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NBN Price Change To Benefit 10.3 Million Australians

Broadband speeds are set to increase in the wake of the National Broadband Network’s Wholesale Pricing Review 2019 Close-out paper creating several new internet plans and allocating greater capacity and network improvements to 10.3 million Australian’s.

The announcement from the NBN Co outlined several new internet plans including an additional highspeed 100Mbps plan with 20Mbps uploads, which will now sit alongside the original 100/40Mbps internet plan.

Two additional high-speed broadband plans were also unveiled, with the fastest reaching speeds of up to 1Gbps, which should entice freelance workers and gamers around the nation.

Changes will also be coming to the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) allocation, which ultimately determines the performance of the network.

Chief Customer Officer Residential at NBN Co, Brad Whitcomb said, ‘to address growing data consumption, we’ve substantially increased CVC capacity inclusions across most of our discount bundles’.

In addition, the NBN Co has adjusted its rules that govern the reallocation of unused data capacity for the benefit of both the RSP and customer.

From May 2020, RSPs will now be able to purchase additional capacity to serve fixed and fixed wireless customers with greater cost efficiency.

An AVC overhead allowance is also being implemented to ensure the correct delivery of data packets that otherwise impact a customer’s broadband speed.

According to Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, ‘the effective wholesale price of data capacity across most bundles is now less than half its 2016 level’.

However, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is putting the onus on telcos, with the consumer representative set to monitor the market for the next 12 months ‘ to ensure these improvements are passed onto consumers once they come into play’.

In addition, Una Lawrence, ACCAN Director of Policy, said the consumer representative will be working with the NBN Co to ensure ‘that the promise of the NBN is made possible for all Australians’.

Fortunately, a two-year roadmap has outlined the future of the NBN Co, which the national internet wholesaler is calling a ‘minimum guaranteed baseline’ for the increased value and data capacity inclusions.

Despite the warning of ‘any unexpected shifts in the market’ that would require the NBN to be ‘flexible’, several telcos have come out in support of the move by the NBN to reduce prices and increase speeds for customers.

Aussie Broadband Managing Director, Phil Britt commended the national internet wholesaler for listening to the concerns of retail service providers, with the changes now allowing the RSPs to ‘manage bandwidth peaks and troughs at a national level…saving considerable effort and “overage” costs’.

‘The increased CVC that NBN is going to include in its wholesale plans means that even though customers are continuing to increase their data usage, they should continue to see good bandwidth performance from their providers for the next 12 months’.

However Vodafone’s Matthew Lobb was disappointed the ‘speed tax’ was not removed from the CVC, despite the NBN’ heading in the right direction’.

A direction foreshadowed by Whitcomb wanting ‘all Australians to benefit from having access to high-speed broadband and will do our best to ensure the highest number of people can take advantage of this national infrastructure asset’.

The NBN Co will be revealing its strategy to encourage broadband uptake in underserved communities of the nation in December, which will hopefully see more affordable plans introduced for price-conscious consumers.

Currently, 90% of Australians can connect to the NBN, according to Mr Fletcher, indicating the company is ‘on track to complete its build phase next year’.

Unfortunately for the NBN Co, if the additional CVC fees are not removed then 5G connectivity may become the cheaper alternative for some Australian’s with the November 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report predicting 2.6 billion global 5G subscriptions in the next six years.

The question is no longer if, but how quickly we can convert use cases into relevant applications for consumers and enterprises,’ said Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson.

Check out our coverage of the Ericsson Mobility Report on ChannelNews right here.

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