Path paved for cheaper NBN


Shortly after the federal election, new Communications Minister Michelle Rowland confirmed that Labor had abandoned plans to privatise the national broadband network (NBN). Rowland also flagged that Labor would scale back proposed 3% per annum wholesale broadband price increases that the former Coalition government had directed NBN Co to implement to recoup costs.

There was also speculation that Labor would write-off a large chunk of the nearly $30 billion that the federal government has invested in the NBN, with analysts claiming such a move would make it easier for NBN to invest in faster internet access, and potentially also lower access costs.

Fast forward to today, and a new draft pricing proposal lodged with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) this week says NBN Co will no longer seek to recover the full $44 billion of funds sunk into the initial build and will instead only recoup $12.5 billion from retail internet providers.

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About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.