The number of Australian homes and businesses connected to the NBN that are taking up internet plans with 50Mbps download speeds and higher is growing, but there are still more customers on slower speed tiers than not.
According to NBN Co's monthly progress report for May 2018, 44 percent of the near 4 million customers connected to the national network are on 50Mbps speed tiers or higher, compared with 56 percent with speeds of 25Mbps or lower.
It's a drastic improvement from the same time last year, nearly tripling from 16 percent in May 2017.
The report said that 70 percent of new orders were now based on 50Mbps and higher speed tiers, and that average bandwidth network congestion had reduced from more than five hours to less than 30 minutes per service per week compared to May last year.
NBN Co put the shift in customer purchases down to its decision to discount wholesale prices in December, encouraging RSPs to sell higher speed broadband retail plans.
The company slashed the price of the 'NBN 50' wholesale bundle by 27 percent to encourage RSPs to pitch the faster speed tier as the flagship option. Last month, NBN Co also revealed its plan to introduce two new wholesale options, an entry-level plan that could replace the existing 12Mbps speed tier, and another for fixed wireless connections.
“It’s important for people connecting to the NBN access network to understand how to pick a speed tier and retail plan that suits their needs," NBN Co residential chief customer officer Brad Whitcomb said.
“We recommend people talk to their internet provider about the actual speeds they are likely to experience, particularly during peak times and choose a plan that supports the number of people, usage habits and devices in the home.
“Our latest progress report shows in the last year we have also improved our ability to work with internet providers to restore faults on the network within our agreed timeframes by 30 percent. We know there is more work to be done and will continue to collaborate with the industry as the rollout gathers pace.”
The report also said that the average number of homes and businesses that experience network congestion was just 0.089 percent, while the number of faults on the network per locations per month was just 1.
NBN Co said it had recently ramped up its efforts to roll out the network in capital cities, with 250,000 homes and businesses to be connected over the next three months.