NBN Co is proposing to slash prices on high-speed internet plans in an effort to win over the telecommunications sector and the federal government, which wants broadband to be affordable for all customers.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland urged the company in charge of the national broadband network last month to go back to the drawing board, deeming an initial regulatory proposal “unsatisfactory”.
A new paper released by NBN Co in response to that request offers improved high-speed internet prices and the removal of a contentious pricing mechanism, which charges based on excessive data consumption, by 2026.
“The policy landscape has changed since we lodged our original proposed SAU [Special Access Undertaking] variation in March, allowing us to reconsider our proposal,” NBN Co chief Stephen Rue said.
“We need to maintain our ability to repay government and private debt and ensure we remain capable of achieving a standalone investment grade rating, without requiring any additional government funding beyond existing commitments.”
Already, the telecommunications sector is wary. TPG Telecom said it did not believe the proposal would deliver affordable internet to customers.
“We remain concerned NBN is focussed on providing cost savings for high-speed users, while pushing price increases across most of its low-speed services including its most popular 50Mbps plan,” a TPG Telecom spokesperson said. “While this may benefit the NBN’s bottom line, it is not in the best interests of delivering affordable broadband for all Australians.”
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