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NBN prices hiked without service improvement: ACCC

NBN prices hiked without service improvement: ACCC

Smaller RSPs also gained more market share

Credit: Supplied

Plan prices for the National Broadband Network (NBN) are on the rise without a comparable increase in service capability, the nation’s consumer watchdog has claimed.

The price increase was seen across the board in terms of speed tiers, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s latest Communications Market Report.

Specifically, fixed entry-level NBN plans rose by 3.6 per cent, or $2.50 per month, in 2021-22 compared to the financial year prior, while middle-of-the-range plans increased by 4.7 per cent or $4 per month.

Meanwhile, high-end and very high-end plans increased by 9 per cent or $9 per month.

The reasons for the increase, the report claimed, were due to a number of factors. These include NBN Co ending its high-speed wholesale rebates and as such retail service providers (RSP) passing on the costs to consumers.

Additionally, there was also a shift in the compositions of the plans on offer, with the share of plans offering download speeds of 50Mbps or higher increasing from 69 per cent to 77 per cent over the last financial year.

As such, this gives RSPs the opportunity to have more costly plans.

“More than 8 million households and small businesses rely on the NBN for their internet, so the trade-off between the price and service quality of NBN plans affects most Australians,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

Meanwhile, smaller internet RSPs have continued to claw back market share from the top down.

According to the report, the former group sat at 12.6 per cent as of the June 2022 quarter while the latter dropped for the third year in a row to settle at 87.4 per cent.

Further, smaller RSPs also expanded their coverage at NBN points of interconnect (POI), with all 121 POIs having at least 17 access seekers.

The ACCC expects smaller RSPs to increase their direct interconnections with the NBN further, as well as to undertake investment in backhaul capacity at POIs.

“It’s encouraging that the growing market share of the smaller retailers and their expanding footprint will result in more choice for Australian consumers, regardless of where they live,” Brakey added.


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