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Small broadband players swipe NBN market share

Market share declined slightly for Telstra, TPG and Optus.

Aussie Broadband has led the charge among smaller broadband providers in increasing their market share in the National Broadband Network (NBN) wholesale market in the March 2022 quarter.

This is according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) latest NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report, which shows small providers are gaining market share at the expense of the three major telcos — Telstra, TPG and Optus.

The report looked at the wholesale market for NBN services, particularly the residential broadband services that retailers buy from NBN to sell to consumers.

In the first three months of the year to March, wholesale market shares declined slightly for Telstra (down 0.3 percentage points to 43.7 per cent), TPG (down 0.3 percentage points to 23.3 per cent) and Optus (down 0.3 percentage points to 13.9 per cent). Vocus, the fourth-largest telco, whose brands include Commander and Dodo, remained steady at 7.3 per cent.

In contrast, the combined market share of all other retail service providers increased by almost 1 percentage point (84,414 additional services) to 11.8 per cent. This growth was led by Aussie Broadband, which increased its market share to 6.1 per cent (up 0.5 percentage points).

“The smaller internet providers are growing and in doing so they are increasing competition in the residential broadband market,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“The presence of smaller players with competitive offers is keeping the larger providers on their toes.”

The report also shows that nearly 8.7 million residential broadband services are now on the NBN, and almost three-quarters of those are high speed plans of at least 50 Mbps or more.

As the broadband network builder's ‘Focus on Fast’ promotional discounts ended, the number of very high speed services over 100 Mbps fell by around 140,000 services, or by 40 per cent, in the March 2022 quarter. 

However, there are still more than eight times as many very high speed services connected to the NBN than in late-2020 when the promotion began.

In March 2022, the 50 Mbps service was the preferred speed tier for 58 per cent of consumers.

Retail service providers acquired slightly more Connectivity Virtual Circuit (bandwidth) capacity over the March quarter. 

Average capacity acquired per user increased from 2.73 Mbps in the December 2021 quarter to 2.76 Mbps in March 2022.

Broadband providers expanded their presence at NBN’s 121 points of interconnect (POIs), which are the physical locations where providers can connect to the NBN.

In the March quarter there were at least 13 providers directly acquiring NBN services at 121 of the POIs, and 15 directly connected at 115 of the POIs.

“Retail providers expanding their POI footprints across Australia means greater choice of internet providers for more consumers, and that’s a good thing,” Brakey added.