Australians Feeling The Need For Broadband Speed

A recent report from the Australia Competition & Consumer Commission shows a big jump in the proportion of Australians shifting to higher speed NBN plans over the last couple of years.

Australian - NBN plan speeds

The ACCC’s latest quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report released last week states 83.8% of Australian NBN services were either 12Mbps or 25Mbps in December 2017.  In September 2019, only 34.3% were on these tiers, with 65.5% on 50Mbps or 100Mbps plans.

57.1 per cent of all NBN residential services were 50Mbps plans, while 100Mbps accounted for 8.5 per cent.

While the low tiers now represent the minority of NBN users, the ACCC says even the 12Mbps offering remains an important one - and noted just over 1 million consumers on that plan.

“These lower speed products play a crucial role in the transition from legacy services to the NBN,"  said ACCC Chair Rod Sims. "The ACCC is committed to ensuring that customers who have no need for, or do not want, higher speed services have access to basic affordable broadband products on the NBN."

At the other end of the spectrum, 100 Mbps connections may be in the minority now, but what will happen in the future as more Australians demand even faster connectivity. How will the NBN cope? Even as things currently stand, 100 Mbps may be the wholesale label, but the general end user experience for those on these plans is significantly lower than this speed.

Telstra Continues Wholesale Domination

The ACCC release also mentions Telstra continues its domination of wholesale NBN services, accounting for 48.1 per cent of all connections - however, this has dropped from 50.1 percent in June 2017. Mr. Sims says the ACCC was pleased to see smaller service providers steadily gaining market share in more locations across the country.

While on the topic of Telstra and the NBN, it seems it and a few other telcos are in the ACCC's crosshairs again over undertakings related to speed issues.

Back in late 2017, Telstra entered into a court-enforceable undertaking requiring it to check the speeds of customers' broadband if they were connected to the NBN via Fibre-To-The-Node (FTTN) or Fibre-To-The-Building FTTB. It appears the company didn't check 180,000 services - and didn't inform the ACCC until August this year.

Telstra has since committed to follow-up and the ACCC says customers receiving an email or letter from Telstra about their NBN service should check the maximum speed they are getting to ensure they are receiving what they pay for.

Telstra isn't the only telco that will come under further ACCC scrutiny in this regard.

"We are looking closely at other telcos who gave us similar undertakings to ensure they are checking speeds and providing options to consumers not getting the maximum speeds as promised,” said Mr. Sims.

Posted: 22 Nov 2019

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