NBN competition heats up as telcos seek more POIs

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NBN competition heats up as telcos seek more POIs

The number of households switching to faster NBN plans has increased to the point where a third of NBN users are now speeds of 50Mbps.

NBN services on 50Mbps plans increased 47 percent in the quarter ending 30 June to nearly 1.5 million according the ACCC's tenth quarterly wholesale market indicators report, compared to just 159,000 in December last year.

Overall, NBN supplied 4.13 million wholesale residential broadband access services by the end of the June quarter.

The consumer watchdog cited NBN's 'Focus on 50' promotion for the rapid uptake, an initiative that the network builder kicked off in December to encourage RSPs to promote 50Mbps plans as the default option through wholesale discounts and credits.

Telcos like Telstra announced it would upgrade customers from the previous 25Mbps standard to a 50Mbps plan as a result of the initiative, which included offering temporary credit to retailers to buy 50 percent more connectivity virtual city (CVC) per user, and reduced the price of the access virtual circuit (AVC) for 50Mbps services.

“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," ACCC chair Rod Sims said. "We are pleased to see retailers responding to their customers’ needs.”

Average CVC per user increased from 1.55Mbps in the March quarter to 1.66Mbps in June.

The report also revealed that RSPs were acquiring services from the NBN's points-of-interconnect (POI). At least seven access seeker groups acquired services from 117 out of the 121 POIs, up from 95 POIs last quarter.

All 121 POIs have at least six providers connected to them, including Telstra, Optus, TPG, Vocus and Aussie Broadband. Vodafone was connected at 91 POIs while MyRepublic was connected at 99 POIs.

“It is good for competition that retail service providers with smaller market share like Vodafone and MyRepublic are connecting customers at a greater number of points of interconnect,” Sims added.

The number of NBN residential services on 50Mbps plans is now 35 percent. The number of residents on the previous standard of 25Mbps dropped by 15 percent, however, 12Mbps services increased 5 percent while 100Mbps services fell 3 percent.

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