NBN Co has extended its offer to provide internet providers additional data capacity at no extra cost until 19 August to help support user broadband needs.
This also includes an extension to increase download data limits for its standard Sky Muster service to 90GB until the end of August, providing an additional 45GB for each standard Sky Muster service at no additional cost to internet providers.
The capacity offer has resulted in NBN Co providing more than $40 million so far in financial relief to internet providers and helped support increased levels of data use during COVID-19, in the five months to August.
“We are proud to have supported the telecommunications industry and the nation through this pandemic as Australians increasingly relied on their home broadband connections for work, study and entertainment,” NBN Co chief customer officer for residential Brad Whitcomb said.
“Alongside this capacity boost, we also increased data download limits for Sky Muster satellite customers and announced up to $150 million of financial relief and assistance packages to help keep low-income households and small and medium businesses facing hardship stay connected.
NBN Co’s initial capacity offer was launched in March to give internet providers pricing relief for up to 40 per cent more Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) capacity, where available and required, to respond to increased demand.
The end of the capacity offer comes as average data volumes across the NBN's main wholesale service show signs of slowing down from the March and April periods when more people were confined to their homes during the pandemic’s peak.
More than 400,000 new customers signed up to the NBN during the same period.
NBN Co also introduced other new measures to improve NBN customer experience, which will help during the eventual wind-down of the 40 per cent additional capacity including the introduction of national pooling of CVC capacity - which allows RSPs to share unused data capacity across all geographic areas associated with 121 Points of Interconnect - and additional data allocations for most wholesale speed tiers that came into effect on 1 May.
Compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline, peak upload throughput on the main NBN wholesale service in the evening busy hours for the week beginning 25 May increased by 25 per cent to 0.96Tbps – a decline from the previous week’s peak of 1.02Tbps.
Peak upload throughput in the early evening hours increased 31 per cent to 0.89Tbps; and peak throughput during daytime business hours increased by 67 per cent to 0.83Tbps.