Smaller NBN RSPs chipping into bigger players' market share

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Smaller NBN RSPs chipping into bigger players' market share

Smaller NBN retail service providers (RSPs) saw increases in their market share in the last three months of 2021, chipping away at the major telcos.

In the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s latest Wholesale Market Indicators Report for the quarter ended December 2021, RSPs like Aussie Broadband, Superloop and Vocus all increased their NBN wholesale market share, while major telcos Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom saw slight declines.

The report revealed Vocus increased its market share from 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent, Aussie Broadband increased its market share to 5.6 percent, up from 5.1 percent in the quarter ended September 2021, while Superloop increased its market share to 1.7 percent.

Telstra’s market share dipped from 44.3 percent to 44.1 percent, while TPG’s decreased from 23.9 percent to 23.6 percent. Optus saw its share down to 14.1 percent from 14.5 percent.

“We are glad to see continued growth from smaller NBN providers. Their presence in the market keeps pressure on the big four of Telstra, TPG, Optus and Vocus to maintain a high quality, competitive service,” ACCC commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“Some smaller providers are offering consumers different options to meet their specific needs, such as tailored plans and discounted pricing options, network performance graphs, Australia-only call centres and gamer-optimised plans.”

From the NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report for the December quarter 2021

The report also said customers on NBN’s 50Mbps service now constitute 58 percent of the 8.6 million residential broadband services, while those on speeds of over 50Mbps now comprise 15 percent of all services.

Services of over 100 Mbps however fell by about 108,000 services, or 24 percent, after most of the ‘Focus on Fast’ promotional discounts have ended, but almost half that took up the plans in 2021 remain on services above 100Mbps.

“We encourage consumers to trial new services, but it’s important that they think about their internet usage and choose the speed tier that best fits their needs,” Brakey said.

The December 2021 quarter also saw a decline in Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) capacity, or bandwidth that RSPs acquire from NBN Co, where average capacity acquired per user decreased from 2.82 Mbps in the third quarter of 2021 to 2.73 Mbps.

The most declines were recorded in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, while the other states increased CVC, suggesting the effects of easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions during the period.

RSPs also expanded their presence at the 121 NBN Points of Interconnection (POIs), with at least 13 NBN providers directly acquiring NBN services at 121 of the POIs, up from 119 POIs in the September 2021 quarter.

“Some of the smaller regional retail providers are expanding their POI footprints nationally, and that will give greater variety of internet providers to consumers in more locations,” Brakey said.

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