Telstra taps half of Australia’s NBN wholesale access services

Telstra taps half of Australia’s NBN wholesale access services

Australia's largest telco claims 49.7 per cent of the country's wholesale NBN access services

Telstra claims almost half of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) wholesale access services in Australia, according to the latest quarterly report on the network by the country’s competition watchdog.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report for the three months ending 30 September has revealed that the top four acquirers of NBN access services in Australia are Telstra, TPG, Optus, and Vocus.

Unsurprisingly, Telstra has held onto its position as the largest acquirer of wholesale access services on a national basis, having a wholesale market share of 49.7 per cent.

“Telstra’s market share of NBN access services in metropolitan areas is 43 per cent, which is similar to its market share of traditional broadband technologies,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said.

“In regional areas, where it has enjoyed much larger market shares, up to 90 per cent in some areas, Telstra’s market share of wholesale NBN access services is around 55 per cent."

ACCC chairman, Rod SimsCredit: ACCC
ACCC chairman, Rod Sims

The latest report examines the number of NBN services in operation by access technology, such as fibre-to-the-node (FttN), fixed wireless, and interim satellite.

It also looks at services by geographic region, speed tier, and the split between voice, business, and residential broadband.

It should be noted that some retail service providers only resell NBN services acquired from other NBN access seekers - these services are not included in the ACCC report.

According to the report, the company building the network, nbn, is supplying 252,319 more broadband wholesale access services than during the last reporting period – the three months ending 29 July – lifting its total to 1,388,665.

Meanwhile, nbn is contracted to supply 1,535 gigabits per second of aggregate network capacity for connectivity virtual circuits (CVCs) – a capacity-based charged levied on retail service providers (RSPs) – up from 1,235 gigabits per second in the previous reporting period.

At the same time, the most popular speed tier being acquired continues to be the 25 Mbps option, rather than the company’s more expensive 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps speed options.

The continued preference by new subscribers for the lower speed tier could present a problem for nbn’s long-term business plan, which requires a certain number of customers to eventually take up the faster service.

For nbn chief, Bill Morrow, however, as long as data consumption continues to grow, the company’s dimension-based pricing model, which sees discounts applied to the CVC charge, should eventually see prices come down, which could make the higher speed options more appealing further down the track.

“The cost per megabit per second actually comes down as usage goes up. This is part of our dimension-based pricing discount structure that we implemented recently,” Morrow said in August.

As reported by Computerworld earlier this month, Morrow expects to implement by next year a discount system based on how much capacity per customer an RSP provisions.

“Our CVC pricing has come down more than 20 per cent over the past 20 months from $20 in February of 2015 to $15.75 now,” Morrow told a Senate estimates hearing on 18 October.

“Part of this reduction comes with an industry-average volume-based discount model and we are now consulting on a discount model that moves this to an RSP-average, allowing retailers to further differentiate their product offering and pass along lower price as end users demand more data,” he said.

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Tags NBNTelstraoptusTPGVocus CommunicationsBill Morrow

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