The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in its latest quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report on Tuesday that this jump in connections coincided with an increase of 31% in bandwidth on the network.
The NBN Co, the company building the network, increased network capacity in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and as a result the CVC per user increased from 1.92Mbps to 2.52Mbps during the quarter, the ACCC said. This CVC increase did not cost the retail service providers anything.
“We were pleased to see NBN Co and RSPs work together to ensure Australians can stay connected during these unprecedented times,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
During the three months, smaller RSPs had increased their wholesale market share from 7.5% to 8.1%, with Aussie Broadband (3%) and Vodafone (1.9%) leading the way, the report said.
Telstra continued to dominate the field with 47.6% of all services acquired, followed by TPG (22%), Optus (15.3%) and Vocus (7.1%).
The percentage of households subscribing to plans above 50Mbps grew to 65.4%, with 8.6% being on 100Mbps services. But more than 2.2 million households were stuck on 12Mbps and 25Mbps plans.
Those on 12Mbps plans made up 16.4% of residential services.
“It is good to see the trend of smaller RSPs increasing their share in the market continue. More competition means more choice and better services for consumers,” added Sims.
Commenting on the ACCC report, Labor Shadow Communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland said: “Labor is pleased to see consumers benefitting from the NBN capacity boost we advocated for at the beginning of COVID-19.
"The question from here is how do we transition CVC pricing to a new normal in a fair and economically responsible way?
"Hastily undoing the capacity boost would be problematic given this could force up prices or lead to congestion. For this reason, Labor would prefer to see a considered transition of NBN capacity pricing in consultation with retail providers, informed by traffic trends as COVID-19 restrictions wind down.”