NBN extends 40 per cent additional capacity for another two months

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NBN Co has extended its offer to provide up to 40 per cent additional capacity to internet providers at no extra cost for another two months as it continues to support telecommunications retailers and help Australians stay connected through the COVID-19 pandemic.

NBN Co has also extended its offer to increase download data limits for its standard Sky Muster service to 90GB* of data on average for another two months. This offer, which came into effect at the end of March, provides an additional 45GB* for each standard Sky Muster service at no additional cost to internet providers.

“We are extending these offers by another two billing periods because we know how crucial it is for the nation to have access to reliable and fast broadband services as Australians continue to work, study and be entertained at home,” said Brad Whitcomb, Chief Customer Officer – Residential at NBN Co.

“Whether it’s through this additional up to 40 per cent capacity available to internet retailers at no extra cost, our support for Sky Muster customers, or the $150 million of financial relief and assistance we recently announced to help keep low-income households and small and medium businesses facing hardship stay connected, nbn is here to support internet providers and Australians through this pandemic.”

NBN Co’s initial capacity offer was launched in March to give internet providers 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.

The initial offer was for three months through to May, but that has now been extended by another two billing periods through to July 2020, as data demand continues to track above pre-COVID-19 levels (which NBN Co measures from the last week of February for the purposes of this offer).

The CVC is the capacity that internet providers procure from NBN Co as the wholesaler and which is used to supply high-speed broadband services to residential and business customers. When internet providers do not purchase or provision sufficient capacity, it can lead to traffic congestion and slower speeds for customers.

The 40 per cent additional capacity offer set total CVC charges applied in the internet provider’s February 2020 invoice as the baseline and provides a credit to offset any increase in total CVC charges that would otherwise be payable by internet providers in subsequent invoices issued up to May 2020 (now extended to July 2020) to ensure the industry is supporting customers’ reliance on broadband services during social isolation.

The offer to increase data limits for standard Sky Muster services will, in some cases, effectively double the average monthly download limits on retail plans offered to many standard Sky Muster customers. However, it is will be left to internet providers to decide how they implement this for their customer base.

The extended offers come as data demand on nbn Co’s main wholesale service continues to remain at higher levels than its pre-COVID-19 baseline as more Australians continue to self-isolate and shift their work, education and entertainment needs online.

For the week from Monday 20 April to Sunday 26 April, peak download throughput (the measure of data flowing through the nbn™ access network) during daytime business hours, increased by 18 per cent to 9.2Tbps compared to the last week of February.

The peak download throughput on the main wholesale service recorded in the early evening hours for the week beginning 20 April increased 17 per cent to 11.5Tbps compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline, while the peak download throughput on the main wholesale service in the evening busy hours increased by 13 per cent to 12.5Tbps.