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AUSTRALIA: ACCC: NBN Fixed Wireless Consumers Enjoy Downloads Boost

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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Mar.19, 2022 @acenewsservices

Ace News Room Cutting Floor 19/03/2022

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#AceNewsDesk says that NBN fixed wireless download speeds have improved significantly over the past year, the ACCC’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia quarterly report shows. Speeds in December 2021 were 93.4 per cent of plan speed during all hours and 79.8 per cent of plan speed during the busy hours of 7-11pm.

In December 2020, when the MBA program first started measuring NBN fixed wireless, the corresponding results were 78.5 per cent and 68.4 per cent respectively.

The improvement in download speeds is due to a change NBN Co made in July 2021, which allowed a 15 per cent overprovisioning allowance on the download component of NBN fixed wireless plans. Some retail providers have passed-on this change to their customers.

Upload speeds on the other hand remained quite low, declining slightly from 52.2 percent of plan speed in busy hours in December 2020 to 48.9 percent of plan speed in December 2021.

Chart 1. NBN Fixed Wireless Plus download speeds in December 2020 and December 2021

Consumers on NBN Fixed Wireless Plus plans also achieved higher maximum speeds in December 2021, and some occasionally reached maximum speeds over 80 Mbps.

The boost in download speeds meant that in December 2021, 98 per cent of Fixed Wireless Plus services could support five or more simultaneous high definition streams, compared to 81 per cent of services in September 2021.

“It is pleasing to see consumers on NBN’s fixed wireless networks are also benefiting from the improved download speeds that we have seen on the NBN fixed-line network. Upload speeds, however, which are increasingly important for a range of applications including working from home, gaming and sharing files, are generally flat on both fixed-line and fixed wireless,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

Retailers deliver strong fixed-line NBN speeds

Retail service providers’ average download and upload speeds across NBN fixed-line networks during busy hours were between 95.1 and 103.3 per cent of plan speed in December 2021.

Results during the busiest hour, which is when networks are under the highest levels of stress, varied between 91.5 and 100.5 per cent of plan speed. This is an improvement from the September 2021 report, when the range of speeds during the busiest hour varied between 88.4 and 99.0 per cent of plan speed.

“Speeds are holding up well when the majority of Australians are online at the same time during the busy evening hours,” Ms Brakey said.

Retail service providers also delivered the speeds that they advertised more often in December 2021 compared to September. Retail service providers met or exceeded their advertised speed claims in at least 88 per cent of the December 2021 busy hours.

Internet provider Launtel features for the first time in the report. In December 2021, Launtel achieved 98.4 per cent of download plan speed during the busy evening hours, compared to an average of 97.4 per cent across all major NBN plans and retail service providers.

“Having an emerging retailer with above average results to the larger telcos is good news for consumers and competition in the residential broadband market,” Ms Brakey said. 

Underperforming services still lagging

The proportion of fibre to the node connections that rarely record speeds above 75 per cent of their plan speed increased slightly to 13 per cent of the ACCC’s sample in December 2021.

“There are a significant number of consumers on fibre to the node connections that are not performing as well as other network connections. It is disappointing that progress by NBN Co and retailers to improve these connections has stalled,” Ms Brakey said.

Other superfast networks performing well but higher drop-outs for some

This is the first Measuring Broadband Australia report to include results for superfast broadband access services supplied by Uniti Group, that operates a number of superfast access networks through Opticomm and LBNCo. About 400,000 Australians connect to the internet through superfast networks other than the NBN.

In December 2021, average download speeds on Uniti’s fibre to the premises connections were 101.6 per cent of plan speed during the busy evening hours. In comparison, NBN’s fibre to the premises connections had slightly higher average download speeds of 103.1 per cent of plan speed during busy hours.

Uniti services experienced higher drop-outs, or outages, per day than NBN services on average. The relatively higher outage rate was driven by a small number of services, suggesting that drop-outs are an issue for some consumers connected to the Uniti network. Uniti services recorded 1.75 daily outages, compared to 0.3 on NBN services.

Upload speeds on Uniti’s fibre to the premises connections were on average 88.1 per cent of plan speeds during busy hours, compared to 90.9 per cent for the NBN equivalent.

“Expanding the program to cover additional networks improves the long term value of the MBA program by making it useful to more broadband consumers. It also enables us to identify potential areas for improvement on NBN and other superfast networks,” Ms Brakey said.

Uniti’s fibre to the premises connections performed slightly better than all NBN fixed-line technologies combined. All Uniti fixed-line services are fibre to the premises, whereas NBN fixed-line also includes fibre to the node, fibre to the building, fibre to the curb and hybrid fibre coaxial.  

Additional Note:

The goal of Measuring Broadband Australia quarterly reports is to increase transparency and encourage greater performance-based competition and better internet performance throughout the country.

Maximum plan speed refers to the download data rate associated with the retail NBN plan. For example, on an NBN100 plan, the nominal maximum download speed is 100 Mbps. It is possible for consumers to receive this speed, or slightly above, as NBN Co over-provisions the downlink of some products by 10-15 per cent. The report explains that NBN Co does not currently over-provision the upload component of NBN speed tiers.

NBN fixed-line services and NBN fixed wireless services utilise different technologies that are not directly comparable in terms of performance. The quality and maximum speed of a fixed wireless connection is often more variable than fixed-line technology. More information on fixed wireless performance can be found on the ACCC website.

The ‘busiest hour’ metric refers to the fifth lowest hourly average speed out of all the month’s busy hours for each retail service provider.

Background

The ACCC encourages other superfast access network operators to support the MBA program and contact the ACCC if they are interested in joining. The Federal Government funded the ACCC to run a national broadband performance monitoring and reporting program from 2017-25.

Data for Measuring Broadband Australia is provided by UK-based firm SamKnows using methodology based on established speed testing programs in the UK, US, Canada and New Zealand.

To sign up, visit Measuring Broadband Australia

ACCC Infocentre: Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Mar: 19: 2022: 

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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TASMANIA: Internet & Phone Down In Major Outrage Across The State

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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Mar.01, 2022 @AceBreakingNews

Ace News Room Cutting Floor 01/03/2022

Follow Our Breaking & Daily News Here As It Happens:

#AceSecurityDesk says Tasmania has been hit by a “major statewide outage” affecting internet and phone services across the state and wreaking havoc on retail and banking services according to ABC News The network fault began about 1pm and affected Telstra, Optus and Aussie Broadband customers, along with those of other providers.

