NBNCo boosts CVC a little bit

NBNCo (the company rolling out the nations broadband network) has announced a wholesale pricing review that. As a kick off to this review they also announced that they are going to increase the CVC inclusion on the 100Mbps plans from 2.5Mbps to 3Mbps.

Unfortunately there is perception that this as a performance boost to 100/40 services. It is, but it is nothing like the 20% boost you might think it is.

The way the bundles work is that all the CVC inclusion is put into a pool (the CVC) which is then shared among all of the RSP’s bundled services – including those on other, lower speed, tiers. Given that the number of 100Mbps services is, for most RSPs anyway, a small percentage (around 10%) of the total number of services, the increase per connection is much smaller when averaged over all of the connections.

Let’s put some example numbers into this. If your RSP has 1000 services in the pooled CVC you are connected to. Let us assume that your RSP has the typical spread of speeds, which is, 90% are on 50Mbps and below and 10% are on 100Mbps and above. The former gets 2Mbps of included CVC, the latter currently has 2.5Mbps of CVC, will soon be 3Mbps of CVC.

So currently the total CVC is 900 X 2 + 100 X 2.5 = 2050

After the change the total CVC is 900 X 2 + 100 X 3 = 2100

So the increase is just a little under 2.5%. Not something to get too excited about!

If you are with a good RSP, then they will already be buying extra CVC over and above the amount included in the bundles, called overage. This overage costs $8/Mbps, so the above example RSP will see a reduction in their costs of $400 – 40c per service. Again not something to get too excited about. If your RSP is not buying overage (which may be why you are seeing congestion), then you will see a 2.5% reduction in congestion (whatever that means!) as they increase the CVC size.

To be fair to NBN what they are trying to do is make the 100Mbps plans a little more attractive for RSPs to sell, they are not reducing the cost of the 100Mbps plans rather they are including more for the same price.

My concern is that NBN is currently in a game of chicken with the large RSPs who are essentially holding their users to ransom by constraining their CVC to just the included bundle amount and waiting for the bad press to accumulate blaming NBN for the problem. Since 2017, NBN has put customer experience (or “CX” as they call it) high up their priority list, we will see whether it is above getting revenue!

At Launtel we are already buying overage because we believe that having a high performing, ultra low congestion, network is our key point of difference.  This is the main reason we are more expensive than most of our competitors.

Damian Ivereigh

June 30, 2019