ACCC head, Rob Sims, has hit out at the $50 billion National Broadband Network (NBN), claiming that many households are paying more for worse internet. From The Australian:
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission boss Rod Sims yesterday warned NBN Co was failing to deliver on its promise of faster and affordable broadband…
“We are quite possibly charting a course that favours meeting NBN Co’s revenue projections at the expense of the NBN’s potential to benefit the economy and consumers,” Mr Sims said.
“We are now observing prices of low-speed NBN plans offered to new customers that are at least $10 per month higher than what consumers paid for equivalent plans on the ADSL network.”
NBN wholesale prices for the 12-megabit plan will increase from $12.75 to $17.50 a megabit per second, but many consumers are already paying more for basic NBN plans than existing ADSL services.
Optus CEO Allen Lew has also slammed the NBN’s quality and believes mobile phone providers should be allowed to replace the NBN’s fibre-to-the-node technology with ultra-fast 5G fixed-wireless broadband, claiming this would be less expensive than NBN Co having to install fibre-optic cables in literally millions of homes. From The AFR:
Mr Lew said the NBN was “falling short of customer’s current expectations around speed, reliability and service performance”.
“We also must look beyond our shores to what is being done globally and ask ourselves whether we are keeping pace with other developed countries that are heading towards affordable, gigabit services,” he said.
I’ve got no idea what the answer is, but delivering Australians a competitive and reliable internet service is a must. We shouldn’t be charged some of the highest user fees in the world for a sub-standard service.
Add the NBN to the long list of policy failures worthy of a Royal Commission!