A mobile phone with no reception.
The outage is affecting internet, mobile phone and landline services across Tasmania.(ABC News)

The disruptions were blamed on to two separate cuts to two of the three cables connecting Tasmania to the mainland.

One of the cuts was on the Victorian end, and the other on the Tasmanian side.

Telstra said “third parties” were the cause of both instances of cable damage.

Telstra said the Victorian cut to the cable appeared to be due to civil works earlier today in the Melbourne suburb of Frankston.

It said there had been “massive damage” caused by the civil works.

The damage to the cable’s Tasmanian end was caused by road workers, Telstra confirmed late on Tuesday.

As of 6pm, some services had been restored.

Signage at a Telstra store in Sydney.
Major Telstra cables connecting Tasmania to the mainland are affected.(AAP: Joel Carrett, file photo)

Michael Patterson from Telstra said multiple crews were assigned to fix the cables.

“We’ve got people on site now and we’re working to repair cables, we expect to have it back on air early this evening,” he said about 4:30pm.

“We’re trying to do it as soon as we can, as fast as possible.”

Mr Patterson said the Frankston issue was a “dial before you dig” issue.

“We encourage everyone to dial before you dig,” he said.

“In some circumstances unfortunate events occur, and this is what’s happened at least in terms of one of the outages. The other one we’re still investigating.”

Banks close, flights delayed, hospitals keep operating

EFTPOS and banking services were also affected, with some people caught out and unable to pay for goods and services.

Banks closed early in Hobart’s CBD. Some stores continued to operate by accepting cash only. 

The BassLink cable near the ocean.
BassLink says its power cable to the mainland is working as it should.(ABC News)

Earlier on Tuesday, Tasmania Health Commander Kathrine Morgan-Wicks said health services across the state were continuing and the emergency assistance line triple-0 “had not been affected”.

“Our hospitals continue to be operational with continuity plans activated as needed,” she said.

A spokesperson for Hobart International Airport said check-in processes had been impacted.

“We expect impacts to continue until the matter has been rectified. A number of flights have been delayed (inbound and outbound) as a consequence,” they said.

Basslink, the Tasmania to Victoria electricity connector, confirmed its power cable was operating “as per normal”.

TasNetworks, the state’s power utility, said in a social media update that the outage was due to “upstream provider issues”.

“TasNetworks external website has been impacted and is currently unavailable as a result,” the message said.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Mar.01: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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USA: First Net Broadband Life Blood Of National Security Dedication After 10yrs

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‘Ace News Room With Kindness & Love❤️❤️’ , Feb.23, 2022 @AceDailyNews

This just in from the cutting room floor 23/02/2022: 

#AceDailyNews says in the years following the terrorist attacks, public safety from across all disciplines, including 9-1-1, EMS, fire service and law enforcement, joined together to advocate for their own high-speed broadband network. In 2012, Congress enacted a law to create the First Responder Network Authority within the Department of Commerce to ensure the building, deployment and operation of FirstNet, America’s only nationwide public safety broadband network.

FirstNet at 10: A Decade of Dedication to Public Safety: February 22, 2022: By Edward Parkinson, CEO, First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority)

Broadband has become the lifeblood of our economy. It is also essential to our national security and public safety, a fact that first responders recognized many years ago. The tragedies of September 11th revealed fundamental problems with the communication systems used by our nation’s first responders. They needed a more advanced telecommunications infrastructure for their lifesaving mission, a reliable one to help them communicate and share information during emergencies and daily operations.

On February 22, we mark the 10th anniversary of that milestone legislation that launched our organization and the mission we are on today.

FirstNet is for public safety, by public safety

From the very beginning, the FirstNet Authority developed the network in lockstep with the public safety community. Public safety advocated for the network and collaborated with us to make FirstNet a reality. Today, FirstNet serves as public safety’s broadband network in all 50 states, 5 U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. As of December 2021, more than 19,500 public safety agencies and organizations are using more than 3 million connections on FirstNet nationwide. We are proud to support America’s first responders.

Bringing broadband to rural and remote areas

Currently, the initial buildout of FirstNet has surpassed 95% nationwide coverage in just 4 years and in 2020 alone, approximately 100,000 square miles were added to the network’s footprint. The FirstNet Authority has engaged with public safety officials to map out the expansion of FirstNet’s coverage where they said they needed it most, including in traditionally underserved and rural areas. Reaching rural America will continue to be a top priority for the FirstNet network.

The benefits of expanding coverage go beyond the public safety community. When the FirstNet spectrum is not needed by first responders, it’s available to the public to use. As a result of FirstNet’s growth, people living and working in rural communities now have access to commercial mobile broadband in some areas that previously had little or no coverage.

New marketplace for public safety

Unlike in the past when public safety users were mostly an afterthought, they are now a critical vertical market to consider for the technology industry. Over the past decade, the FirstNet Authority has spurred a competitive marketplace for public safety communication technologies. This is leading to more choices, lower costs, and specialized solutions built to public safety’s needs.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Feb.23: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC Report: Measuring Broadband Speeds Report: NBN download speeds steady but upload speeds not hitting maximum with sending data from computer, device to the internet #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.07: Upload speed determines how fast you can send information from your computer or device to the internet, which is particularly important for working from home, online gaming and uploading files to cloud storage,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said:

#AceDailyNews says consumers on ‘NBN FIXED LINE PLANS’ experienced download speeds averaging 97.2 per cent of plan speed and upload speeds of 84.9 per cent during the busy evening hours of 7-11pm in September 2021, the ACCC’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia report reveals. These results are in line with the previous May 2021 report…..

“Given the growing importance of upload speeds to how consumers use their broadband services, the ACCC is keeping a close eye on how clear retailers are with their customers about upload speeds, and we will consider any necessary amendments to our Broadband Speeds Claims Guidance for industry.”

Chart 1: NBN fixed line daily average upload speed chart, with a toggle between busy hours and all hours

In September 2021, NBN fixed wireless services achieved an average upload performance of 56.2 per cent of plan speeds during all hours. NBN fixed wireless upload speeds varied significantly during the day and decreased to 44.8 per cent of plan speed during the busy hours.

