Aussie Broadband hopes NBN Co will revisit uplink shrinkage on high-tier plans

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Aussie Broadband hopes NBN Co will revisit uplink shrinkage on high-tier plans

Restructure may help it distance from old thinking.

Aussie Broadband is hoping the recombination of NBN Co’s residential and business arms will prompt the company to review the highly asymmetrical nature of its higher-tier plans.

Managing director Phillip Britt told a Reddit AMA that he wanted to see NBN Co offer “more symmetrical services”, particularly as more people switched to remote working options for the longer term.

Under changes to its plan structure at the end of last year, NBN Co shrank the size of the uplink on its 100Mbps, 250Mbps and up to 1Gbps plans, ostensibly to make them cheaper.

On the 100Mbps tier, plans now start at 100/20Mbps, though users can often pay extra to have the original 40Mbps uplink that the tier once offered.

Things are even more asymmetrical at 250Mbps, which has an uplink of 25Mbps, and on the up to gigabit speed product, where the uplink caps out at 50Mbps.

Britt’s assessment of these uplink speeds was blunt on the Reddit AMA.

“I personally think that the upload speeds on the 250/25 and 1000/50 suck, and we've told NBN Co this many times,” he wrote.

“Their business team argued that if the upload was higher it would attract too many businesses onto residential plans and they would miss out on revenue as a result.”

Britt said elsewhere in the AMA that Aussie Broadband would “like to see more symmetrical services" offered by NBN Co.

“Some of the access technologies can support this and others can't,” he said. “It’s the joy of the multi-technology mix (MTM).”

Britt is, however, hopeful that an internal restructure announced by NBN Co earlier this month - and which comes into effect on August 3 - will lead to a review of current NBN plan structures, or at least a chance to change its previous thinking.

Under the restructure, residential and business sales and marketing functions will come together under a single executive, Brad Whitcomb, reverting to the way the function was structured prior to June 2017.

“We're hoping that NBN Co will look at [symmetrical speeds] more now that their business and residential teams have been collapsed together,” Britt said.

Likewise, he said he hoped the merged team would see the shrinking of the uplink on higher tier NBN plans “for the sham that it is”.

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