The number of Australia homes and businesses connected to faster national broadband speed plans has more than doubled thanks to NBN Co’s temporary discounted pricing which the company says will be superseded by new bundles from May.
NBN Co says orders for NBN wholesales speeds of 50Mbps or higher rose from 16 per cent in December to 37 per cent, with more than one million people upgrading their internet speeds in the last four months.
The rise in higher plan orders was driven by the company’s move last year to temporarily slash its top speed packages for retail service providers in a bid to boost top-tier use and respond to concerns expressed about its data charges.
The NBN Co reduced the cost of its 50Mbps speed plan in December to the price of its 25Mbps speed plan – its most popular bundle.
But the company announced on Monday it now plans to start selling new wholesale pricing options from May, following months of continued industry consultation.
“The promotion will be superseded by NBN Co’s new wholesale bundles, which are designed to deliver better value and more flexibility than the company’s existing pricing to encourage internet providers to reduce bandwidth congestion and sell higher speed broadband retail plans,” NBN Co said.
Chief customer officer Brad Whitcomb urged customers to “shop around” and speak to their internet providers about the new plans available, as well as what their usage is during peak evening period to ensure they are getting the best value service.
He said three months ago, NBN Co had less than one in 15 users connected to its wholesale 50Mbps plans, but now, more than one in four are signed-up to these services.
Mr Whitcomb said the average network bandwidth congestion per Australian home is sitting below 30 minutes per week compared with more than six hours per week this time last year.
“The results from our latest monthly progress report show we’ve listened to the community’s feedback and are working hard alongside industry to make significant steps to improve customer experience but we know there’s more to be done,” he said.