- The Sydney and Melbourne pandemic lockdowns stimulated the NBN demand according to NBN Co.
- NBN Co still provisioned and dimensioned the network to accommodate peak demand during the busiest hours which is usually from 7 to 9 in the evening.
- Daytime usage of the network has also increased during the New South Wales and Victorian lockdowns but the daytime peak is often less than half of the traffic during evening peak hours.
Nevertheless, NBN Co still provisioned and dimensioned the network to accommodate
peak demand during the busiest hours which is usually from 7 to 9 in the evening.
On the other hand, daytime usage of the network has also increased during the New South Wales and Victorian lockdowns but the daytime peak is often less than half of the traffic during evening peak hours.
“We continue to monitor the network and usage closely, and we have seen some increases in data demand, but this demand remains well within both the downstream and upstream capacity capabilities of the NBN network. Based on our experience of data usage during previous lockdowns, we have generally seen the largest increase in data demand during the first week of any lockdown, with data demand then stabilising and reducing as restrictions ease,” said a spokesperson of NBN Co.
The spokesperson further added that “Following the introduction of lockdowns in both New South Wales and Victoria, national data demand across the NBN peaked at 20.39 Tbps on Sunday 18 July, an increase of approximately 8 percent week on week, and an increase of around 4 percent from the busy hour peak on Friday 16 July”.
When it comes to bitstream reductions, NBN said that “Any decisions around the bit rates and definition that different providers choose to stream their content is a matter for those providers, and we do not impose, nor do we have any plans to impose, limits or restrictions on content providers.”
Meanwhile, the head of regulatory affairs of Optus, Andrew Sheridan, rejected a key argument that NBN Co advanced in favour of maintaining capacity-based pricing. “The industry has consistently argued that CVC is not the best way to charge for high-speed broadband,” he said.
“It’s not consistent with what customers want,” he argued. “RSPs have unlimited plans or close to unlimited plans because customers don’t want a usage type charge,” he further added.
Nevertheless, Sheridan said that NBN Co has “consistently ignored that position” and continued to “tinker around the edges with usage and CVC.” He also said that “fundamentally, they’re not coming to the party on that industry requirement. And that industry requirement is something that’s driven by customer requirements.”
“One of the arguments that they put is that if we did away with usage-based charging, that would have an impact on low use customers and the low-end plans, and it would impact affordability,” Sheridan said. “We’re the only country in the world that has usage-based wholesale prices. And other countries have similar issues around the need to serve low-income families and low-usage plans... Those countries seem to have managed to deal with those things without a usage-based pricing mechanism.”