fairly stable in the March quarter, and only Telstra’s share fell slightly from 45.5 per cent to 45.1 per cent. Smaller retail service providers now acquire 7.8 per cent of all services, up from 7.5 per cent in December 2020 and 6.2 per cent in March 2020.
The number of wholesale access seekers connecting to all 121 NBN points of interconnection remained unchanged in the March quarter, and at least 11 providers were acquiring wholesale services from NBN Co at all of the points of interconnection.
Further information, including time series data, is available on the ACCC website at NBN Wholesale Market Indicators.
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 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 these small retail service providers resell NBN services that they buy from larger retail service providers (such as Telstra, TPG and Optus).
Change in speed tiers December 2017 to March 2021*
*NBN ‘Wireless Plus’ services (2.4%) are excluded from the table, as they cannot be categorised by speed tier.