During busy hours between August and October, average upload speeds for the Fixed Wireless Plus plan reached a maximum of 4.7 Mbps. For the 25/5 Mbps NBN fixed wireless plan, average upload speeds reach a maximum of 4 Mbps during these busy hours.

“Consumers on the NBN Fixed Wireless Plus plan are experiencing relatively low upload speeds. A typical video conference will require 2 Mbps of available upload, which means some consumers might have trouble achieving high quality while video conferencing, particularly if there are multiple conferences occurring,” Ms Brakey said.

Chart 2: NBN fixed wireless daily average upload speed chart, with a toggle between busy hours and all hours

About 4 per cent of NBN consumers are served by NBN fixed wireless, typically in rural and regional areas, but it may also be used in outer metropolitan centres.

Download speeds hold up during lockdown

Retailers maintained strong busy hour speeds, achieving between 93.9 per cent and 101.6 per cent of plan speed across all major NBN fixed line plans. Dodo and iPrimus, both part of the Vocus Group, recorded the largest improvement for the second consecutive quarter, improving by 4.9 percentage points during the busy hours compared to May 2021.

“Overall, retailers continued to provide consumers with good download speeds during the busy evening hours, and even through lockdowns when there was a spike in demand,” Ms Brakey said.

In September 2021, consumers on NBN fixed-line connections experienced average download performance of 97.2 per cent of plan speed during busy hours, down marginally from 97.6 per cent in May 2021.

“In New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT, the lowest performance between August and October was during lockdown periods. This illustrates how short-term spikes in demand can lead to variations in the speeds that consumers experience,” Ms Brakey said.

Chart 3: state and territory time series toggle chart

For the first time, the report highlights retailers’ performance during the ‘busiest hour’, which is a proxy for when networks are under peak levels of stress. Retailers’ busiest hour speeds varied between 88.4 per cent and 99 per cent of plan speed in September 2021.

Chart 4: all hours, busy hour and busiest hour by RSP toggle chart

This is a wider range than the all hours and busy hours (7-11pm) download performance metrics, which indicates some retailers were more affected by high demand peaks than others.

No improvement to underperforming services

The proportion of fibre to the node (FTTN) connections that rarely record speeds above 75 per cent of their plan speed showed no improvement in September 2021, remaining at 12 per cent of the ACCC’s sample. 

“There are a significant number of consumers on fibre to the node connections that are not performing as well as other network connections. It is disappointing that progress by NBN Co and retailers to improve these connections has stalled,” Ms Brakey said.

Very high speeds services got faster

The report shows that consumers on very high speed plans (known as NBN ‘Ultrafast’) experienced higher speeds in September 2021 than they did in May 2021. In September, the average download speed was between 680 and 813 Mbps across the day, up from 617 and 715 Mbps respectively in May.

“Some consumers don’t have a suitable in-home set up to access higher speeds, and we encourage them to contact their retail service providers to check that their hardware can support their plan speeds,” Ms Brakey said.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

Maximum plan speed refers to the download data rate associated with the retail NBN plan. For example, on an NBN100 plan, the nominal maximum download speed is 100 Mbps. It is possible for consumers to receive this speed, or slightly above, as NBN Co over-provisions the downlink of some products by 10-15 per cent. The report explains that NBN Co does not currently over-provision the upload component of NBN speed tiers.

For all upload and download internet traffic, ‘headers’ are added when traffic is sent over a network to provide network address information. Headers ensure that traffic is sent to the right network addresses and take up around 5 to 10 per cent of the NBN plan speed. Without over-provisioning, the presence of headers means that consumers’ upload speeds are lower than maximum plan speed.

NBN fixed-line services and NBN fixed wireless services utilise different technologies that are not directly comparable in terms of performance. The quality and maximum speed of a fixed wireless connection is often more variable than fixed-line technology. More information on fixed wireless performance can be found on the ACCC website.

In this report, the busiest hour speed is the fifth-lowest average hourly download speed across each busy hour within the month. The measurement period had a total of 30 days with four busy hours each, totalling 120 busy hours in the month. For each busy hour, the ACCC’s testing provider SamKnows calculates the average download performance (download speed as a percentage of plan speed) for each retailer. It takes each retailer’s fifth-lowest hourly download performance as an indicator of performance during the busiest hours when networks are under the highest levels of stress. It doesn’t use the very lowest speed measure due to the potential for this view to be distorted by a network or an extraordinary demand event.

Home Ultrafast are plans where the underlying wholesale product sold by NBN Co has a download speed range of 500-990 Mbps.

The ACCC benchmarks the Fixed Wireless Plus plan to download/upload speeds of 50/10Mbps.

Background

The Federal Government funded the ACCC to run a national broadband performance monitoring and reporting program from 2017-25.

Data for Measuring Broadband Australia is provided by UK-based firm SamKnows using methodology based on established speed testing programs in the UK, US, Canada and New Zealand.

To sign up, visit Measuring Broadband Australia

ACCC Infocentre: Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Dec.07: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: Three mobile network operators, Telstra, Singtel Optus and TPG Telecom made significant investments in mobile infrastructure between January 2018 and January 2021, but the focus has moved to 5G deployment predominantly in the major cities #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.04: This is a significant release of information that will provide transparency on Australia’s mobile networks that was previously not available,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

#AceDailyNews ACCC Report: Mobile network investment continues but focus is on 5G in major cities” The ACCC’s first Mobile Infrastructure Report, released today, looks at the mobile infrastructure and coverage maps of the three mobile network operators from 2018 to 2021:

It accompanies a package of mobile infrastructure data that the ACCC has made available at data.gov.au. It follows a commitment by the ACCC to improve transparency in mobile infrastructure assets and coverage.

“The data can be used to assess where the mobile network operators have been deploying network infrastructure, which will provide more accountability over their investment claims in future years.”

The data shows that between January 2018 and January 2021, the mobile network operators continued to invest in network deployment, although in recent years their focus has shifted to the roll out of 5G technology. The report shows that 3G and 4G network deployment has generally slowed.

While the report and underlying data analysis can accurately depict changes in mobile site infrastructure, assessment of coverage maps provided by the mobile network operators has been challenging.

“We know many consumers in regional areas find it difficult to check what coverage is available in their area. Our own analysis shows that assessing geographic coverage with the network operators’ maps is difficult,” Ms Brakey said.

