ACCC reveals which NBN technology has the most outages

ACCC NBN outages report July 2024
Image: NBN Co.
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Australians fortunate enough to have a fibre to the premises NBN connection encounter far fewer outages than those reliant on other technologies, the ACCC has found.

The consumer watchdog’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia report revealed that customers on fibre to the node (FTTN) and hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) are more likely to have frequent internet outages.

Putting the numbers into perspective is the fact that the outage frequency is disproportionate to the total number of connections. FTTN accounts for 34% of the measured fixed-line NBN connections but yielded 48% of reported outages on “most days”. Meanwhile, FTTP – 36% of measured connections – only reported 12% of outages occurring most days.

“While all NBN fixed-line connection types experience some outages, there is a noticeable increase in the frequency of these outages if you have a FTTN or HFC connection,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“If a consumer is experiencing frequent outages, we encourage them to contact their broadband provider for assistance. They may be able to access a fibre to the premises upgrade at their address or obtain a mobile backup to provide service continuity during outages.”

There is some good news, however. NBN Co confirmed in March 2024 that more than two million people across Victoria and New South Wales were eligible for FTTP upgrades. An eligibility section on NBN Co’s website provides additional information for anyone wanting to upgrade.

Another positive to come from ACCC’s quarterly report is download speeds. During the reporting period of March 2024, download speeds remained close to the numbers advertised by telcos. For the first time in the report’s history, Telstra topped the list, with downloads averaging 102.3% of plan speeds during busy hours.

NBN outages come with more pain

Those stuck on FTTN and HFC connections are set for more struggles come July. Wholesale NBN prices are getting more expensive, with many telcos passing the costs onto consumers.

This includes NBN 50 plans, Australia’s most popular speed tier. Many customers, including those with Telstra, will be paying up to $5 more per month for home internet. Faster plans, like NBN 250 and above that rely on FTTP connectivity, are dropping in price, but still cost more than slower tiers.

Another pain point is that upload speeds seemed to have plateaued.

With all the price changes, make sure you compare the cheapest NBN plans to ensure you get the best deal on home internet.

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