Australia’s biggest telecommunications providers are losing ground in the National Broadband Network (NBN) wholesale market as smaller players like Aussie Broadband and Superloop close the gap.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Telstra, TPG, Optus and Vocus saw their share of the broadband market decrease by over 123,000 residential services for the quarter that ended in September.
As a result, their combined market share dropped by 1.6 percentage points to 85.8 per cent, with Telstra experiencing the largest fall in market share, down 0.6 percentage points to 42.7 per cent.
Revealed in the NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report, the figures showed TPG to be down by 0.3 percentage points to 22.8 per cent share. Optus fell by 0.4 percentage points to 13.4 per cent and Vocus was down 0.4 percentage points to 6.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, smaller providers gained over 140,000 services in the September quarter, increasing their combined market share to 14.2 per cent, up from 12.6 per cent in the June quarter.
Aussie Broadband and Superloop both increased their market share by 0.3 percentage points, which were the largest increases of the providers.
“The rate at which smaller broadband providers are gaining market share from the big four accelerated markedly in the September quarter,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.
“The smaller providers increased their combined market share by 1.6 percentage points, which is about double the rate of the previous three quarters.”
On the subject of speed tiers, the report revealed that the 12 Mbps services decreased by almost 42,000 services, or 0.5 percentage points, while 25 Mbps services increased by over 18,000 services (0.2 percentage points).
In addition, 50 Mbps services decreased by over 83,000 services, or 1.1 percentage points, while Home Fast 100/20 Mbps services increased by over 115,000, or 1.3 percentage points.
The 50 Mbps speed tier remained the preferred speed, accounting for 54 per cent of all NBN services.
“Many consumers are continuing to make use of flexible working-from-home arrangements, which often require high-data usage such as video communications,” Brakey said.
“Consumers can get better value for money from their broadband by choosing plans that closely match their download and upload speed needs.”
The report also showed broadband providers acquired more Connectivity Virtual Circuit (bandwidth) capacity in the September quarter. The average capacity acquired per user increased by about 3 per cent, from 2.84 Mbps in the June quarter to 2.93 Mbps in the September quarter.
“Busy hour use of the NBN increased in September at a slower rate than previous quarters, which is consistent with the longer-term trend of consumer uptake of streaming services levelling out and online applications becoming more efficient,” Brakey added.
Last year, the ACCC warned all NBN providers to keep pace with demand when it comes to how much capacity they buy from the network wholesaler.
“It’s important that retail service providers acquire CVC capacity in line with the growth and features of their customers’ services, to ensure consumers receive the service they are paying for,” Brakey said at the time.