Nearly 2.3M Australians connected to 50Mbps NBN speeds

Nearly 2.3M Australians connected to 50Mbps NBN speeds

Number on second-highest tier jumps from less than 160,000

Credit: NBN Co

More than half of 4.8 million National Broadband Network (NBN) customers are using plans of 50Mbps or more according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

By December 2018, 2.3 million Australian premises were on the second-highest speed – 50Mbps –, more than 1,000 times the number at the end of last year when connections totalled less than 160,000.

The numbers follow the NBN Co’s promotional Focus on 50 wholesale offer in 2017, which was recently replaced with wholesale bundles of 50Mbps and 100Mbps services.

However, a quarter of subscribers still remain on the lowest speed of 12Mbps, marking a steady rise from one million to 1.2 million at the end of last year.

The number of premises connected to 100Mbps has also steadily declined from just over 400,000 to 395,756.

Revealed in the ACCC’s quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report, the numbers show NBN residential broadband connections across Australia rose by 6.8 per cent in the last quarter, from 4.5 million to 4.8 million.

According to the report, a large number of higher speed plans are likely being adopted by customers newly-connected to the NBN, after switching from ADSL and HFC.

“It’s good to see that retail services providers (RSPs) have been able to offer higher speed plans at more affordable prices – thereby giving many consumers more choice,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“While there is clearly a trend towards higher speed plans, it is important that consumers continue to have the option of affordable, basic plans, which still make up one quarter of all services,” he added.

The report showed that the connectivity virtual circuit (CVC), which is the NBN bandwidth acquired by RSPs to provide data to their customers, fell slightly on a per user basis over the quarter, from 1.71Mbps to 1.65Mbps.

According to the ACCC, its decline was likely to be due to the introduction of the new wholesale plans and the end of the Focus on 50.

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