Gigabit speeds to hit NBN by end of year

NBN Co has released three new wholesale plans for the National Broadband Network, which will allow some customers to achieve download speeds of 1Gbps by the end of the year.

By the end of the year, NBN Co wholesale customers will be able to obtain 1-gigabit-per-second (Gbps) products to resell to households and businesses on the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The wholesale price for the 1Gbps plan is slated at AU$150 per month, and will provide 400 megabits per second (Mbps) upload speeds.

Similarly, NBN Co released a 500Mbps/200Mbps plan for AU$100 per month, and a 250Mbps/100Mbps plan for AU$70 per month.

The pricing does not necessarily scale linearly in terms of speed. While the 1,000Mpbs/400Mbps plan represents a tenfold increase in speeds, its AU$150 per month price tag is 3.9 times the AU$38 wholesale price of a 100Mpbs/40Mbps connection.

Similarly, the 500Mbps/200Mbps plan is 2.9 times the price of the AU$34 per month 50Mbps/20Mbps plan, and the 250Mbps/100Mbps plan is 2.3 times the price of a AU$30 per month 25Mbps/10Mbps plan.

Speed (upload/download) Wholesale access price per month
12Mbps/1Mbps AU$24
25Mbps/5Mbps AU$27
25Mbps/10Mbps AU$30
50Mbps/20Mbps AU$34
100Mbps/40Mbps AU$38
250Mbps/100Mbps AU$70
500Mbps/200Mbps AU$100
1000Mbps/400Mbps AU$150
(Sources: NBN Co Product and Pricing Overview for Service Providers (PDF), NBN Co statement)

None of these prices include associated overheads, such as the cost to access network facilities, and retailers are expected to add their own margins to NBN Co's wholesale pricing. The wholesale prices are, however, forecast to decrease over time.

In a sitting of the joint parliamentary committee overseeing the NBN on Friday morning, NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley confirmed that the 1Gbps service will be gradually made available to customers already connected to the NBN by the end of the year.

He also provided some additional statistics on the number of plans that have currently been taken up by those connected to the network. The majority (39 percent) of NBN users are on 12Mbps/1Mbps plans, followed by 31 percent on 100Mbps/40Mbps, 24 percent on 25Mbps/5Mbps, 5 percent on 50Mbps/20Mbps, and 1 percent on 25Mbps/10Mbps.

Quigley said NBN Customers download an average of 47GB each month, while the Australian average is 31GB.

Josh Taylor contributed to this article.