WA Govt cracks the whip, wants 100Mbps minimum NBN speeds

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If the Western Australian Government has its way, all residents in the state will get 100Mbps minimum internet speeds.

The WA Government has argued that the Federal Government’s Statement of Expectations for the NBN should be updated to require the network to meet a mandated minimum peak time download speed of 100Mbps.

The state government argued this position in a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the NBN on Friday in the hope that the states speak up about how the $50 billion project is carried out.

This is despite news that the company responsible for rolling out the NBN – NBN Co – has scrapped plans for a 100Mbps speed tier on the fixed wireless network, which primarily services regional and semi-rural areas.

“Much of the existing NBN fixed line network is currently artificially-constrained where there is often vast capacity available and unused,” the state’s submission said.

“A new model should focus on an approach that motivates the uptake of the highest achievable network speeds for all and permits near 100 per cent network utilisation.”

NBN Co has two key charges that it passes onto retailers – Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) and Access Virtual Circuit (AVC). The CVC essentially charges for the amount of data used.

NBN Co has made moves to bundle both the CVC and AVC charges to the retailers in a measure to stop them from purchasing inadequate bandwidth. This has resulted in the phasing-out of the two slower speed tiers – 12Mbps and 25Mbps – in favour of the higher-priced 50Mbps and 100Mbps speed tiers.

After scrapping plans for the 100Mbps speed tier on the fixed wireless network, NBN Co chief Bill Morrow said that the vast majority of fixed wireless users have no need for the fastest speed tier.

“Our average consumption across the NBN network is just under 200 gigabytes per month, and when you look at the fixed-wireless network it’s substantially less than that, so these aren’t as heavy of users; however, in the fixed-wireless there’s a large portion that are using terabytes of data,” Mr Morrow said.

The State’s submission also called for an end to Fibre to the Node (FTTN) connections in favour of Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) or Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).

The submission comes after Mr Morrow blamed online gamers for congesting the network.

What is the fastest NBN provider?

Aside from customer service, a fast internet connection is valued higher than anything else, according to new Canstar Blue research.

In a survey of almost 1,700 NBN customers, Internode came out on top for overall customer satisfaction, as well as for its speed of plans and customer service.

Users spend $80 per month, on average, on their NBN plan and nearly three quarters of users are on a faster plan than what their old internet connection could provide. Nearly one fifth are also considering ditching the NBN for a private network provider, or a mobile broadband plan.

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