‘Gigatown’: MyRepublic launches gigabit broadband competition

MyRepublic to push gigabit NBN access

Singapore-headquartered retail service provider MyRepublic, which entered the Australian market in November, has launched a competition to promote the top speeds available on the National Broadband Network.

The RSP will make available NBN’s barely used 1 gigabit per second speed connections to residents of an area within the NBN fibre to the premises (FTTP) footprint. The winning MyRepublic customer would receive free 1Gbps broadband for 12 months.

MyRepublic said that its existing customers in the area would receive a free upgrade to gigabit connections for 12 months, following which the RSP would offer gigabit speeds to new customers “at what we believe is a fair price”.

A second winning customer in a non-FTTP area currently served by MyRepublic would be upgraded to the highest speed tier available in their locality. Both winners would also receive a prize pack featuring home entertainment gear from Sony.

No RSPs currently offer a gigabit NBN product to consumers.

“Currently, there are no retail 1Gbps speed plans on offer from the retailers,” NBN CEO Bill Morrow wrote in a blog entry earlier this year. “This is, in our opinion, because there is still minimal consumer demand for these ultra-fast speeds – especially at the prices retailers would have to charge for them.”

NBN’s half year results, released in February, revealed that 25/5 megabits per second (Mbps) remained the company’s most popular speed tier — as of the end of December 2016, some 51 per cent of fixed line connections were 25/5Mbps.

The next most popular was 12/1Mbps (31 per cent), followed by the fastest speed currently offered by RSPs: 100/40Mbps (13 per cent). NBN during the last half of calendar 2016 launched a campaign to attempt to raise consumer awareness of the different speed tiers available on the NBN, in an effort to boost take-up of the higher speeds available.

MyRepublic said that 99 per cent of its 15,000 customers have 100/40Mbps NBN connections — the company only offers the fastest NBN speed tier available in an area (it also offers ADSL services, however).

MyRepublic said that it believes the reason that gigabit plans have not been offered by RSPs is NBN’s wholesale pricing structure, which in addition to a per user access charge (AVC) includes a charge based on the overall capacity provisioned by an RSP for its customers.

The AVC + CVC pricing constructs “would suggest that a retail product based on the nbn 1Gbps speed tier would retail over $300 per month, compared to MyRepublic’s retail pricing of $49.99 (SGD) per month in Singapore and $129.99 (NZD) per month in New Zealand,” MyRepublic argued in a statement.

NBN in March unveiled details of its new ‘Dimension-Based Discount’ model, which discounts CVC pricing depending on the average bandwidth provisioned per subscriber by an RSP.

The scheme is an evolution of an earlier change to NBN’s pricing model, which cut CVC pricing based the industry average capacity provisioned per subscriber.

Details of the MyRepublic competition are available from its website.

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