Homes connected to the National Broadband Network are now three times more likely to have chosen a faster speed plan than they were a year ago, internal data from the NBN Co provided to Fairfax Media shows.
A year ago, one in 10 households and businesses moving onto the NBN chose a 50Mbps or 100Mbps speed plan.
Now, seven in 10 are moving onto the higher speed tiers, with 50Mbps being the top choice. These figures exclude the NBN Co’s Sky Muster satellite connections.
This means the pool of those connected to the NBN in total, including new and pre-existing connections, has jumped from 15.9 per cent on 50Mbps and 100Mbps plans in May 2017 to 44.7 per cent in May 2018.
Since the NBN provided discounts to telecommunications companies on the 50Mbps plan to purposely encourage take-up of this speed, providers have passed on the savings. In some cases, customers were upgraded from 25Mbps to 50Mbps plans automatically, while others stopped providing 25Mbps options altogether.
NBN Co chief customer officer of residential Brad Whitcomb said in a statement that customer satisfaction surveys had typically shown an improvement since the discounts were offered to telcos.
This is because more households are now on speed plans that better suit their needs, he said.
“Our latest progress report shows in the last year we have also improved our ability to work with internet providers to restore faults on the network within our agreed time frames by 30 per cent. We know there is more work to be done and will continue to collaborate with the industry as the rollout gathers pace,” Mr Whitcomb said.
“We recommend people talk to their internet provider about the actual speeds they are likely to experience, particularly during peak times and choose a plan that supports the number of people, usage habits and devices in the home,” he said.
Bandwidth congestion has also been reduced in the busy evening hours, now down to 18 minutes a week for each home on average compared with nearly six hours in May last year.
The NBN Co expects it will reach the halfway point for its 2020 target to connect 8 million users by the end of this week.
Jennifer Duke writes about media and telecommunications.
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