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ACCC Says Competition Between Telcos Improves Value For Customers

A new report released by the ACCC shows competition in the telecommunications market improves value for consumers.

The consumer watchdog published its annual report on competition and prices changes in the telco sector for 2016-17 financial year showing mobile service costs dropped, the price of internet services dropped and data downloads grew.

The real prices for fixed internet services in the market fell by an average 4.5 per cent year-on-year from 2014 to 2017. The range of plans and bundles available has changed significantly and a quarter of all fixed broadband plans had an unlimited data allowance, up from 5 per cent in 2014.

Real prices of mobile services dropped by an average of 7.1 per cent each year over the same period, though the price of higher-priced prepaid plans increased in the last year.

Data downloads rose by 43 per cent over the year, with consumers continuing to rely heavily on fixed broadband connections, which accounted for 92 per cent of all downloads.

Competition is heating up between telco providers

Delia Rickard, acting Chair at the ACCC says, “At a time when affordability in energy markets is a major concern, competition in the broadband and mobile market is continuing to benefit consumers.

“Consumers are obtaining greater value for money and receiving and using more data each year.

“In other encouraging developments, we are seeing new players enter the fixed and wireless broadband markets and this will provide further competitive pressure going forward.”

Overall demand for communication services continues to grow, and more consumers chose to rely on their mobile devices for voice calling in particular.

The number of mobile voice minutes rose by 7 billion over the year, more than offsetting the reduction in fixed-line minutes of 3 billion.

Mobile handsets are also the preferred way of accessing the internet, accounting for 66 per cent of all broadband subscriptions while fixed broadband connections are used far more intensively by businesses and consumers.

Read the ACCC telecommunications report for 2016-17 here.

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