“The mobile network operators use predicted coverage as the basis for their coverage maps, and their input assumptions and metrics are different. They can also change input assumptions from time to time, which makes it difficult to accurately assess coverage changes.”

“Comparable and accurate coverage information is important for all consumers in making informed choices about their mobile providers, but it is particularly critical for the safety of regional and remote communities,” Ms Brakey said.

The ACCC will continue to explore ways to improve the comparability and accuracy of coverage maps provided by the mobile network operators.

Background

In 2018, following the decision to not declare a domestic mobile roaming service, the ACCC released the Measures to address regional mobile issues paper, and held a Regional Mobiles Issues Forum in Canberra. The paper and the forum explored a range of issues relating to mobile coverage that were identified during the mobile roaming inquiry and discussed regulatory and policy measures that may address them.

The forum found that there is a need for more accurate, comparable and reliable information on the extent of mobile coverage, and more accessible, accurate and complete information for regulators and policy makers, for the purposes of decision making.

The Mobile Infrastructure Report and data release was borne out of these earlier processes and the commitments made by the ACCC at the time to improve publicly available information on mobile infrastructure assets and coverage, using the Infrastructure Record Keeping Rules.

The ACCC expects the Mobile Infrastructure Report and associated data release to be an ongoing annual publication. The ACCC anticipates that future reports will be released around mid-year each year.

Further information on the underlying Infrastructure Record Keeping Rules data for the mobile network operators is available at ACCC Mobile Infrastructure Report – data release.

ACCC Infocentre: Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: Dec.04: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) NBN REPORT: It has been ‘fully operational’ for almost a year, but some citizens still don’t have reliable internet #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.18: Fixed wireless speeds and quality can be impacted by weather conditions, obstructions in the line of sight between roof antennas and wireless towers, and network congestion.

Australian Internet 📶

#AceDailyNews NBN Broadband News Report: Five years ago, Jody Allen was excited about what NBN would mean for the business she runs from home…..ABC has developed an internet connection widget which shows how your connection compares to other options in terms of speed, reliability and cost. ……Watch this story on 7.30 tonight on ABC TV and iview.

Kindness & Love❤️ says time they ALL have a better ‘Broadband Service ‘ and improved connectivity to allow people to help other people in need of help and guidance Amen

Couple seated on the stairs with their two sons and a dog.
Business owner Jody Allen has struggled with her fixed wireless connection at times. (Supplied)

She lives about 10 kilometres from Gympie in regional Queensland and runs a parenting website: We do videos, all social media, but it’s all the other programs that take quite a lot of space as well [where] I really need excellent internet all the time,” she told 7.30.

But she’s been disappointed with the experience thus far.

Ms Allen is part of the 4 per cent of NBN users who have a fixed wireless connection, meaning data is transmitted over radio signals. 

“When it rains, we have no internet,” she said. 

“When it’s cloudy, the internet’s terrible.”

The business has 12 staff, who are often sent home when the internet drops out.

Ms Allen said there had also been times where they would hotspot data off a phone or drive into town to the local library to use the internet there.

“It’s just not good enough,” she said. 

Fixed wireless connections are typically used in regional and rural areas where there are large distances between premises.

A tall tower, shot from below, against a cloudy blue sky. There are gumleaves in the foreground.
A combined NBN fixed wireless and mobile phone tower in regional NSW. (ABC News: Jackson Gothe-Snape)

In a statement, NBN Co said the fixed wireless to Ms Allen’s home was online and working to NBN specifications, with no congestion on the infrastructure.

A spokesman said no faults had been reported in almost two years.

‘The future-proof option is fibre’

Australia has a patchwork of fibre technologies, including fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC), fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), connections via existing pay TV cable, as well as fixed wireless and satellite.

Labor’s original NBN plan was for more than 93 per cent of households to receive FTTP, with others connected via fixed wireless and satellite.

Labor estimated its rollout would cost about $44 billion.

The Coalition proposed a cheaper but ultimately slower NBN with a mix of technologies that would be completed earlier. Australia’s internet options compared

The current Communications Minister Paul Fletcher declared the NBN rollout “built and fully operational” last year, at a cost of $51 billion.

Associate Professor at RMIT Mark Gregory has been a vocal critic of the NBN rollout, and believes it should have been done with FTTP in the first place.

“It’s providing low reliability and it needs to be replaced,” he told 7.30.

NBN Co has already been upgrading some FTTN households to a FTTP option, as part of a $3.5 billion program.

Labor is seeking to make broadband an election issue, with a $2.4 billion promise to upgrade copper connections to fibre for 1.5 million premises who want faster speeds.

When it comes to fixed wireless, NBN Co spends $200 million a year on improvements to that service and satellite services.

There are also reports NBN Co is seeking a billion dollars more in federal funding for further improvements to fixed wireless, something neither the business nor Mr Fletcher would confirm.

Workers installing NBN fibre to the node next to NBN truck
Millions of dollars have been spent on NBN improvements, from upgrading connections to satellite services.(Supplied: NBN Co)

Mr Gregory said fixed wireless wasn’t working for many people in regional Australia.

“What the government needs to do is to go back and to relook at the fixed wireless footprint, and to see … which of these areas can be moved on to FTTP,” he said. 

NBN Co says given Australia’s geography, it would be too expensive and challenging to deploy fibre to all premises in Australia.

The company is exploring 5G technology as a way to enhance fixed wireless, but says the network is providing high-speed secure broadband in regional Australia.

Associate Professor Tooran Alizadeh from the University of Sydney has been researching the urban-regional divide when it comes to NBN technologies.

Woman wearing a white shirt standing in a living room.
Associate Professor Tooran Alizadeh has been researching Australia’s NBN rollout. (ABC News: Aaron Hollett)

“If you’re being serious about upgrades, if you’re being serious about the long-term game, the bulletproof, future-proof option is fibre,” she said.

NBN Co’s corporate plan includes some detail about its investment plans, but Ms Alizadeh said there needed to be a more strategic and transparent approach to upgrades.

“At this point, we are mostly going with ad hoc rounds of upgrades,” she said.

Thousands of Australians still without NBN

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said his statement that the NBN rollout was “built and fully operational” was based on the fact that about 12 million premises could connect to the NBN, with more than 8 million actually connected.

