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NBN increasing 12Mbps connections for first time in a year: ACCC

Over 1 million premises are once again on the lowest speed tier available on the NBN.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

After peaking at 1.2 million premises at this time last year, and heading downward for the following twelve months, the number of premises on NBN's 12/1Mbps plans is once again headed in an upward trajectory.

In its latest Wholesale Market Indicators Report, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that over the three months to September 30, 51,300 premises had connected via a 12Mbps plan, 19,400 signed up to 25/5Mbps plan, and 46,700 more premises connected with a 100/40Mbps plan.

These additions were outweighed by the 385,000 additions to the network on the now standard 50/20Mbps speed tier. Of that number, almost 178,000 were on hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) as premises caught up in the HFC freeze were progressively released back onto the network over 2019.

The ACCC pointed out that there are now 2.1 million premises on the lowest two speed tiers available.

"These lower speed products play a crucial role in the transition from legacy services to the NBN," ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

"The ACCC is committed to ensuring that customers who have no need for, or do not want, higher speed services have access to basic affordable broadband products on the NBN."

See also: ACCC decides NBN needs to cater beyond its layer 2 remit

Last month, the ACCC announced it would launch an inquiry into the lower end of the NBN market, with a particular focus on the basic 12/1 speed tier that NBN offers.

"We have concerns that NBN Co's wholesale pricing has resulted in unfair outcomes for those consumers who have no need for, or do not want, higher speed plans," Sims said at the time.

"Most consumers have no choice but to migrate to the NBN if they want to keep their home service active, but are at risk of not being able to obtain a comparable NBN service at a similar price to their ADSL service."

The action by the consumer watchdog follows NBN releasing its latest consultation paper in September, which put forward the idea of offering new 100/20Mbps, 250/25Mbps, and 1000/50Mbps speed tiers.

Elsewhere in its report released on Friday, the ACCC said Telstra controls 48.1% of overall NBN marketshare, down from a peak of 50.1%, TPG's share has fallen to 22%, and Optus is up to 15.2%.

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