Aussie launches Unlimited plans
Since we entered the nbn™ market, we have taken a strong stance on congestion and unlimited plans. Typically unlimited offerings in the market have been linked to congested services in peak times. This was because providers were not provisioning enough bandwidth, so they could maintain a profit margin.
In November 2017, nbn™ released their focus on 50 offer which gave providers an extra 50% of CVC bandwidth for no additional cost. At that point we started to see congestion fall away (but not entirely) from those unlimited offerings. The ACCC reported that average bandwidth per user had increased from 1 to 1.52 Mbits as a result. Aussie is provisioning 1.95 Mbits during the focus on 50. You can see by our graphs we have a lot of spare peak time capacity.
The very latest ACCC report last is showing peak time speeds of the big 4 are continuing to improve, confirming that the congestion that was once experienced due to unlimited plans was being solved with more cvc bandwidth being provided – who would have thought hey!
nbn™ at the same time also continued a consultation on bundled plans with included CVC bandwidth. That consultation has now concluded and their new plans will be released on 1 May 2018. The 50/20 service includes 2 Mbits, and the 100/40 2.5 Mbits of CVC with additional CVC available for $8 ex gst per mbit.
As a result, providers will now be able to access more CVC bandwidth for around the same wholesale spend as today. This change is the biggest pricing change nbn™ has made since they came into existence and make no mistake – it is changing the retail landscape.
Whilst Aussie has always done the right thing and provisioned enough bandwidth for the plans we sold, others are now starting to catch up and become uncongested as well due to this additional CVC being provided by nbn™. As a result, our no congestion value proposition is diminishing in the market as others are catching up – this means we need to compete in other areas.
So what are we going to do?
After taking a good hard look at this new landscape we find ourselves in, we have decided to release two unlimited plans into the market:
- 50/20 Unlimited $79
- 100/40 Unlimited $99
We know there’s lots of Aussie Broadband champions out there who will be concerned about this move (because they’ve been fighting the good fight against unlimited and congestion for quite some time). So in the spirit of no bullshit, we are:
- Continuing to publish daily CVC graphs, so people can check our cvc bandwidth levels and any congestion there may be
- Maintaining our commitment to stop connecting new customers in any area where bandwidth usage is at 80% and we have a delay on new bandwidth orders
- Putting in a new business rule that customers on a stop-sell POI will not be able to change to an unlimited plan until the stop-sell is lifted
- Rolling out 10G protected backhaul to all POIs by the end of 2018 (excluding Tasmania), with 41 of them due for completion by end of June 2018
- Continuing to watch our network performance like a seagull with its eyes on a chip
We have also built the margin into these services to be able to increase average CVC well above the included 2 and 2.5 Mbits. Our commitment is to deliver the best unlimited offer in the market, all Australian support and the highest average peak time speeds.
These new plans are available from today.
How do they work with our other plans?
The two new unlimited plans will sit alongside our more customizable slider plans, where customers can choose flexible data limits up to 900GB. Our former 1 to 3TB plans (100 and 50 speeds) have now been replaced by the cheaper unlimited. Customers on these 1 to 3TB plans will be automatically migrated to the cheaper unlimited plans in the next week or so (or can do it sooner if you schedule your own change).
This does not affect any other existing plans at 900GB or less. Customers can choose to switch if they want, or they can stay on their current plan. Some of the prices of the 50/20 and 100/40 plan sliders have reduced and you will automatically receive this new price from your next billing month.
We’ll be sending out emails to customers next week to let you know if we’re switching you to a better value plan.
…and the fixed wireless issue
As we foreshadowed in December, the new nbn™ wholesale pricing does not apply to fixed wireless, and therefore, we can’t apply our unlimited plans to this technology. We know exactly what the fixed wireless experience is like (many of our senior leadership team, have their home nbn™ via fixed wireless) and we will continue to lobby for improvements to both fixed wireless performance and pricing for regional Australians.
Our revised 50/20 fixed wireless offering is $10 more expensive than the fixed line 50/20 offering due to this and because we have to run fixed wireless within separate CVCs that are costed under the old pricing scheme. Most other providers have dropped their 50/20 fixed wireless offering all together. Please rest assured that we will continue to grandfather existing fixed wireless customer on their previous pricing.
So that’s it….
This decision has been a big one for us – probably the biggest change in plans that I can ever remember. It hasn’t been taken lightly, and I can appreciate that some of you will still have concerns. If you have any further questions, please call our friendly team on 1300 880 905 and they will be happy to assist.