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NBN details COVID-19 CVC boost tapering across December and January 2021

Free 40% boost in capacity to retailers set to dialled down over two months.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

After failing to kill off its 40% capacity boost to retailers in September, NBN has unveiled a new plan to dial the boost down over two months.

Using a new baseline that is calculated as the difference between a retailer's capacity usage at the beginning of the September billing period compared to that in February, the company responsible for the National Broadband Network (NBN) will offer retailers 75% of that difference in December, and 50% in January next year.

"NBN Co's tapering of COVID-19 CVC Credit offer to internet retailers recognises that peak data demand is returning to normal forecast levels of growth," the company said.

Meanwhile, the company said it would keep its 45GB boost for satellite users until the end of March 2021.

"This offer, which came into effect at the end of March, added 45GB to the applicable fair use rolling four-week threshold for each standard Sky Muster service," NBN said.

"From 1 April 2021, the Sky Muster satellite service will revert to the standard fair use policy threshold of 45 GB of wholesale download data on average per service across a rolling four-week period."

The changes were detailed as NBN announced it would offer retailers a new set of discounts to get users onto higher speed tiers, with hopes it is as successful as its previous Focus on 50 discounts that helped shift users up to the speed tiers on offer.

Reusing its campaign titles, the Focus on Fast discounts will look to get users onto its 100/40Mbps plan and the new Home-labelled 100/20, 250/25, and 500-1,000/50Mbps speed tiers. As of August, it has 45,000 premises on its new Home plans.

To encourage a shift, NBN will offer increased capacity inclusions from December, and six-month pricing rebates from February.

Across the 100/20 Home Fast, 100/40Mbps, 250/25 Home Superfast, and 50-1000/50Mbps Home Ultrafast tiers, NBN will provide an extra 0.5Mbps of capacity, while the discounts will be AU$2, AU$9, AU$12, and AU$24 each month for half a year, respectively, when a user is upsold or connected for the first time.

For the 50/20Mbps plan, NBN will offer an AU$8 a month rebate for six months when a customer is upsold.

According to an Essential poll released this week with 1,082 respondents, the percentage of respondents connected to the network increased from 59% in January 2019 to 76% in October.

In answering the question whether the NBN service was better than previous services, the percentage of people who said it was better remained at 51%.

When respondents were asked whether they approved of the eventual privatisation of the NBN, which has been planned from its inception, 33% said they approved and 38% said they did not. Broken down by party voting intention, Coalition and Greens voters were the most enthusiastic of selling it at 38%, while supporters of the party that designed the NBN to be sold, the ALP, disagreed the most that it should be sold, with 48% of ALP respondents disapproving a sale.

In age terms, 18-34 year-olds supported the selling off by 45% for and 29% against, with support trending down across the age bands until those aged over 55 who disapproved by a majority of 52%, with only 19% supporting its sale.

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