Broadband download speeds to increase fivefold under NBN Co proposal

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Remy Varga
The Nightly
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NBN Co is proposing to increase the wholesale speeds for customers connected via fibre to the premises and hybrid fibre coaxial technologies. 
NBN Co is proposing to increase the wholesale speeds for customers connected via fibre to the premises and hybrid fibre coaxial technologies.  Credit: Shining Pro - stock.adobe.com

Broadband download speeds would increase fivefold for no extra cost under a proposal by the national broadband network after data usage doubled over the past five years.

NBN Co is proposing to increase the wholesale speeds for customers connected via fibre to the premises and hybrid fibre coaxial technologies.

The plan would raise the 100/20 Mbps Home Fast product to 500/50 Mbps and triple the home superfast product from 250/25 Mbps to 750/50 Mbps.

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The plan to increase download speeds nationwide is in response to an increased need for reliable internet as more people continue to work from home as well as the increasing number of internet-connected devices in Australian households.

NBN Co said the average household consumed 443 gigabytes of data a month across 22 devices, up from seven a decade ago, which the company said would increase to an average of 40 devices per household by the end of the decade.

About 10 million Australians have subscriptions to online streaming platforms such as Netflix and Disney while the average household spends more than six hours online each day.

Chief customer officer Anna Perrin said the national fibre upgrade program would mean more than 10 million Australian homes and businesses would be able to access fast internet by the end of 2025.

“The average household now consumes 445 gigabytes per month across 22 internet-connected devices,” she said.

“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.”

NBN CO is currently replacing copper wire infrastructure with fibre connections after the former Coalition government under then PM Tony Abbott scrapped a full fibre rollout planned by Labor for a cheaper mix of technologies. The overhaul of the network is almost complete.

PRIME MINSITER PRESSER
Communications minister Michelle Rowland said reliable high-speed internet was “essential 21st century infrastructure”. Credit: News Corp Australia

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said reliable high-speed internet was “essential 21st century infrastructure” and the NBN proposal, released on Tuesday, was consistent with the Albanese government’s objectives.

“Reliable, quality, high-speed internet is not a luxury or nice-to-have: it is essential 21st century infrastructure,” she said.

“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.”

The proposal could spell the end of the so-called price wars between major telcos Telstra, Optus and TPG and retailers will have until April 19 to comment on the proposals.

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