Australian Broadband: Who’s On What

Australian Broadband: Who’s On What

A recent report released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission shows a continued shift to faster internet plans in Australia.

Broadband in Australia

The ACCC notes the proportion of Australians on 50 Mbps NBN plans or higher rose from 16.2% in September in 2017 to 67.2% at the end of September this year. In September last year, the figure was 65.5%. Within the faster internet plan levels, the 50Mbps service is the most popular plan, accounting for 57.5 per cent of all connections (57.1 per cent in September 2019).

More recently introduced plans above 100 Mbps have also seen some interest. These plans are:

  • Home Fast (100/20 Mbps)
  • 100/40 Mbps
  • Home Superfast (250/25 Mbps)
  • 250/100  Mbps
  • 500/200 Mbps
  • Home Ultrafast (500 – 1000/50 Mbps)
  • 1000/400 Mbps

Collectively the above plans represent just over 2 per cent of all services. It’s worth noting none of these plans are symmetrical. A symmetrical connection is one where the upload speed is as fast as the download speed, such as what Lightning Broadband (a non-NBN internet provider) offers on all its internet plans for homes, apartments, and business.

Regarding high speed connectivity uptake, it was only in 2018 that a government report gauging future fixed-line broadband speed requirements stated demand for the highest usage households would be between 20–49 Mbps in 2026. Only 2 per cent of households were expected to demand more than 49 Mbps by that year – and we’ve bypassed demand level six years early.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims said while it was good to see more NBN products on offer, not everyone has a need for speed.

“It is vital that broadband providers offer a variety of plans for all needs and budgets. Consumers should choose the plan that best works for them, and that doesn’t always mean the fastest,” stated Mr. Sims.

Internet Connection Technology

As for the technologies Australians are using for connecting to the Internet as at the end of September (again, NBN connections only):

  • FTTP – Fibre To The Premises: 1,528,051
  • FTTB – Fibre To The Building: 2,191,22
  • FTTN – Fibre To The Node: 3,006,069
  • FTTC – Fibre To The Curb: 829,315
  • HFC – Hybrid Fibre Coaxial: 1,812,099
  • Wireless – 336,368
  • Satellite – 96,507

More from the report is available on the ACCC website at NBN Wholesale Market Indicators.

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