Majority of NBN customers still snubbing 12/1 speeds: iiNet

Many unknowns remain with regards to the direction of the NBN rollout under the new government, according to the ISP

Only 30 per cent iiNet customers with National Broadband Network connections have chosen the lowest NBN speed tier of 12 megabits per second down/1 megabit per second up, according to a presentation by the ISP’s CEO, Michael Malone, and its CFO, David Buckingham, at the Macquarie WA Investor Conference.

The company revealed earlier this year that it had 20,000 customers on the NBN. Sixty per cent of iiNet NBN customers are on fibre connections; 35 per cent use satellite and 5 per cent use NBN fixed wireless.

iiNet's presentation raised the 'known unknowns' of the new Coalition government's approach to the NBN, including whether a fibre-to-the-node rollout will use the NBN's current scheme of 121 Points of Interconnect, where network traffic transitions from the NBN to providers' networks, and whether anti-cherry-picking regulations, which the Coalition has long been a critic of, will be repealed.

The cherry picking rules are intended to prevent the construction of fibre networks that can compete with the NBN in only areas that are likely to have a high return for a company.

ISP TPG last month announced it intended to offer a fibre-to-the-basement service using its own network; the scheme may run afoul of current legislation governing cherry picking, but because TPG is yet to commence offering the service the applicable regulations have yet to be triggered.

iiNet also remains critical of the current $20 per megabit connectivity virtual circuit charge levied at ISPs offering services over the NBN. The CVC is a capacity-based charge in addition to the per customer connection fee paid by ISPs for NBN connections.

It "represent a significant increase on today's prices and will choke the future growth of broadband services in Australia" and is not sustainable according to iiNet.

The NBN is currently the subject of a strategic review after communications minister Malcolm Turnbull installed a new board at NBN Co, the government-owned company overseeing the rollout of the network.

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