More Australians Opting For Faster Broadband Plans

More Australians Opting For Faster Broadband Plans

More than half of Australians connected to the NBN are subscribed to plans of speeds of 50Mbps or more according to the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission.

NBN broadband uptake - Australia Image: ACCC

In its latest quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators report, the ACCC notes residential NBN broadband connections across the country jumped 6.8 per cent in the 2018 December quarter, to almost 4.8 million. Of these, 56 per cent are now on services offering speeds of 50Mbps or greater (that’s download speed only). Just 159,000 Australians were on these plans in December 2017.

However, the number on the lowest tier plans, 12 Mbps (download) also continues to grow, with 1,164,507 on this level in December 2018 compared to 1,022,494 in December 2017.

The ACCC also flagged Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) fell slightly over the quarter on a per user basis, from 1.71Mbps to 1.65Mbps. CVC is a charge paid by NBN ISPs to NBN Co. covering the size of the “bandwidth pipe” for an area. The more CVC an ISP pays on average per user, the better connection performance should be, particularly during peak periods in the evenings.

It’s an issue the ACCC is keeping an eye on.

“We will continue to monitor the amount of CVC RSPs provide to their customers, and whether customers are getting the service they are paying for, including those on the lowest speed plan,” said ACCC Chair Rod Sims.

The full Wholesale Market Indicators Report can be viewed here.

NBN Customer Refunds  Yet To Be Claimed

In other recent related news from the ACCC, late last month the Commission urged NBN customers experiencing slow connection speeds to contact their retail service provider (RSP) as they may find they are eligible for a refund.

A number of service providers had previously admitted to likely “making false or misleading representations” about the connection speeds that could be experienced by NBN fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) customers.

“These RSPs advertised and sold NBN plans with maximum theoretical speeds (e.g. 100 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 40 Mbps upload) when, due to the limitations of FTTN and FTTB technologies, many consumers could never experience these speeds,” says the Commission.

The ACCC says two in three affected consumers have not responded to the letter or email from their retail service provider (RSP) regarding the situation, and some customers may be eligible for refunds of hundreds of dollars.

While on the topic of speed, NBN customers – in fact all broadband users – can access Lightning Broadband’s internet speed test application to help gauge the performance of their connection.

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