NBN gets a much-needed pandemic boost
More than seven million Australian consumers are now connected to the NBN after the activation of 455,000 new services in the three months to 31 March.
The connections were made as available NBN bandwidth per user jumped by 31 per cent during the March quarter, following NBN Co’s boost of the network capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ACCC’s latest quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report, shows total Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) per user increased from 1.92Mbps to 2.52Mbps during the March quarter, after NBN Co temporarily provided retail service providers (RSPs) with up to 40 per cent extra capacity at no additional cost.
“We were pleased to see NBN Co and RSPs work together to ensure Australians can stay connected during these unprecedented times,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“Consumers have been downloading and uploading record amounts of data for online work, school and social activities, which has been essential in helping households get through this challenging situation.”
The report shows smaller RSPs increased their collective share of the NBN wholesale market from 7.5 per cent to 8.1 per during the quarter. Leading this group, Aussie Broadband and Vodafone acquired three per cent and 1.9 per cent of wholesale services respectively.
“It is good to see the trend of smaller RSPs increasing their share in the market continue. More competition means more choice and better services for consumers,” Mr Sims added.
Telstra continued to be NBN Co’s biggest wholesale customer, accounting for 47.6 per cent of all services acquired, followed by TPG with 22 per cent, Optus with 15.3 per cent and Vocus with 7.1 per cent.
The number of higher speed plans (50Mbps and above) taken up by Australian households continued to increase, to comprise 65.4 per cent of all NBN services. Almost 57 per cent of residential NBN plans were 50Mbps plans at 31 March, while 100Mbps plans accounted for 8.6 per cent of all services.
However, more than 2.2 million households remained on 12Mbps and 25Mbps plans. The number of entry-level 12Mbps services remained at about 1.16 million, representing 16.4 per cent of all residential services on the NBN, slightly lower than 17.6 per cent at the end of December 2019.
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