He said about 10,000 “complex connections” still remained.

Paul Fletcher speaks in front of a bank of microphones.
Last year, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher declared the NBN was “built and fully operational”.(ABC News: Luke Stephenson)

“If we’d stuck with Labor’s plan, then less than 60 per cent of all premises would have been connected when the pandemic hit,” he said.

Matt Gillan is one of those Australians whose area has not been connected to the NBN.

He lives in Middle Dural — only about 40 minutes’ drive from Sydney’s CBD.

Mr Gillan and his wife run a small media business, creating commercials and videos with four-wheel drive content, tips and reviews.

Man wearing an orange shirt standing next to a 4WD.
Matt Gillan’s property still doesn’t have access to the NBN. (ABC News: Tom Hancock)

“Internet is absolutely essential so that I can upload videos, so I can download content. I can’t work without internet,” Mr Gillan said.

But Mr Gillan is still on ADSL, which is too slow for his business needs.

Instead, he takes his laptop and mobile phone in the car and tries to find a 4G spot nearby, where he can upload content or take video calls.

“It’s not only frustrating, it’s debilitating. It stifles my business,” he said.

In a statement, NBN Co apologised and said there had been delays to the rollout in Dural because of COVID-related supply issues, and the connection date for some premises was now March 2022.

Matt Gillan’s frustration led him to invest in an alternative to the NBN — a new satellite internet service by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Starlink is more expensive than the NBN’s satellite service, but it has also promised faster speeds.

Man in black leather jacket with sky and clouds behind
Elon Musk’s Starlink is a satellite-based global internet system that aims to bring internet access to areas of the world without enough service.(Reuters: Michele Tantussi)

“I can upload footage, I can download footage in a matter of seconds, as opposed to hours and days sitting in my vehicle up the road,” Mr Gillan said.

Starlink is in its development phase and only available in a few parts of the east coast.

Mark Gregory said even though performance of new technologies wouldn’t be known until more people are on them, he wasn’t surprised some people were looking for alternatives.

“What could happen is that these alternatives could start eating into NBN’s customer base,” he said. 

Jody Allen just wants to see an NBN upgrade that means she can grow her business.

“Better internet would be absolutely amazing, for people not just like me, but all workers who live rurally,” she said. 

“We’re entitled to make a living just like city people are, but we’re not getting the service that we were promised.”

#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: Nov.18: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: Measuring broadband reveals is quarterly results has revealed that in May 2021 consumers on fixed-line-NBN-broadband connections experienced record speeds #AceNewsDesk report

#AceDailyNews reports that NBN download speeds have improved and more plans have hit maximum speeds under the ACCC’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia quarterly report reveals that in May 2021 consumers on fixed-line NBN broadband connections again experienced record high speeds. Most consumers received their maximum plan speeds more often in the busy evening hours of 7pm to 11pm….

ACCCC

The report shows that the average download performance in May was 98.4 per cent of plan speed during all hours, and 97.6 per cent during the busy hours. Dodo and iPrimus, both part of the Vocus Group, improved by 5.4 percentage points during all hours and busy hours compared to the previous report, which was the largest improvement of the telcos over the quarter.

The results suggest that the Vocus brands have improved their service quality monitoring methods, after the Federal Court found that they historically had not used an appropriate speed testing methodology.

Vodafone and MyRepublic also improved their busy hours speeds over the quarter by 4.3 and 3.7 percentage points respectively, compared to the previous report.

Retail service providers achieved between 92.2 per cent and 100.5 per cent of plan speed across all major NBN plans during busy hours. This is a range of 8.3 per cent between retail service providers, compared with a range of 12.3 per cent in the previous report.

“The performance gap between retail service providers’ download speed metrics has narrowed significantly in recent reports, however individual consumer experiences by retailer still vary,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

The report shows that in May 2021, consumers on ‘Home Ultrafast’ NBN plans experienced average speeds between 617 and 715 Mbps. Between 7pm and 11pm, performance fell by 14 per cent on average compared with the day’s maximum.

Home Ultrafast are plans where the underlying wholesale product sold by NBN Co has a download speed range of 500-990 Mbps.

“Our testing has revealed that some volunteers on very high speed plans are unable to receive speeds above 100 Mbps to connected devices due to limitations on Ethernet ports on some home gateways. We encourage consumers on these higher speed plans to contact their retail service providers to check that they have equipment that can support their plan speeds,” Ms Brakey said.

“We expect retailers to take appropriate steps to assist affected customers on NBN250 plans and above, both when offering these plans and for existing customers who may require replacement home gateways, or the option to move to a suitable plan speed.”

Underperforming services decrease, but too many remain

The proportion of underperforming services in the ACCC’s NBN fixed-line sample decreased from 8.1 per cent in February 2021 to 6.2 per cent in May 2021.

When the ACCC first started reporting in May 2018, 13.9 per cent of services were underperforming but testing results over time have shown a gradual decline. This is likely due to two main factors: technical in-home wiring issues being addressed for monitored fibre to the node services; and, retail service providers moving consumers onto plan speeds that their service can achieve.

However, fibre to the node connections are still not performing as well as other network connections. The report shows that consumers on 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps fibre to the node plans received lower speeds than the maximum plan speeds at any given time.

“There is a persistent cohort of fibre to the node customers that are still experiencing slower than expected speeds, and NBN Co and retailers have been slow to address this,” Ms Brakey said.

“While it’s encouraging that some of the fibre to the node services we monitor are improving, especially given the additional investment announced by NBN Co last year, retailers and NBN Co need to collectively do more.”

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Sept.01: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: Accusses Telstra, Optus and TPG of misleading customers on NBN speeds, takes them to court #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.25: About 400,000 residential broadband customers moved to higher speed plans in the June 2021 quarter as the recent trend of Australian consumers upgrading to faster NBN connections continued, the ACCC’s latest NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report reveals…

#AceDailyNews says but people trying to use NBN through his provider, TPG, realised it couldn’t give fast enough speeds to deliver whats needed …..ABC has developed an internet connection widget which shows how your connection compares to other options in terms of speed, reliability and cost.

Working from home during lockdown means Mohammad Makki needs reliable internet: It was frustrating because I could not communicate,” he said.

“I had to apologise every day to students for a week or two that, ‘Sorry, this is happening. Sorry, there is a problem with the internet.'”

