NBN services grow in popularity as customers flock to fast speeds

Phone and laptop

A new release from the ACCC has shown that more than 8.5 million Aussie customers are connected to NBN broadband services, with over three-quarters of those customers on fast speed tiers providing download speeds of 50mbps or above. 

The report shows that in the September 2021 quarter, retail service providers bought access to about 450,000 more 50mbps and 100mbps services for residential and business customers, with around 150,000 of those customers upgrading from either an NBN12 or NBN25 plan. 

“The 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps speed tiers have been very popular with consumers recently, which is understandable as extended lockdowns in several states and territories have resulted in millions of people working and learning from home,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

Connections to plans over the 100mbps speed tier saw a fall of about 195,000 customers, however, which coincides with the scaling back of NBN’s ‘focus on fast’ promotion. The scaling back of the program has seen customers on promotional offers returning to their previous speed tiers. 

The ACCC found that retailers had increased their presence across NBN Co’s 121 Points of Interconnect (POIs), the physical locations at which providers connect to the NBN network. A greater number of retailers at each POI means that the customers served by the area have a choice of more broadband providers.

In the September quarter, there were 13 or more retailers at 119 POIs (up from 99 POIs in the June quarter), and 14 or more retailers at 110 POIs (up from 87 POIs in the June quarter), indicating that providers are expanding to a larger number of areas. 

Among the providers, Aussie Broadband saw large growth in wholesale services added in the September quarter, accounting for almost one-third and lifting its market share to 5.1%. Superloop also increased its market share after acquiring Exetel in August, and now has the sixth-largest market share with 1.5%. 

Among the big players, Telstra, TPG and Vocus all remained fairly stable in terms of market share in the September quarter, although Optus saw a fall of 1.1% as a result of Exetel’s customer base shifting to Superloop.

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