Launtel wants NBN Co to cut its prices on a handful of high-end services that have faster upload speeds, arguing they represent a missed revenue opportunity for the network operator.
CTO Damian Ivereigh made the suggestion in a submission to the ACCC that was published this week. [pdf]
Upload speeds on residential plans of 100Mbps and above were slashed several years ago as a way to bring the price point of high-tier services within reach of more users.
In some cases, a higher upload speed was offered as a paid add-on; in other cases, internet providers simply stopped offering the traditional high-tier services with larger uploads, in favour of the current high-end residential offers of 250/25Mbps and 1000/50Mbps.
But Ivereigh argues that high-end services with fast upload speeds should make a return, with much lower pricing.
“We wish that NBN Co would bring the prices of their so-called ‘legacy business’ services: 250/100, 500/200 & 1000/400 also down in line with their actual costs to supply,” Ivereigh wrote.
“In our experience, these speed tiers are attractive to a certain high end residential user - however their very high price means their sales volume is very low.
“We believe this is a massive untapped part of the market that could raise NBN Co’s ARPU [average revenue per user] just by bringing them more in line with the price of the low upload plans.
“That extra upload costs NBN Co and RSP [the retail internet service provider] almost nothing, given that most data pipes are symmetrical and they are always sized for the download portion.”
The most recent ACCC quarterly statistics demonstrate the low take-up of high upload services.
There are just 810 1000/400Mbps users, 982 500/200Mbps users and 5470 customers on the 250/100Mbps tier, although it should be noted that customer numbers increased for all three tiers quarter-on-quarter.
The high upload speeds are only available within the fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) footprint.
As the amount of FTTP grows - with more inferior portions of the network being overbuilt - there is an argument for higher upload plans to be revisited.