Mr Makki was angry that telecommunications retailers advertise high speeds that they can’t deliver.

He moved house to Figtree NSW earlier this year and had wanted to carry over his fixed-line service with retail provider TPG.

The retailer was advertising speeds of 100Mbps for an NBN plan. But Mr Makki was dubious about the speed being delivered.

“I ran a couple of speed tests [online] over a couple of days. And it [the result] was consistent – it was only 8 Mbps and it was not good.”

Mr Makki spent much time speaking to his provider and eventually had NBN workers visit his premises to confirm the same — the speed was slower that what he was promised.

ACCC report
The ACCC has been measuring NBN speeds offered by retailers and they have not stacked up.

NBN Co said before connection it would “estimate the line speed that should be attainable at that property”.

“And once each property is connected to the NBN network, NBN Co updates internet retailers on the actual performance observed.”

As Mr Makki discovered, the problem with many fixed-line connections under the fibre-to-the-node model is that if a customer’s home is too far away from the node it can impact the speed and connection quality, which also can be affected by the condition of the copper wire going to the home.

Mr Makki has chosen to leave his provider, and instead opt for a wireless connection that relies on a 4G mobile signal.

But there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who have slow internet after signing up for fixed-line NBN connections.

This is why Australia’s consumer watchdog, the ACCC, is taking Telstra, Optus and TPG to court, alleging they misled hundreds of thousands of consumers over NBN speeds.

If it succeeds, the companies could each be forced to pay millions of dollars in fines.

Who checks NBN speeds?

Despite the $60 billion investment in NBN Co, Australia lags far behind the world’s best in broadband speeds, ranking at number 53 on the Speedtest Global Index.Now the NBN rollout is complete, what comes next?

Government declared the rollout was complete late last year. But some Australians remain unhappy and confused about what happens next.

While speeds being provided to customers are improving, complaints about slow speeds and lack of connectivity ran high at the start of the pandemic

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman found that in 2019-20 more than one-third of complaints lodged with the ombudsman were related to issues around internet service (42,883 complaints making up 33.7 per cent of all complaints about telcos).

More than 19,000 were specifically NBN issues.

Mr Makki’s main frustration is that, rather than retailers and the NBN Co working together to help consumers, they are leaving these issues for consumers to sort out themselves.

“I shouldn’t have to pursue this myself,” Mr Makki said.

“I shouldn’t have to pursue with TPG, I shouldn’t have to pursue with NBN. That’s their responsibility to make sure that if I pay for something, I get what I pay for.

“If they don’t [provide the speeds promised] they should face the consequences, they should pay the penalty.”

‘Disregard for consumers, disregard for the law’

Hefty penalties could be on the cards if Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) boss Rod Sims gets his way.

Rod Sims standing in a park in Vaucluse during NSW lockdown.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims is seeking court penalties against the three telcos. (Adam Wyatt)

The consumer watchdog alleges the three telcos had promised some customers they would test line speeds and offer remedies such as cheaper plans with refunds, but had failed to do so.

Mr Sims said the companies would be taken to court for making alleged false or misleading representations in their promotion of some 50Mbps and 100Mbps NBN plans, in breach of the law.

“The misleading element was that they told consumers they would do something — that is, check the line and offer them a remedy if it couldn’t provide the service they were paying for — and they did not do that.”

Mr Sims said he understood the telcos were getting a service off NBN, but argued “they are the ones providing the service to the consumers”.

“They are the ones making promises to consumers that they didn’t keep. I should also add that we were onto this activity in 2017,” he said.

“Rather than take litigation action [at the time], then they gave us an undertaking that they would do all these things.

“They freely gave that undertaking, and then not to do it, I think shows a disregard for their consumers, and frankly, a disregard for the law.”Australia’s internet options compared

The ACCC also alleged Telstra, Optus and TPG wrongly accepted payments from certain customers for NBN plans when they were not provided with the promised speeds.

The telcos have started offering remedies to affected customers, including compensation or a chance to change to a new plan or provider.

Mr Sims said he’s pleased the telcos are providing their customers remedies, but remained firm that it’s also time to send the telcos a message.

“We need penalties [imposed], so that they [the three telcos] don’t do this again, and as a message to others,” he says.

“This is a very concentrated industry. These are the three main players by far in that industry and I think that probably means that they are fairly comfortable and not trying to please their customers as much as you would in a more competitive market.

“The message we want to send is, ‘do what you say you’re going to do. Look after your customers and adhere and take seriously the Australian Consumer Law.'”

Telcos want to work more closely with NBN Co on speeds

The three telcos have apologised to their customers, but have argued that the issue of speeds was complex and NBN Co had left it entirely to retailers to sort out.

Telstra chief executive Andy Penn told The Business earlier this month that his company did not deliberately try to mislead customers.

Andy Penn defends Telstra saying his company 'do more than anybody to keep regional Australia connected'
Telstra chief executive Andy Penn says the retailer did not deliberately try to mislead customers.(News Video)

“There’s more of a problem in the process in the industry rather than anybody I think deliberately seeking to mislead customers,” Mr Penn said.

“The practical reality is that when an RSP (retail service provider), such as Telstra or one of our competitors, sells an NBN service to a customer, we are not able to know what the speed is. We then have to connect the customer and then at that point … we’re able to determine the speed that’s available.

“And if it’s less than what the customer was advertised in the speed plan, we then go back to that customer and give an opportunity for the customer to change their mind or give them a credit.

“There’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and we don’t always get it right. And it’s not deliberate.

“But if we could fix up that process so we knew what the speed was in the first place — we would need to be able to work closely with the NBN to be able do that – then it will eliminate this issue within the industry.”

An Optus spokeswoman said speed achievable on some NBN connections could be impacted by “issues including the length and quality of the copper line that connects a customer to the NBN” and that “unfortunately, not all NBN connections can deliver the same speeds.”

A TPG spokeswoman said there was “no intention whatsoever by TPG Internet to avoid its obligations”.

“The decision to make telcos responsible for the failings of the NBN was flawed from the start,” she said.

“The fact that Telstra, Optus and TPG Internet have all experienced the same issue points squarely at the fundamental problems with the NBN.

“That is why we have decided to focus on offering 4G and 5G fixed wireless services using our own mobile network as an alternative to NBN services.”

