NBN indicators: 12, 50Mbps subs up, while 25, 100Mbps subs slide

Communications Day

14 November 2018
NBN Co's recent wholesale pricing initiatives aimed at getting consumers onto higher speed tiers appears to be working, with a 26% jump in the number of 50Mbps services between June and September this year, according to new data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
However, the entry-level 12Mbps tier also saw growth in services added of around 4.3%, while the numbers for the 25Mbps tier dropped from around 1.1 million in June to just over a 1 million in September. The number of users on the 100Mbps tier also dropped from 400,070 to 394,026.
Of the 4.5 million customers that now have an NBN connection at home, nearly half – more than 2.2 million – are on plans of 50Mbps or greater, according to the latest ACCC quarterly wholesale market indicators report. The 1.8 million services on the 50Mbps speed tier represents a more than tenfold increase since December 2017.
The ACCC data is the latest indicator to suggest that pricing changes are being adopted by retail providers and backs up NBN Co's own recent data that shows a move up the speed tiers.
“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,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said. “We expect these incentives will continue to operate as NBN Co transitions to longer term bundled pricing for the higher speed plans.”
LOWEST‐TIER ALSO POPULAR: Despite the trend for higher speeds, the report also notes that a significant number of consumers are happy to stay on the lowest 12Mbps speed plan. This tier now has just over 1.2 million consumers, a rise of 4.3% for the quarter.
“Consumers on 12/1 plans still represent more than a quarter of all NBN services. It is important that NBN Co recognizes the needs of this significant cohort of consumers for an affordable and reliable service,” Sims said.
As previously reported in CommsDay, NBN Co introduced an entry-level promotional bundle for the 12Mbps speed tier in early October.
Meanwhile, Sims also praised telcos for the growth in CVC capacity. According to 14 November 2018 All you need to know in telecoms ISSUE 5758 INDIGO CABLE Superloop, NextDC form interconnect pact for Perth, Sydney the latest quarterly data, average CVC per user was up 2.9%, from 1.66Mbps in June 2018 to 1.71Mbps in September 2018. In March 2017 it was just 1.00Mbps. “It is important RSPs maintain sufficient CVC capacity to ensure consumers get the service they have paid for, particularly in the busy period,” Sims said, noting that this was an area that the regulator would continue to monitor.
Overall market shares remained relatively stable, although smaller RSPs increased their market share slightly from 6.1% to 6.3%, representing an additional 27,000 more services. Telstra continued to dominate the market, with just under 50% of all retail customers, followed by TPG (21.7%), Optus (13.6%) and Vocus (8.6%). The latest report also included the number of fiber to the curb services for the first time, with 39,204 FTTC services in operation at the end of September.