If you’re still with a ‘big three’ NBN provider, maybe it’s time to jump on the better broadband bandwagon and switch to a cheaper deal.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its most recent NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report — and the big takeaway is that more Aussies are moving from the big-name telcos to smaller NBN retailers.
Covering the December 2022 quarter, the ACCC’s report covers the wholesale side of NBN, looking at the telcos that buy access to the network to sell on to residential or business customers. According to this quarter’s research, Telstra, TPG and Optus lost almost 95,000 services between them, which brings the combined market share of these three telcos to around 6.8 million services (out of around 8.7 million NBN connections across the country).
With the decrease of the bigger players came an increase of services connecting with Vocus (Dodo and iPrimus) and other smaller providers, which all make up the remaining 1.9 million connections. This indicates that more Aussies are moving away from the providers that have traditionally dominated the market.
“This shift from the larger providers to smaller ones is helping to enable greater competition within the sector,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.
Should you switch to a smaller NBN provider?
There is a lot of competition when it comes to NBN plans. Larger telcos like Telstra and Optus might offer things like entertainment bonuses and add-ons to win your business, while smaller providers tend to stick with competitive prices and discount offers to entice customers.
While Telstra, Optus and TPG (which includes TPG, iiNet, Internode, Vodafone and others) still have a very large portion of market share, the smaller providers are steadily gaining new services. In the December 2021 report, smaller providers shared around 937,000 services. This is now up to just under 1.3 million services from the December 2022 report.
While this market share is split between dozens of providers, Aussie Broadband has been leading the charge in recent reports, with its market share increasing to 6.4% in the previous report released in August 2022 (specifics on Aussie Broadband’s market share in the December report were unavailable).
“With smaller brands typically offering lower pricing than the big broadband players, it’s not surprising that more Australians are stepping away from Telstra, Optus and TPG. Although this trend may not be great for Telstra or Optus shareholders, it’s overall good news for paying internet customers: reducing the dominance of the biggest three providers gives Australians more NBN options, along with competitive plans and prices,” said Canstar Blue Utilities Editor, Tara Donnelly.
If you’ve been considering switching to a smaller provider, or you’re just interested to see what plans are out there, the below table shows a range of unlimited NBN 50 BYO modem plans from smaller NBN providers as published on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
More Aussies taking up faster speed tiers
The same NBN report also saw that services on the most popular speed tier, NBN 50, dropped slightly by more than 131,000 services, while the NBN 100 speed tier grew by around 190,000 services. Meanwhile, the faster NBN 250 speed tier also saw a drop in services.
“We continue to see consumers choosing higher speed products, but we urge them to carefully assess their needs before rushing into a decision to upgrade to a more expensive plan,” Ms Brakey said.
The fastest speed tiers don’t come cheap. With the rising cost of living and current economic pressures, some households that have been on the faster NBN 250 and NBN 1000 speed tiers may want to look at downgrading their NBN plan to the NBN 100 speed tier. This speed is still reasonably fast for most online activities, but comes with a slightly cheaper price tag.
“Introductory offers on super-fast NBN 250 plans have likely led to a number of customers trying out the faster tier, but switching back to a lower-priced NBN 100 plan once the limited-time discount ends,” said Ms Donnelly.
“While there’s obviously a huge market for faster plans, a lower monthly bill is still a priority for many households in the current economic climate, and highlights the need for NBN Co to continue to offer affordable wholesale pricing for slower speed tiers.”
If you’re looking to sign up to an NBN 100 plan, the below table compares NBN 100 BYO modem plans from a range of smaller NBN providers, as published on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.