NBN fail: Aussies pay highest broadband costs

Research from the Australian Parliamentary Library reveals that Australia has the least affordable entry-level access to broadband among developed OECD economies, and ranks 67 out of a wider list of 83 countries:

NBN researcher and University of Sydney infrastructure lecturer, Tooran Alizadeh, has described the result as “disappointing, devastating, but not surprising” that Australian are “paying more for less”.

It also comes as half of households in Australia’s three biggest cities have been shafted with inferior NBN connections.

The sad reality is that the situation facing Australian consumers won’t change until the federal government writes-down the value of the NBN, thus enabling NBN Co to lower wholesale access prices, which can then be passed onto end-users.

Leith van Onselen


  1. > The sad reality is that the situation facing Australian consumers won’t change until the federal government writes-down the value of the NBN, thus enabling NBN Co to lower wholesale access prices, which can then be passed onto end-users.

    That 7% IRR could be changed to “the 10yr bond rate” and make enough of a dent that they might be able to get away without a writedown.

    • I think the IRR was already reduced below 7% a couple of years ago, wasn’t it?

      I still think part of it is going to have to be written off. At least, say, the $20bn loan that the Government gave them a few years ago (since it needed a lot more money but had surpassed the amount the Liberals said their MTM was going to cost – of course, there were plenty of people in the tech world at the time saying that the costings for upgrading and using the obsolete technology was way too optimistic, so basically none of that extra ~$30bn was unexpected to us – sadly few in the media would listen at the time).

  2. Ronin8317MEMBER

    All working as intended, and the price will double in a decade as well once it’s privatized. (after a massive write off, of course).

    • Don’t forget that you pay a surcharge of $7.88 every month on your NBN to subsidize rural broadband (Nationals voters).

  3. We got the network that Rupert demanded. The best response is it say “fark u” to Foxtel and switch to Netflix/Stan/iView/BitTorrent.

    • Murdoch’s onion munching minion Abbot abolished the FTTP to slavishly protect his evil master’s profits then Turbullshitted all over us, the dirty Turncoat. They have now made us spend 5 Billion more for 100x slower. And the entire cost will double again to add FTTP. Businesses are spending $1000 a month to get semi decent symmetric connections that cost 10% for the same in Europe and Asia. We were lumped with fraudband!

  4. BoomToBustMEMBER

    5G will blow NBN out of the water and Telstra knows it. The available bandwidth is huge, the latency is low, the portability high for a transient young population. The only hope NBN has of staying competitive is to lower the price now and not allow 5G a good foothold.

    • Thing is, if we had a FTTP NBN, 5G would be a mobile only system. For about AUD$45 we could be rocking 1 Gb connections with typical evening speeds between 379.7 Mbps and 919.8 Mbps, up and down at the same rate.

      It’s also worth noting that there are considerable physical theoretical limits on wireless systems, while a fibre system has theoretical upper limits orders of magnitude higher.

      We need both systems (wireless and physical), hence the gross failure of the LNP in this regard.

  5. Hmm… if we could get some sort of coal-fired, steam-driven dynamo power supply for each node to complement the already very Steampunk copper-plated retro NBN we all know and love I reckon we’ve got an infrastructure project that even the most die-hard LNP support would get excited about!

  6. – It’s a COMPLETE DUD. If you have a dud – write it off!
    – It should be done NOW – while the gov’t has fire-power before the recession hits.
    – It’s pointless sitting around staring at it – it is going to be a real lead-weight when the recession hits and 5G appears

  7. rob barrattMEMBER

    I suppose you would have to ask – What DOESN”T cost more in Australia than virtually anywhere else? Anyway, by the time they’ve paid their gargantuan monthly mortgage bill most people won’t have to worry about price comparisons as they won’t have any money…

  8. Get “skilled” immigrants to pay. Put a NBN tax on every foreign “student” who cheats on exams.

    • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

      That’s so old style (last month) to mention cheating. Not necessary any more.
      The new style in this weeks news is by design to do all work in Group Assignments,
      so the local English speaking student does the work for the group and all 6 pass and pay their 30k per year and then get their PRs…
      They all use 4G not NBN anyway.

  9. Jevons ghostMEMBER

    5G…. NBN ….. the whole box and dice a non event. Boring beyond belief the lot of it. Now if someone can convince me that we need to get all hot and bothered by it all… Still can’t beat a good book.

  10. NBN is the worst product I’ve ever bought. Really! OK when it works, but then randomly it doesn’t. Maybe for a split second or maybe for a few hours? ADSL2 was so much better. Both myself & my spouse work from home a good portion of out time. We do not give a rats about how good it might be for Netflix, youtube, etc etc we just want it for professional reasons. It is just not reliable. If you make a complaint all the providers do is send you a check list as though you are an IT geek. Those days for me are gone. Its so awful I just go 4G auto now. We are now working out what our options are with no NBN. It is so bad I am so mad.Cannot believe I am in this situation. When it was ADSL2 it was absolutely fine & we could both work remotely, now with NBN it is shit. It is so bad because there is actually no-one who you can talk to to fix it. If this is the new economy & new productivity then f*ck me it ain’t gonna work.I guess I’m not just complaining about the NBN product but the way NBN & Providers deal with their NBN customers. Go figure….? Personal service died a long time ago. But personal service is not that hard.

  11. @DRS, sorry late reply. Provider is Internode (now TPG I believe?). Been with them for my business & home for 18 years & they now don’t give a rats! Best obfuscators in the business. No-one in their business gives a toss. TBH probably not much they can do ’cause they are sales not technicians. But I’m still being charged a monthly fee. The Hayne RC wasn’t that happy with fees for no or poor service. I’ve pointed out to Internode that pretty much I’m paying a fee for not much service. TBH you could probably put any providers name there, I doubt if any of them can or want to bother with problems. They are so stuck up their proverbial about how wonderful & game changing tech is they just don’t get how implementation is a massive fail.The rule of technology is “the hype precedes the reality!”