NBN tax to stifle competition

The Morrison Government has announced that it will implement a broadband tax for residential and business users of non-NBN services:

Under the bill, announced by Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, households and businesses not using the NBN will be hit with a $7.10 monthly fee. That’s $85 Over the course of the year.

The proceeds of that tax would be used to fund the future costs of commercially nonviable parts of the NBN network, and reduce reliance on the federal budget.

The bill, if passed, would see Australians taxed from July 2020. It was first introduced in 2018.

“The money collected from the base component of the charge would be used to fund the losses NBN Co incurs in constructing and operating its fixed wireless and satellite networks, replacing the company’s opaque internal cross-subsidy from its fixed line networks,” Fletcher said on Thursday.

Shadow minister Michelle Rowland responded by describing the bill as one supporting a levy with a primary purpose of reducing competition…

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance has also come out swinging, criticising the plan as one that penalises Australians for wanting to use an internet service that works.

This tax goes against the Productivity Commission’s 2017 Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation report, which recommended against funding universal service obligations (USO) via levies:

RECOMMENDATION 8.2

The Australian Government should fund targeted measures to meet telecommunications universal service objectives principally through general government revenue rather than an industry levy. This would imply the ultimate removal of the Telecommunications Industry Levy.

More broadly, broadband services should be treated as an essential service, just like electricity, water and gas. As such, wholesale access prices should be based on what is best for the economy, not seek to achieve a given financial return by forcing inflated monopoly pricing.

If this requires writing down the NBN to achieve competitive wholesale pricing, and taxpayers taking a budget hit, then so be it.

Because it makes no sense for Australians to be charged excessive user fees for sub-standard service, in turn stifling Australia’s productivity.

Leith van Onselen

Comments

  1. criticising the plan as one that penalises Australians for wanting to use an internet service that works.

    PMSL.

  2. This tax is basically so that Nationals voters out in the middle of nowhere can have their expensive satellite internet subsidised by those in the dense cities.

  3. Ahahhahahahhahahahhahahahahahhaahhahahahahajajahaha.

    Not quite sure if this is enough “haha”s, but seems roughly ok.

    Government putting up tariff barriers to protect a government owned obsolete-at-birth monopoly white elephant.

    A “liberal” government, to boot.

    Straya!

    You f’cking idiots.

    • Tough to fault any of that.

      The NBN should just be abandoned immediately and hope that everyone forgets the sheer scale of incompetence invested in it.

      Go Gubbermint! Build us some submarines would ya – I’ve got some old diesel engines and some sheet metal in my back yard which I’m happy to donate to the cause. That should keep the cost below a $100bn (fingers crossed).

  4. The NBN can now shut down, let the competitor take over all the broadband connections, and end up generating more revenue from the tax. How good is that? Go Australia!!

  5. I avoided the deadshit NBN because of the losers involved, & it’s been a bloody disaster down this way! Now I’m to be penalized for their piss poor effort & forced to subsidize their bloody White Elephant? WTAF?? They play games & nobble it & we still pay for their hubris – IS THAT A NEOGLIBERAL FREE MARKET?? GAGF!!

  6. Was that an April Fools article? I am gobsmacked that some idiot government would tax people & business for choosing something that works v something that does not work! At home I am on NBN – it is awful, absolutely awful. Kids don’t even bother using it, they go straight to 4G for everything. At work we don’t use NBN we pay for a service provider who charges a fee for service (unlike NBN fee for no service!). At work our Internet hums beautifully & never drops out & is always there. Go figure we’ll pay the tax on the working one (which by the way is way cheaper than the home NBN).

    • All of this is needed to prevent the ALP implementation of FTTH NBN which actually works. My friend in Tasmania is on FTTH and it’s faster and cheaper than the Hybrid Coxial I’m stuck with in Sydney.

  7. Jevons ghostMEMBER

    So down yet another rabbit hole (or is it another black hole) we go. Merrily merrily merriIy merrily………. So henceforth I nominate John Pilger as MB’s correspondent at large. What a fine sense of the absurd has he. He would make mincemeat of the NBN farrago if given the opportunity.

  8. dfvfd vdfvdfvdfs

    I love this
    1. Government tries to run a business
    2. Government f-s it up
    3. Government legislates for successful private sector competitors to pay for their f-up

    Wish I could do that with my own failed business!