NBN Co Extends Additional Capacity Offer to Internet Retailers
Australia’s NBN Co has again extended its offer to provide internet retailers with a credit to offset increases in certain wholesale capacity charges up to 40 per cent (where available, depending on access technology), based on the pre-COVID-19 February baseline, at no extra cost until 19 September 2020. The additional capacity offer was due to expire on 19 August 2020 and will now expire on 19 September at which time it will be withdrawn.
NBN Co has also extended its offer to increase the fair use thresholds for its standard Sky Muster satellite service to 90GB of data on average until 30 September 2020. This offer, which came into effect at the end of March, adds 45GB to the applicable fair use threshold for each standard Sky Muster service at no additional cost to internet retailers.
The additional capacity offers have resulted in NBN Co providing almost AUD$80 million so far in financial relief credit to participating internet retailers to help support increased levels of data use during COVID-19. NBN Co will extend these offers in accordance with current terms, which means that participating internet retailers will receive pricing relief on nbn bundled discount plans until 19 September 2020, and for standard Sky Muster satellite services until 30 September 2020.
NBN Co’s initial capacity offer was launched in March 2020 to give internet retailers pricing relief for up to 40 per cent more Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) capacity, where available and required, to respond to increased COVID-19 related user demand.
Brad Whitcomb, Chief Customer Officer, said: “This is the right thing to do. We trust the data capacity initiative will first and foremost support Australians’ heightened need for secure, high-speed access to broadband services at this critical time and, secondly, help give internet retailers the time and financial relief they need to adapt to their customers’ changing data demands.
“It is also important to recognise that the underlying annual growth in data demand has maintained a consistent trajectory, and it is this sustained growth, aside from any COVID-19 related impact, that requires a long-term, well-considered, industry-wide response.”
NBN Co says that its network continues to perform extremely well under the increased demands during the COVID-19 pandemic of more people spending more time working, learning, gaming and streaming entertainment at home.
For the week from Monday 13 July to Sunday 19 July, peak download throughput (the measure of data flowing through the nbn network) during the busy evening period increased by 34 per cent to a new record peak of 14.8 Terabits per second (Tbps) on the main nbn wholesale service, compared to the last week of February (which nbn measures as its normal pre-COVID-19 baseline).
Brad Whitcomb said: “The record peak that occurred last Saturday night coincided with 89 per cent concurrent usage across nbn-connected homes in Melbourne.”
Peak download throughput during the same week also increased during daytime business hours, up 21 per cent to 9.4Tbps, and early evening hours up 34 per cent to 13.1Tbps, compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline.
NBN Co has revealed a complex picture of the key drivers of increased data demand that it says needs to be factored into internet retailers’ future capacity procurement strategies. Much of the growth in demand has occurred due to new customers and normal, organic growth in data demand across the entire customer base.
For example, since March 2020, there have been more than 600,000 new premises connected to a plan over the national broadband network, representing an 8 per cent increase in nbn’s customer base to 7.5 million activated premises.
Australian Broadband Data Demand is a report produced by NBN Co showing the peak weekly throughput during daytime business hours, early evening hours and busy evening hours.
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