Subscribers to NBN 50Mbps plans accounted for 26% of all plans as at March 31, up from 4.6 per cent in December last year says the ACCC.
Commenting on its latest Wholesale Market Indicators Report, the ACCC indicated the number of 50Mbps services acquired from NBN Co increased to 989,360 in the quarter to 31 March 2018.
Last month we reported the number of orders for plans over the network based on wholesale speeds of 50Mbps or higher had jumped from 16 per cent in December to 37 per cent.
The rapid uptake of 50Mbps plans was the result of NBN Co offering a temporary credit to retailers for acquiring 50 per cent more Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) per user and reducing the price of the Access Virtual Circuit (AVC) for 50 Mbps services.
CVC relates to the “bandwidth pipe”. The more CVC an ISP pays on average per user, the better the performance should be; especially during peak evening periods. With regard to the Access Virtual Circuit, each subscriber needs an AVC.
Calling the shift “remarkable”, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said the Commission was pleased with the progress, but also issued a warning.
“However, we would expect that with more consumers on higher speed plans, retailers will continue to provision enough CVC to ensure a continuing good customer experience, particularly during the busy evening periods,” he said.
The ACCC noted the average amount of residential broadband CVC acquired per user increased from 1.52Mbps in December to 1.55Mbps in March 2018, another increase on the quarter to December 2017.
The ACCC says it will continue to monitor broadband speeds and CVC utilisation by retailers to ensure Australian consumers are receiving the level of service they have been promised.
A crackdown on the way speeds have been previously advertised has also been having an impact, with many ISPs now advertising plan speeds as “typical evening speeds”, reflecting the performance when the network is likely to be under the most pressure.
Current and previous ACCC NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Reports can be downloaded here.
The NBN isn’t always the only show in town and as such, many households and businesses continue to seek out NBN alternatives; particularly those wanting symmetric connections (where upload speed is as fast as download).
Some of these non-NBN ISPs can provide download and upload speeds of up to 100 Mbps (much faster upload than NBN 100 Mbps plans) over a fixed wireless connection; or up to 1,000 Mbps upload/download via fibre connections.