Call to stop the ‘finger-pointing’

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) spokeswoman Melyssa Troy said the finger pointing between retailers and NBN Co needed to stop.

“Consumers are just frustrated about not getting a product that they’re paying for,” she said.

Melyssa Troy on her laptop at the park looking at a report her organisation did on consumer complaints.
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) spokeswoman Melyssa Troy says better consumer protections are needed. (Adam Wyatt.)

“We need better protections when it comes to fault repairs and timeframes, and when it comes to getting consumers connected to the NBN in the first place, and making sure that consumers can get the speeds that they’ve paid for.”

She said when the refunds are issued by NBN, they currently go to the retailer to pass on to the consumer.

“But there’s no obligation for the telcos to pass that on to you the consumer,” she said.

“If you have an NBN technician who doesn’t show up for an appointment, the telco gets the refund, but there’s no guarantee that they have to pass that through to you [the customer].

“If we have good consumer protections in place, then we can get to a place where broadband products are affordable and reliable for consumers.”

More consumers take up faster NBN plans

About 400,000 residential broadband customers moved to higher speed plans in the June 2021 quarter as the recent trend of Australian consumers upgrading to faster NBN connections continued, the ACCC’s latest NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report reveals.

The report, released today, looks at the wholesale market for NBN services in which retail service providers purchase access to the NBN so they can supply broadband internet to consumers and businesses.

Consumers and businesses increased their take-up of higher speed services of 50Mbps or above in the June quarter. Almost three-quarters of all NBN wholesale connections are now at speeds of 50Mbps or above, including 17.3 per cent of all services at speeds of 100Mbps or above.

“Most broadband customers are now using higher speed tiers and that is a result of more retail providers and NBN promoting higher speed plans,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“NBN Co’s incentives for retail providers, such as its ‘Focus on Fast’ promotion, have been welcome as many Australians work and study from home.”

“Retailers may revert to standard pricing for premium services once a promotion ends, and we urge customers to monitor their usage to make sure that their service meets their ongoing needs,” Ms Brakey said.

Retail service providers acquired significantly more bandwidth over the June quarter, up 9.2 per cent, which resulted in total Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) acquired per customer increasing from 2.54Mbps to 2.74Mbps. The amount of bandwidth acquired is one of the key factors that impact customer experience.

“We are pleased that retail providers are acquiring additional capacity to support network demand and keep consumers connected,” Ms Brakey said.

“The ACCC will continue to monitor CVC to see what effect the end of the ‘Focus on Fast’ promotion has on it.”

Wholesale market shares for the four main retail service providers remained fairly stable in the June quarter. Of the smaller retail providers, Aussie Broadband continued to make strong gains and accounted for 26 per cent of the wholesale services added in the quarter, lifting its market share to 4.7 per cent.

Further information, including time series data, is available on the ACCC website at NBN Wholesale Market Indicators

Background

The ACCC’s Wholesale Market Indicators Report contains information on NBN’s provision of services to retail service providers. It does not report on the services supplied by retail service providers to end users.

Retail service providers use the NBN’s wholesale access service to supply retail services to their own customers or, alternatively, to supply a wholesale service to another (usually smaller) retail service provider.

Most small retail service providers do not directly connect with NBN Co, instead reselling services that they buy from larger providers (such as Telstra, TPG and Optus).

Change in speed tiers December 2017 to June 2021*TC4 AVCs12Mbps25Mbps50Mbps≥100MbpsDecember 20171,022,4941,884,662158,959400,848Low/high speed83.8%16.2%June 2021968,6441,165,1704,585,8631,451,104Low/high speed26.1%73.9%

*NBN ‘Wireless Plus’ services (2.4%) are excluded from the table, as they cannot be categorised by speed tier.

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#AceNewsDesk report ……..

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: A new regulatory model for NAB is one step closer after a telecommunications industry roundtable last week brought together broadband retailers, industry groups, consumer representatives and government #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.24: A new regulatory model for Australia’s National Broadband Network is one step closer after a telecommunications industry roundtable last week brought together NBN Co, broadband retailers, industry groups, consumer representatives and government:

ACCC Called the roundtable after NBN Co announced it would be seeking to revise its special access undertaking, which is a key part of the regulation that governs the prices NBN Co can charge retailers.

ACCC REPORT:

“Getting the regulatory framework for the NBN right is a key priority for the ACCC this year. This roundtable was the first step in that process and it was pleasing to see stakeholders coming together to discuss the issues in an open, constructive way,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“It is clear that the NBN pricing construct is a key issue for stakeholders, and the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) component of NBN’s pricing model was a particular focus of discussion.”

Under the current regulation, broadband retailers pay CVC charges in order to access a certain amount of bandwidth. Most participants called for the removal of CVC charges, while some proposed pricing models that had a reduced CVC component.

“There was general agreement that a future regulatory framework should encourage efficient use of, and investment in, the network infrastructure. Similarly, participants agreed that arrangements should support a range of retail offerings that represent value for users,” Ms Brakey said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of access to reliable broadband for businesses and households, and the roundtable event covered measures to support access and affordability, particularly for low income consumers.” 

To help frame the discussion at the roundtable, the ACCC issued a short discussion paper to participants ahead of the event. The discussion paper is available on the ACCC website

The ACCC is also preparing a summary of the key issues raised at the roundtable, for release in the coming weeks.

Background

NBN Co’s carriage services are taken to be declared under Part XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, which provides access seekers a statutory right to access the services and enables the ACCC to regulate the terms and conditions of access, such as price, to apply where the terms of access cannot be agreed. 

A special access undertaking provides the access provider, in this case NBN Co, the means to propose the regulated access terms to apply and related matters for acceptance by the ACCC.

To encourage open discussion, the roundtable was conducted under Chatham House rule. The ACCC will not be attributing comments to individual participants.

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#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Jun.24: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: Millions of consumers will pay more for their mobile phone plans after recent price increases by all three big telco companies, new analysis by they have found #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.23: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone collectively hold 87 per cent of the total retail mobile phone market, and have more than 95 per cent of the post-paid market:

ACCC Report: Consumers now paying more for mobile plans and since July 2020, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have increased the price of several post-paid plans, and have effectively increased the price of a range of pre-paid plans by reducing their expiry periods, forcing customers to recharge more often.

