Australia's connectivity
Share

NBN Co has unveiled a proposal to increase download speeds on several of its most popular products.

The proposal would provide five times faster download speeds on its nbn Home Fast product, which would see wholesale download speeds accelerate from 100/20Mbps to 500/50Mbps at no extra wholesale cost to retailers.

NBN Co is proposing to provide the accelerated speeds to customers connected to the nbn network via Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) technologies.

The company is also proposing to triple the wholesale download speed of its nbn Home Superfast product from 250/25Mbps to 750/50Mbps and increase the wholesale speeds of its highest residential speed tier, nbn Home Ultrafast, from 500-1000/50Mbps to 750-1000/50-100Mbps, also at no extra wholesale cost to retailers.

The accelerated speeds would be made available to customers who are already using one of the three highest-speed products, and to those who upgrade to one of those three higher speed tiers in the future.

The proposed acceleration of the speed tiers is in response to the step-change in technology adoption and usage in Australia and globally. The move leverages the growing capabilities of fibre connectivity.

The new turbo-charged speed tiers would be available across the company’s HFC and FTTP networks with customers in eligible Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) locations that will be able to access the proposed speed tiers by upgrading to FTTP. 

As part of the proposal, NBN Co has indicated that it intends to relax the threshold for customers in premises served by FTTC to be eligible to upgrade to a full fibre (FTTP) connection by ordering an nbn Home Fast 100/20Mbps product.

Customers can check if their home or business is served by HFC or FTTP, or eligible to upgrade to FTTP and access faster speeds at nbn.com.au/fibreupgrade.

The company is seeing strong demand for full fibre upgrades and higher speed tiers with approximately 7,000 homes and businesses per week, on average, upgrading to FTTP.

The acceleration of nbn’s three highest speed residential products is designed to meet customers’ growing need for reliable, high-speed, high-capacity and low-latency broadband with the proliferation of more internet-connected devices in the home or business.

Speed and capacity are becoming increasingly important considerations for NBN Co in the way it provisions its network and resets its products, particularly as the number of concurrent internet-connected devices in the average home continues to grow.

In Australia, data demand and usage has doubled in the last five years, with the average household consuming 443GB per month across 22 internet-connected devices, which is a significant increase from 40GB of monthly data use across approximately seven internet-connected devices, on average, ten years ago.

The company expects this to grow to 33 devices per household by 2026 and 40 devices, on average, by the end of the decade. This will be driven by increased use of high and super-high definition streaming on 4K TVs, increased gaming, and the proliferation of cloud computing, generative artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality, and as people continue to expect higher quality video conferencing and computing capabilities while working and studying at home.

For example, a recent Fortnite patch was around 25GB, which would take around 73 minutes to download, and consume all of the available bandwidth, on a standard nbn 50/20Mbps plan. 

The same patch would take around 36 minutes to download on the current nbn Home Fast 100/20 Mbps speed tier, around seven minutes on the proposed nbn Home Fast 500/50 Mbps speed tier, and around five minutes on the proposed nbn Home Ultrafast 750-1000/50-100 Mbps speed tier.

NBN Co is proposing to introduce the accelerated speeds within the next 12 months and issued an industry consultation paper and, in addition to canvassing a number of implementation considerations, it is seeking retailer input on the potential to introduce the changes even sooner.

In total, approximately nine million homes and businesses would have access to the upgraded speed tiers by December 2024, growing to up to 10.2 million eligible premises, or approximately 90 per cent of nbn’s fixed line network, by December 2025.

NBN Co also issued a consultation paper to internet retailers, seeking their feedback on the proposed increases in wholesale download and upload speeds by 5pm on 19 April 2024.

Critical to the success of the proposal will be internet retailers’ ability to transmit the higher wholesale speeds across their retail networks and ensure in-home equipment, such as modems and Wi-Fi routers, are capable of delivering the full benefits to customers. NBN Co will be seeking retailer feedback on what in-home equipment will be needed to bring the increased speeds to market.

NBN Co Chief Customer Officer, Anna Perrin, said, “Ten years ago, the average Australian home had seven internet-connected devices and consumed around 40GB per month. Today, some people would use that much data in a day.

“The average household now consumes 443GB per month across 22 internet-connected devices. We predict that average will grow to 33 connected devices by 2026 and 40 by the end of the decade.

“Yet despite this explosion in data usage, many customers have remained on the same broadband plan for years.

“Our network monitoring suggests that some customers are potentially hitting their maximum speed on a regular basis. These customers may enjoy a better internet experience on a faster speed tier.

“The good news for customers is we are upgrading the nbn network to keep pace with customer demand. Fibre is the great enabler to deliver near gigabit speeds across the nbn network.

“We are on track with our national fibre upgrade program to put these incredibly fast speeds within reach of more than ten million Australian homes and businesses by the end of 2025.

“And, most importantly, we are proposing to deliver these accelerated speeds at no extra wholesale cost to internet retailers. By working together with the industry, we hope to deliver these accelerated services to customers in 2024 or early 2025,” Ms Perrin said.

The Victorian Government has welcomed NBN Co’s proposal to provide highly accelerated speeds for households and small businesses.

Under the proposal, NBN’s three highest speed tiers would see download speeds boosted by up to five times at no extra wholesale cost, with the 100/20 NBN product turbo-charged to 500/50Mbps.

Subject to industry consultation and readiness, these speeds would be made available in around 12 months’ time. Based on NBN Co’s fibre upgrade program, eligibility will be open to an estimated 9.1 million homes and businesses by December 2024, and up to 10.2 million eligible premises – about 90 per cent of NBN Co’s fixed line network – by December 2025.

The Victorian Government has invested $2.4 billion to expand full-fibre NBN access to an additional 1.5 million premises, including 660,000 in rural and regional communities.

The government expects NBN to plan for current and future needs to maximise the capability of the network and improve the lives of Australians.

Faster, more reliable full fibre connections are already delivering productivity benefits for Australian consumers and businesses, with NBN users saving over 100 hours and $2,580 per year from avoided travel time and costs, working from home and undertaking tasks online.

These increased speeds will allow consumers and small businesses to download a 10GB file within five minutes, rather than waiting for up to 17 minutes, experience smoother video conferencing and gaming, and support reliable connectivity.

The average household is now consuming over 440GB per month, up from 30GB before the NBN was established, and this is expected to at least double again by the end of the decade.

This proposed acceleration is an example of how the Victorian Government is delivering a better NBN for households and businesses around Australia.

Industry consultation on the proposal closes on 19 April 2024. Find out more about the NBN at www.nbnco.com.au

Victorian Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, said, “Reliable, quality, high-speed internet is not a luxury or nice-to-have: it is essential 21st century infrastructure.

“Through our substantial investment in the NBN, the Albanese Government is delivering faster and more reliable broadband to homes and businesses across Australia.

“NBN Co’s proposal is consistent with the Albanese Labor Government’s objectives and will deliver turbo-charged speeds that would deliver significant benefits for businesses and households alike.

“The government expects nbn to consult closely with its retail partners and work with them to enable these speed enhancements to be available for consumers as soon as practical,” Ms Rowland said.

 

©2024 Utility Magazine. All rights reserved

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?