More than 1.45 million NBN users have 50Mbps connections per a report released by the ACCC yesterday. That accounts for 35 per cent of all NBN users and is an almost tenfold increase from December 2017.
The dramatic uptake in that tier of service is credited to the NBN's 'Focus on 50' promotion that encourages retailers to move their customers to 50Mbps plans through wholesale discounts and credits.
These figures come from the ACCC's quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report. The report - which covers connections up until 30 June 2018 - shows that there are currently 4,133,791 residential connections to the NBN.
The 'Focus on 50' promotion that NBN has been running included steps such as dropping the monthly wholesale price of 50Mbps connections by 27 per cent and offering credits to retailers. This resulted in price reductions from retailers like Vodafone and is credited with the recent surge in 50Mbps connections.
"A more than nine-fold increase in 50Mbps services so far this year shows that higher speed plans can be delivered if the incentives are right. We are pleased to see retailers responding to their customers' needs," ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
History is littered with grandiose statements that seemed reasonable(ish) at the time but were proven to be completely ludicrous. There's the statement made by Bill Gates that 640K of memory ought be enough for everyone and Thomas John Watson, the Chairman of IBM saying there was a market in the world for just five computers. And now, NBNCo has come up with their own version - the 100Mbps speed limit.
Meanwhile 25Mbps connections have dropped by 15 per cent of total connections over the last quarter and there were single digit changes with 12Mbps and 100Mbps connections.
Another positive sign for the NBN is that the average connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) per user has increased to 1.66Mbps, a 7 per cent jump.
"The average CVC per user is an important indicator of how service providers are provisioning their network to meet customers’ expectations of broadband speeds," said Mr Sims.
The simplest take away from this is that when fast internet becomes cheaper and easier to access, more people will sign up for it. This was part of the original idea behind having a national broadband network. One that was seemingly lost to the ages as the network was used as a political football and occasionally kicked over the fence.