ACCC figures reveal telcos buying more NBN capacity

However, latest ACCC data doesn’t include impact of end of NBN Co pricing promotion

Figures released today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reveal that the average NBN bandwidth per household increased in the three months to 30 September — from 1.66 megabits per second at the end of June, to 1.71Mbps.

However, the data on the increased capacity (CVC) purchased by telcos came ahead of a major NBN Co discount scheme ending, with the company last month warning that there may be some fluctuations in congestion levels on its network.

“It is important RSPs [retail service providers] maintain sufficient CVC capacity to ensure consumers get the service they have paid for, particularly in the busy period,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said in a statement.

“The ACCC will continue to monitor CVC utilisation under its record-keeping powers. The ACCC’s Monitoring Broadband Australia Program will also continue to rank RSPs by whether they are providing the speeds expected by consumers.”

As of the end of September, close to 4.5 million homes and businesses had active NBN services, the ACCC’s quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report revealed. Almost 41 per cent had 50Mbps services, and almost 9 per cent 100Mbps or faster connections.

NBN Co has made a concerted push to encourage the take-up of faster speeds; prior to the company last year launching its ‘Focus on 50’ promotion, the 25Mbps speed tier was the most popular choice for end users.

“The NBN Co’s ‘Focus on 50’ promotion has demonstrated that RSPs and their customers are willing to move to higher speed plans if the incentives are right,” Sims said.

“We expect these incentives will continue to operate as NBN Co transitions to longer term bundled pricing for the higher speed plans.”

Sims noted that a significant number of households have still opted for the slowest 12Mbps speed tier. Some 27 per cent of NBN services as of 30 September were on the tier. In May, NBN Co said it was planning to roll out a new low-end product designed primarily for voice.

“The figures from the ACCC  show that NBN’s new pricing strategy  is working, with retailers moving customers onto plans that reflect the true potential of the NBN and lead to a much better customer experience,” communications minister Senator Mitch Fifield said.

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Tags broadbandNetworkingnbn coTelecommunicationsNational Broadband Network (NBN)Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

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