The number of higher speed broadband plans of at least 50 Mbps has surpassed the 5 million threshold during last quarter, according to Australia's consumer watchdog.
As of the quarter ending 30 September, 5.2 million customers had higher speed broadband services, jumping up from 4.9 million the previous quarter.
This is according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Wholesale Market Indicators Report for the quarter ending 30 September, which claimed more than 7.8 million residential customers were connected to the National Broadband Network by the end of the period — aligning closely with NBN Co’s quarterly update on 9 November.
For new consumers, the 50 Mbps service was the most popular, making up 57.5 per cent of all new connections.
Premium high-speed plans, which offer speeds of at least 100 Mbps, grew by 11.2 per cent during the same period, to 764,164 services.
“It is good to see a continuing increase in the number of products on offer, giving savvy consumers a range of differing plans to choose from,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
In particular, the Home Fast, Home Superfast and Home Ultrafast plans, which offer downloads speeds of up to 100 Mbps, 250 Mbps and at least 500 Mbps in downloads, respectively, all "increased rapidly" during the quarter, the watchdog claimed.
Meanwhile, 12 Mbps and 25 Mbps plans rose to nearly 2.4 million by the end of the quarter, making up 30.4 per cent of all connections.
“It is vital that broadband providers offer a variety of plans for all needs and budgets. Consumers should choose the plan that best works for them, and that doesn’t always mean the fastest,” Sims said.
Total Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) also grew by 10 per cent, to over 20 Terabits per second, while CVC per user rose by 5 per cent over the quarter, to 2.59 Mbps.
“It’s important that RSPs continue to acquire sufficient CVC to meet consumer demand, as this affects on user experience. Particularly at this time when Australians’ broadband connection has become a household essential for work, education and entertainment,” Sims said.
Telstra held onto its market dominance, making up 45.7 per cent of all wholesale services acquired from NBN. TPG followed with 24.4 per cent, with it propped up by its merger with Vodafone. Optus came next with 15.4 per cent, and then Vocus rounded out the top four telcos with 7.2 per cent.
Additionally, Aussie Broadband increased its share by 0.4 per cent during the quarter, to 3.9 per cent.