Poor take-up of NBN's superfast packages no surprise

Photo by Michael de Percy
Communications Minister Mr Malcolm Turnbull has revealed today that only 5 NBN customers have taken up services with speeds of over 100 mbps. This is no surprise at all.

My home was connected to the NBN in September 2013 and it was underwhelming. I blogged about it here.

And by the time the NBN was available, Telstra had already lifted its game and our broadband service was fine. However, I went with NBN and took out the 100mbps plan with a 500gb download limit. I still have that today.

What is clear from my experience of NBN is that for everyday download use, 25mbps is fine. I do tend to upload a bit of video data for teaching purposes, but otherwise, much of my use of the extra capacity is for entertainment purposes.

It is difficult to see how the investment in NBN could be justified on the basis of improving the economy. Rather than making best use of our existing assets, NBN was a pipe dream that had the potential to severely restrict investment in the industry.

It's no surprise that higher end NBN services are not being taken up. The biggest problem remains that the network's capacity outstrips the capacity of the average tablet/laptop/server, so punters are paying now for capacity that may not be useful until some time in the future. How this was ever going to be sustainable is anybody's guess.