Telstra has stopped offering 100Mbps services to users in NBN Co’s fibre-to-the-node, curb and basement footprints.
The cease of sale, which was first reported by CommsDay, means that users of FTTN, FTTB and FTTC can only sign up to a maximum 50Mbps plan when connecting through Telstra.
“We have made a decision to only offer premium speed (NBN100) on FTTP [fibre-to-the-premises] and HFC [hybrid fibre coaxial] for the time being,” a Telstra spokesperson confirmed to iTnews.
“The reason for this is because a number of our customers on FTTN/B/C do not have connections that are capable of achieving 100Mbps.
“It is often the case that customers that sign up to these plans will be subsequently notified that they cannot achieve top speed and end up downgrading to a lower plan or leaving.”
The spokesperson indicated that there was more to the cease sale but would not disclose where the telco’s thinking is.
“We want to ensure these customers have the best possible experience when connected to our plans and hope to have some news soon,” the spokesperson said.
For now, users hoping to sign up with Telstra would be offered a maximum of 50Mbps speeds.
The cease sale is likely to be a major embarrassment for NBN Co, but more so for the Coalition government which pushed for copper-based services to be used in the NBN rollout.
Retail service providers have previously been fined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for signing FTTN/B/C users up to plans that their lines are incapable of achieving.
This has led RSPs to sign FTTN/B/C users up to low-tier plans and offer upgrades later only when they can be certain of what the line can do.
However, in Telstra's case, FTTN/B/C users can only upgrade to a maximum of 50Mbps, and cannot get speeds beyond that, even if their lines can go faster.
Up to 75 percent of such FTTN users never see the topline speed of their plans.
NBN Co has maintained this may not be an issue, since the user may be willing to pay for a 100Mbps service to get greater than 50Mbps speeds. However, that only works when RSPs offer it as an option.