ACCC REPORT:

“Our analysis shows that consumers will now be left paying significantly more for a range of mobile phone plans at Telstra, Optus and Vodafone,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“The behaviour of the three big telcos would suggest they are not concerned about losing customers to rivals.”

During the past 12 months, Telstra increased its post-paid mobile plan prices by between $5 and $15 per month.

Telstra has also reduced the recharge expiry on 35 and 42 day pre-paid plans to 28 days, which effectively equates to a price increase of between 25 per cent and 50 per cent over a year.

In May, Optus raised the price of all of its post-paid plans by $6 per month, which is an increase of between 8 per cent and 15 per cent. There has been no increase, however, in the cost of Optus’s pre-paid plans.

Vodafone’s post-paid plans have also gone up by between $5 and $40 a month, however, the increases are currently accompanied by heavy discounting and temporary bonus inclusions.

In December 2020, Vodafone’s pre-paid plans that previously featured a 35 day expiry reduced to a 28 day expiry for the same monthly cost. Over a year, this effectively equates to a 25 per cent price increase.

These mobile price increases follow the merger of TPG and Vodafone in 2020.

“The ACCC opposed the merger of TPG and Vodafone because we were concerned it would lead to higher mobile prices, and result in three similar providers with little incentive to compete strongly,” Mr Sims said.

“Despite evidence showing the three mobile network owners reacted strongly to the potential competitive threat of a new TPG network, the Court considered that the merger would be pro-competitive, allowing Vodafone to compete more effectively against Telstra and Optus.”

“When markets end up with a smaller group of large look-alike players with stable positions, competition is muted and consumers pay more,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC encourages Telstra, Optus and Vodafone mobile customers to compare the prices and features offered by smaller providers that re-sell services on the networks of the three mobile network operators.

Small providers offer cheaper alternatives for consumers. Although their plans usually don’t include extras such as access to content, their voice calls, SMS and data packages are similar to those offered by the three networks operators.

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone customers could save between $5 and $25 per month, and possibly more, by moving to a different provider with comparable data inclusions.

In light of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone offsetting recent price increases with higher data allowances, the ACCC also encourages consumers to check how much data they typically use and choose a plan that covers only the data they need.

According to data released as part of the ACCC’s latest Internet Activity Report, the average mobile phone user in Australia consumes less than 15 GB of data per month.

Plans that include at least 15 GB of data, as well as unlimited national calls and texts, can be found for as little as $25 per month.

“We suspect many customers who have recently had their mobile provider justify a price increase with higher data usage would prefer the previously available lower monthly fee in exchange for a lower data allowance,” Mr Sims said.

“We want all mobile customers to know that switching to a new provider is a very simple process, and the new provider will move your existing number over for you.”

“Before changing over, we encourage consumers to compare different providers’ geographic coverage, and consider their individual needs, as not all providers offer the same coverage,” Mr Sims said.

“There are still ways to find a cheaper mobile plan but, ultimately, dynamic competitive markets deliver best for consumers.”

Information to assist consumers with choosing a mobile phone plan is available on the ACCC website at choosing a mobile plan.

Telstra’s post-paid plan prices in July 2019 and July 2020Plan nameJuly 2019July 2020Small$50$55Medium$60$65Large$80$85Extra large$100$115

Source:  https://exchange.telstra.com.au/5g-mobile-plans/ 

Notes:  These price increases represent a forced migration. Customers were moved on to the newer, more expensive plans over the three month period to October 2020, with those that chose to do so before then given a credit to offset the price increase for the first 12 months. Telstra simultaneously increased the data allowances on each of its post-paid plans.

Telstra’s pre-paid plan data inclusions and expiry $30$40$50$60Pre-paid max

10 GB

28 days

20 GB

35 days

28 GB

42 days

38 GB

42 days‘New’ pre-paid

10 GB

28 days

20 GB

28 days

28 GB

28 days

38 GB

28 days

Source:  https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/prepaid-mobiles/compare-prepaid-plans

Notes:  Telstra has moved from a graduated 28/35/42 day expiry schedule based on spend to a fixed 28 day expiry across all plans. This means customers have to recharge more frequently, increasing their yearly spend.

Optus’s post-paid prices in April and May 2021Plan nameApril 2021May 2021ChangeSmall$39$4515%Medium$49$5512%Large$59$6510%Extra large$79$858%

Source:  https://www.techradar.com/au/news/optus-is-jacking-up-its-mobile-plan-prices

Notes:  The new plans are similar in structure to the ones they replace, including unlimited calls and texts, a generous data allowance at full speed, followed by infinite data at a 1.5 Mbps speed cap, and a month-to-month contract.

Vodafone’s post-paid plans in December 2019 and November 2020New plan nameDecember 2019 equivalentNovember 2020 flagshipLite

$40

10 GB, then 1.5 Mbps

$40

10 GB, then 2 MbpsLite+N/A

$45

30 GB, then 2 MbpsSuper

$50

60 GB, then 1.5 Mbps

$55

60 GB, then 10 MbpsSuper+

$60

100 GB, then 1.5 Mbps

$65

100 GB, then 10 MbpsUltra

$80

150 GB, then 1.5 Mbps

$120

150 GB, then 25 Mbps

Source:  https://www.vodafone.com.au/about/legal/critical-information-summary

Notes:  These figures are based on the Critical Information Summaries (CIS) that mobile providers are required to publish. CIS contain the ‘base’ plan features and price, exclusive of any discounting or bonus inclusions a provider advertises.

Vodafone’s pre-paid plan data inclusions and expiryPrice pointPre-paid combo plus (2020)Pre-paid plus (2021) (includes ‘infinite data’)$30

10 GB

28 days

15 GB

28 days$40

20 GB

35 days

30 GB

28 days$50

30 GB

35 days

45 GB

28 days$60

45 GB

35 days

60 GB

28 days

Source:  https://www.vodafone.com.au/about/legal/critical-information-summary

Notes:  Customers who typically recharge at the $30 price point are better off under the new plan. Previously, the $40, $50, and $60 prepaid plans had an expiry of 35 days, requiring consumers to purchase credit about ten times per year. These plans have been changed to a 28 day expiry, requiring customers to recharge just over thirteen times a year. This is a 25 per cent increase in frequency, and for a customer that chooses to remain on their given price/data point, a 25 per cent increase in yearly spend.

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Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com