Aussies keep ditching major NBN providers for smaller telcos – here’s why

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Australians are continuing to ditch the major telcos in favour of smaller NBN providers, according to the latest data collected by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The consumer watchdog’s latest Wholesale Market Indicators Report found that the four largest players in the NBN space – Telstra, TPG, Optus and Vocus (owner of Dodo and iPrimus) – saw a continued trend of losses in the September quarter.

Telstra lost the most customers, with its market share down to 42.7%, a loss of 0.6 percentage points. TPG fell by 0.3 percentage points to 22.8%, Optus was down 0.4 percentage points to 13.4%, and Vocus lost 0.4 percentage points to 6.9%.

But the major telcos' loss has been the smaller providers' gain. Their combined market share is now 14.2%, which is up from 12.6% recorded in the June 2022 quarter. The ACCC says Aussies are moving away from the larger players at a significant pace.

“The rate at which smaller broadband providers are gaining market share from the big four accelerated markedly in the September quarter,” says ACCC commissioner, Anna Brakey. 

“The smaller providers increased their combined market share by 1.6 percentage points, which is about double the rate of the previous three quarters.”

What’s driving the change?

According to the ACCC’s report, Aussie Broadband and Superloop are the two providers who have benefited the most as NBN customers move away from the major players. Both Aussie Broadband and Superloop increased their market share by 0.3 percentage points.

Superloop in particular is offering highly competitive plans. New customers can save AU$20 a month across its NBN 100, NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans, with discounted prices starting at AU$69.95 a month.

By comparison, Telstra and Optus have much more expensive NBN plans, with Telstra’s NBN 100 offer starting at AU$110, while you can manage to get an NBN 100 plan from Optus starting at AU$89 a month (and that’s the discounted price).

The cost of living crunch is likely a strong driver of the accelerated growth for the smaller telcos, but other factors such as the Optus data breach, which occurred in late September, could also be a contributing factor.

The ACCC’s most recent broadband report, which was released earlier this month, also found that Launtel, a small Tasmanian NBN provider, beat out the likes of Telstra, Optus and TPG in terms of average download speeds, proving that you don’t need to spend top dollar to score yourself one of the best NBN plans.

If you feel like you’re paying too much for your internet, take a look at what’s currently on offer from some of the smaller internet providers in the NBN 50 tier below:

Jasmine Gearie
Ecommerce Editor

Jasmine Gearie is an Ecommerce Editor at TechRadar Australia, with a primary focus on helping readers cut through the jargon to find the best mobile and internet plans for their needs. She crunches the numbers to maintain dedicated guides to the latest phones, NBN and broadband plans of all types, and covers the important telco industry news. She also hunts down tech deals on laptops, phones, gaming consoles and more, so readers know where to buy the products they want for the cheapest prices.