We Want Faster NBN – And We’re Voting With Our Wallets

We Want Faster NBN – And We’re Voting With Our Wallets
Image: speedtest.net

The ACCC, in its most recent quarterly report, says that of the almost 4.5 million residents that have an NBN broadband connection at home, almost half of them are on fast plans with speeds of 50Mbps or more. That’s a ten-fold increase on the proportion of users on fast plans at the end of 2017.

The ACCC’s report for the September 2018 quarter shows that more than 2.2 million consumers are now on high-speed plans, up 20% on the previous quarter and ten times more than December 2017. The ACCC says this reflects NBN Co’s pricing strategies to encourage Retail Service Providers (RSPs) and their customers to higher speed plans. But they also say its advertising speed guidance project is part of the drive behind the shift.

“The NBN Co’s Focus on 50 promotion has demonstrated that RSPs and their customers are willing to move to higher speed plans if the incentives are right,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

Consumers on 12/1 plans still represent more than a quarter of all NBN services showing there is a significant cohort of consumers for an affordable and reliable service without a thirst for lots of speed.

The average CVC (Connectivity Virtual Circuit) per user is also up. It was 1.66Mbps in June 2018 and reached 1.71Mbps in September 2018. In March 2017 it was 1.00Mbps. CVC capacity is a measure of how much bandwidth is allocated per user on an RSP service.

“It is important RSPs maintain sufficient CVC capacity to ensure consumers get the service they have paid for, particularly in the busy period,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC says it will continue to monitor CVC utilisation under its record-keeping powers and rank RSPs by whether they are providing the speeds expected by consumers.

As we’ve said many times, the NBN project has been dogged by political and infrastructure challenges. But things do seem to have settled down on those scores. The delay in deploying services over the old Telstra HFC network seems to resolved and installation quality is improving (not withstanding things like this). But the political statements about how much bandwidth we’d really need and the gap between what the network is delivering and what we were promised back when the project was proposed and started with the previous Labor government may yet come back to bite.

It’s likely some areas will need to be revisited in order to deliver Gigabit speeds in future. But, by then, the initial project will be over and those will be seen as upgrades – even though many would argue they should have been done during the rollout that’s scheduled to end in 2020.


  • Even more would be on NBN100 if they could get a Maximum Attainable Speed that made it worthwhile. But who needs to invest in FTTP when you can bleed money out the arse maintaining the copper in FTTN/B?

    • Exactly this. The real story here is that Australians are forced to pay more to get a speed that’s half of what it should be. It’s absurd – basically you have to pay a premium to get better than ADSL2+ performance.

    • Definitely. I’d like to see their consumer numbers based not just on speed but attainable speed. Just because someone is using a 12/1 plan doesn’t mean they don’t want more speed. If there connection caps out at that (for whatever reason) then it needs to be taken into account.

    • Exactly! I am only on nbn50 because my attainable speed is 57 Mb/s so why would I go to nbn100 for a 7 Mb/s gain. Make my attainable speed more than 100 Mb/s and I will definitely go with the nbn100.

  • “Even if we offered it for free, we see the evidence around the world that they wouldn’t use it anyway…”
    – Bill Morrow, lying fuckhead trying on bullshit excuses for his shitty broadband network.

  • Hilarious. These “high speed plans” are 150mbps slower than the l
    Slowest ufb fibre plans available in New Zealand… How many people in NBN enables areas know that their copper services will be switched off in 18 months too? So backwards….

    • To be fair if you’re lucky (like me) and on a 100mbit plan that’s already bloody fast. 99% of the time I’m not thinking “oh I want more speed”. It’s only an occasional huge game patch on release (looking at you Fallout 76) when I’d like more speed. But even then with a 51GB patch it’s still reasonable.

      I do however, think that the option for higher speed plans should be available. Want a gbit connection? Sure you just need to pay for it.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!