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NBN Co extends additional capacity offer until 19 August

04 June 2020

  • Internet providers can access up to an additional 40 per cent capacity at no cost until 19 August 2020
  • More than $40 million worth of credits provided to internet providers since the start of the capacity campaign
  • Australian Broadband Data Demand report highlights on the main nbn wholesale service:

o   Weekly download throughput peak of 12.3 Terabits per second (Tbps) recorded on Friday, 29 May during the Evening Busy Hours

o   Weekly upload throughput peak of 0.96 Tbps recorded on  Tuesday, 26 May during the Evening Busy Hours

NBN Co has extended its offer to provide internet providers additional data capacity at no extra cost until 19 August 2020 to help support the nation’s broadband needs, noting that social restrictions are starting to ease across the nation.

The capacity offer, which will have run for more than five months at completion in August, has resulted in NBN Co providing more than $40 million so far in financial relief to internet providers and helped support increased levels of data use during COVID-19.

NBN Co has also extended its offer to increase download data limits for its standard Sky Muster service to 90GB* of data on average until the end of August. 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 proud to have supported the telecommunications industry and the nation through this pandemic as Australians increasingly relied on their home broadband connections for work, study and entertainment,” said Brad Whitcomb, Chief Customer Officer – Residential at NBN Co.

“Alongside this capacity boost, we also increased data download limits for Sky Muster satellite customers and announced up to $150 million of financial relief and assistance packages to help keep low-income households and small and medium businesses facing hardship stay connected.”

“While we must all remain vigilant to keep the spread of COVID-19 contained, we are encouraged that social distancing restrictions are easing and many Australians are starting to enjoy a more normal way of life again.”

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 end of the capacity offer comes as average data volumes across the nbn™ network’s main wholesale service show signs of slowing down from the March and April periods when more people were confined to their homes during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. During this same period, more than 400,000 new customers have signed up to the nbn™ network.

“In recent weeks we have seen data demand on nbn’s main wholesale network settle into a new normal as more Australians head back to work and school. Since the start of March, nbn has added over 400,000 new connections and there has been three months of normal usage growth,” Mr Whitcomb said.

“Just as it is important that the nation, businesses and schools get back to a more normal way of life, it is important that internet providers also have the certainty they need to get back to their usual operations.”

NBN Co has recently introduced other new measures to improve customers’ experience of the nbn which will help during the eventual wind-down of the 40 per cent additional capacity. Some of these include the introduction of national pooling of CVC capacity - which allows RSPs to share unused data capacity across all geographic areas associated with 121 Points of Interconnect - and additional data allocations for most wholesale speed tiers that came into effect on 1 May.

For the week from Monday, 25 May to Sunday, 31 May, peak download throughput (the measure of data flowing through the nbn™ network) during the busy evening period increased by 12 per cent to 12.3 terabits per second (Tbps) on the main nbn wholesale service, compared to the last week of February (which nbn measures as its normal pre-COVID-19 baseline). This is down from a peak of 14.5Tbps from the previous week.

Peak download throughput during the week beginning Monday, 25 May also increased compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline during daytime business hours, up 12 per cent to 11.0Tbps, and during early evening hours, up 7 per cent to 8.3Tbps, on the main nbn wholesale service. Despite remaining higher than pre-COVID-19 levels, these peak figures also both represent week-on-week decreases in peak data demand.

Downstream network usage

Compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline, peak upload throughput on the main nbn wholesale service in the evening busy hours for the week beginning 25 May increased by 25 per cent to 0.96Tbps – a decline from the previous week’s peak of 1.02Tbps. Peak upload throughput in the early evening hours increased 31 per cent to 0.89Tbps; and peak throughput during daytime business hours increased by 67 per cent to 0.83Tbps.

Upstream network usage

Compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline before social distancing measures were implemented, downstream network usage on the nbn main wholesale service during business hours on 29 May 2020 was 32 per cent higher (as shown in the graph below at 11am) than the pre-COVID-19 baseline.

Downstream network usage over 24 hours

Upstream network usage on the nbn main wholesale service during business hours on 29 May 2020 was 79 per cent higher (as shown in the graph below at 11am) than the pre-COVID-19 baseline.

Upstream network usage over 24 hours

The Australian Broadband Data Demand report is updated weekly on nbn’s Transparency dashboard at:

For tips on how to make the most of your nbn connection and to learn more on what NBN Co is doing to support Australia through COVID-19, please visit:

Notes to editor:

- These metrics represent the upstream/downstream throughput peak each week, across the following three distinct periods:

o    Business hours - Monday to Friday 8am to 4:59pm

o    Early evening hours - Monday to Sunday 5pm to 7:59pm

o    Evening busy hours - Monday to Sunday 8pm to 11:59pm

- For Business Hours, the peak is determined by taking the highest downstream throughput for our TC-4 service from the busiest 15-minute increment for downstream throughput, and from the busiest 30-minute increment for upstream, between Monday to Friday. The Early Evening Hours and Busy Evening Hours figures are recorded using the same methodology, but over a seven day period.

- TC-4 is nbn’s standard wholesale broadband service that is designed primarily for general internet and standard data services across all access technologies.

- NBN Co considers the throughput peak metric for our TC-4 service as the most appropriate measure for growth in data flowing through the network as it shows when network use is at its highest in each defined period in a week for our wholesale access service most used for residential broadband services.

- This graph shows TC-4 usage (measured in terabits per second for both upstream and downstream) over a 24 hour period (using Australian Eastern Standard/Daylight time on the dates shown in the key). It compares the results from those two dates against a corresponding 24 hour period from nbn’s pre-COVID-19 baseline on 28 February 2020 (the last week of February). Each marker on the x axis represents an hour period in the day. The y axis shows, for each of the 60 minute periods in that 24 hour period:

o    The downstream throughput measure calculated by recording the highest downstream throughput for our TC-4 service from the busiest 15 minute increment in that 60 minute period.

o    The upstream throughput measure calculated by recording the highest upstream throughput for our TC-4 service from the busiest 30 minute increment in that 60 minute period.

- The terabits per second (Tbps) value is rounded to one decimal place. The percentage increase is rounded to the nearest whole number.

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.

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Mitchell Bingemann


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