NBN Co extends additional capacity offer to internet retailers and targets low-income household measures
NBN Co today announced a further extension of its 40 per cent additional wholesale Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) capacity offer at no extra cost to internet retailers until 30 November 2020, as well as a number of targeted measures to assist customers and the telecommunications industry.
The 40 per cent additional capacity offer was introduced by NBN Co in March 2020 to support the nation’s additional data demands as more people relied on their home broadband connections for work, study and entertainment. Following feedback from internet retailers, NBN Co will extend the 40 per cent additional capacity offer (where available, depending on access technology) at no additional cost to participating retailers (based on the February 2020 baseline) until 30 November for bundled discount plans.
NBN Co is also extending its offer to increase the fair use thresholds for its standard Sky™ Muster satellite service to 90GB* of wholesale download data on average per user across a rolling 4 weekly period, depending on the services the retailer has ordered from nbn, until 30 November 2020. This offer, which came into effect at the end of March, adds 45GB* to the applicable fair use rolling 4 weekly threshold for each standard Sky Muster™ service at no additional cost to internet retailers.
NBN Co recently extended its Education Assistance offer for unconnected low-income households with online schooling needs until 15 January 2021. It also broadened the ‘Illuminate’ (First Timers’) wholesale discounts for premises that have not yet connected to the nbn™ network and have passed 18 months since their premises was able to connect, or have disconnected after having an active service and have been inactive for more than six months.
Over the past nine months, NBN Co has invested heavily in supporting the industry through various measures. These include forgoing revenue, increased data allocations, capital investment in network capacity augmentation and the provision of additional capacity inclusions. Further, as previously announced, NBN Co is offering a $150 million financial relief and assistance package to help internet providers support residential and business customers facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
Low-income support package
As part of the package for low-income households, NBN Co has extended its Education Assistance offer until 15 January 2021. The extension of the Education Assistance offer means unconnected low-income households with online schooling needs have access to this support for a further three and a half months. Under the offer, NBN Co waived its $37 monthly wholesale charge for internet providers for many services on the 25/5 Mbps speed tier.
NBN Co is also broadening the Illuminate offer to allow retailers to migrate existing Education Assistance customers onto the Illuminate offer for 12 months at the expiry of the COVID Education Assistance package on 15 January 2021. Illuminate provides retailers a 50 per cent discount on the effective wholesale charge of most nbn speed tiers for premises that have not connected to the network and have passed 18 months since their premises was able to connect, or have disconnected after having an active service and have been inactive for more than six months. Under the Illuminate offer, internet providers will have access to a 50 per cent discount on the wholesale price of most fixed line and fixed wireless bundles for a period of 12 months.
NBN Co Chief Customer Officer, Brad Whitcomb, said:
“Following feedback from internet retailers over the past few weeks, we have decided to extend our offer of additional capacity for another 10 weeks and will be extending further measures to help make broadband even more affordable and accessible to low-income households.
“We also recognise that many Australian households are under financial pressure, particularly low-income households. Therefore, we are concentrating our efforts to help lower-income households continue to have access to affordable broadband services. This includes extending the Education Assistance program for unconnected low-income households with school-aged children and broadening the Illuminate 50 per cent discount offer to retailers so they can continue supporting their existing customers who signed up the Education Assistance offer earlier this year.
“To date, NBN Co has invested heavily to support the industry through various measures such as the wholesale pricing and inclusion changes over the past nine months and we have maintained the offer of additional capacity for seven months to help internet providers adjust to changes in demand.”
Notes to editor:
*nbn intends to engage with retail service providers and review demand on the nbn™ Sky Muster™ service following the data increase on a monthly basis and adjust the appropriate level of allocation if required.