Technology Analysis

High demand sees NBN market booming

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Things are looking up for the Australian broadband market (Screenshot via YouTube)

Growth in demand for NBN services is seeing the Australian broadband market thrive. Paul Budde reports.

THE 'NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report', prepared quarterly for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) by NBN Co, offers a comprehensive overview of the NBN wholesale market. This report, focusing on residential broadband access services, highlights the latest trends and key statistics in the market for the March quarter of 2024.

Telstra’s market share declined to 39.9%, down from 42.0% a year earlier. TPG and Optus also saw decreases in their market shares, falling to 20.7% and 12.6% respectively. In contrast, Aussie Broadband's market share rose to 8.5%, and Vocus increased to a similar level, creating a near tie for fourth place. Superloop became the largest retail service provider in the ‘others’ category with a 3.75% share.

The report highlighted a rise in fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connections and higher speed services, with 100Mbps and above services growing to 21.7% from 20.1% the previous quarter. However, the adoption of high-speed plans has not fully recovered from a downturn in late 2023 when TPG and Optus downgraded around 775,000 services from 100Mbps to 50Mbps. The share of NBN users on lower speed tiers, 12Mbps and 25Mbps, increased to 26%.

In all, the number of services with download speeds of 50Mbps or higher slightly declined to 6.2 million, a decrease of 0.05%. While this reduction is marginal, it highlights the competitive nature of the market and the potential for shifts in consumer preferences or service offerings.

The transition from digital subscriber line (DSL) to NBN services continues to be a focal point. The report derives total DSL service numbers from the Telstra Customer Access Network Record Keeping Rules quarterly snapshots and total NBN service numbers from the NBN Services in Operation Record Keeping Rules market indicator reports. This migration data is crucial for understanding the evolution of Australia's broadband landscape.

The total number of NBN services in operation reached 8.8 million in the March quarter of 2024, reflecting a modest increase of 0.03% from the previous quarter. This steady growth indicates a stable demand for NBN services across Australia.

The report features interactive charts that allow stakeholders to explore data across different dimensions, including access seeker groups, download data rates, technology types and geographic regions. Users can view historical data spanning the last nine reports, offering valuable insights into market trends and developments over time.

In summary, the March quarter 2024 report highlights a period of stability and growth in the NBN wholesale market. Despite a slight decrease in the number of less than or equal to 50Mbps services, the overall market dynamics indicate a robust and evolving broadband environment. The interactive elements of the report provide a valuable tool for stakeholders to analyse trends and make informed decisions based on comprehensive data.

Paul Budde is an IA columnist and managing director of independent telecommunications research and consultancy Paul Budde Consulting. You can follow Paul on Twitter @PaulBudde.

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