NBN squeezing out the low end offers for high end profit

Now that the financial affects of Covid 19 are starting to surface one area that I have just become aware of is the lack of offers to the public for inexpensive basic NBN products. The Australian public were/are forced to migrate to this $50+ billion white elephant and along the way we are being shepherded into higher cost NBN.
IT News " NBN Co is facing a formal challenge to its ability to set its own wholesale prices with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) opening a new inquiry with a particular focus on entry-level pricing.
The move is a fresh blow for NBN Co, which now faces both service standards and pricing regulations.
However, the ACCC’s intervention on entry-level pricing is also two years in the making, the [result of a sustained campaign by NBN Co to squeeze customers on its cheapest plans, with disastrous results."

From a societies perspective the withdrawal of affordable internet connection will strike at the financially vulnerable.
the price gap between what was charged for ADSL to NBN is widening but don’t take my word search for entry level (12mbps) products for less than $50.
In 2018 Dodo could offer ADSL2+ unlimited data at $30pm for a 12 month contract. Even at a 10% rise per year that would still be (just ) under $40 in 2020.
This issue will affect so many more now that Covid19 has changed the shape of the work force.


One of the possible contradictions is that the system was supposedly being designed to deliver 100Mbps speeds to every customer (satellite excepted?). We now know that is not what every customer can connect at.

The cost differential/benefit to the NBN Co of limiting internet service speeds to current customers, 12Mbps, or 25Mbps, or 50Mbps is likely next to nothing compared to allowing a customer to connect at the maximum possible at no extra cost. Most were originally promised 100Mbps service speeds. IE xyz% of fixed line customers able to connect at up to 100Mbps.

The data volume way back in the old days used to be the cost factor. At least that’s how Telstra used to charge some of us, and how the mobile data network is charged for today.

Should the basic service be full speed and the cost tiered by volume? Perhaps starting at a $30 retail benchmark for 10-20GB, $35-$40 for 50-100GB, etc.
It needs to offer value when compared to the add on costs of mobile data, if the NBN wants to service the majority of premises passed.

Perhaps that’s the real issue? The NBN is not a national service, it’s a profit centre with no discounting or subsidised customers, (fixed line footprint?).
IE Connecting to the NBN is not essential, and potential customers are free to choose not to. I don’t support that as a desirable outcome. Just wondering if the charter for the NBN Co or it’s future owner properly answers that question.

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The NBN usually comes bundled with phone and internet…and not internet/data alone.

If one compares phone and internet packages for NBN12 (which is comparable speed to ADSL2+…unless one lived around the corner from an exchange), the costs are similar, if not the same…and example is TPG:


Both the ADSL phone phone bundle and NBN (inc. home phone) unlimited download packages are $59.99/month.

One can’t compare ADSL (data only) with NBN (data and phone phone plans). Data only NBN plans seem to be few and far in between…and should retailers be offering cheaper data only NBN plans as many have moved away from landline home phones (to mobiles).

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My point is for people on low incomes selecting pay as you go VOIP at $0 extra is an important offer. With low NBN pricing they can set up free apps like Skype to stay in touch with families.


I am not sure how many low income families use VOIP as their main form of communication. I used to have two good friends that had ADSL VOIP and had no end of quality issues (dropouts, low volume and noise). They ended up dropping VOIP a few years before the NBN came in.

Many low income families would have mobiles and may be far better off (cheaper) not subscribing to the NBN and purchasing additional data to cover any higher use. There are 200GB/month plans available for $28/38/month. With most modern smart phones, there is also the option to hotspot should one need to connect other devices to the internet.

As I outlined above, NBN (phone phone and data bundled) plans are different to data only ADSL2+ plans (data only) and…

If one doesn’t need a home NBN landline (as they use mobile), then they are paying for a bundled service where they don’t need all the features.


I agree lower data could assist. The Government has estimated an individual’s basic data needs in Australia to fall between 2GB and 20GB, which it says is enough for them “to participate in the digital economy”.
The figures come from a [quietly released report prepared by the Bureau of Communications and Arts Research (BCAR), and builds on broadband affordability research first published back in July 2017.
with that in mind I did just come across a TPG 10gb 12mbps 18 month contract with home phone for $30pm offer.
Data from UK-based firm Point Data has ranked Australia the last out of 36 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries for entry level broadband affordability for the second quarter of 2019, according to shadow communications minister Michelle Rowland.

Point Data ranked 83 countries based on their median, entry level and average prices of broadband.

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NBN - iiNet - Google

Good conversation. I am an iiNet customer, low income - Aged and Blind pension, and an iiNet customer. I pay between $ 85.00 - $95.00 for an ADSL + 2. I have a business, which is not earning but spending.

In late April-May I received a notification from iiNet that is is changing from Optus to Vodaphone. It said, that I have to apply for my current mobile number, otherwise it will be taken.
There was a form to complete. I was blocked to write my business name. I asked for help from iiNet support, and was connected to Cape Town, and Philippines. I wanted to speak with a tech support who works in Australia, and was told that there is none in Australia to provide technical support.

At this stage I made a complaint to the TIO who is still investigation.

I can not use my mobile, when I am out I have to ask others to call a taxi to take me home.

On the 20 May my internet was blocked, and remained blocked until 23 May. I have no Zoom and Skype, so I only can have a landline call to my family…

Whatever is the case, and regardless of what company is fighting with what other company, the end result is the same: cruel, inconsiderate behaviour of these telecommunication giants.

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The latest?

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It will make 5G (and 6G+ depending on the time frames), far more attractive to those with coverage.

Sounds frustrating @Maja.
As you say you are on ADSL, and you must be one of the few left, NBN will not be your network provider.
Telstra will be providing your physical wire connection to the exchange and also your landline phone. iiNet your data connection and bundled mobile phone service.

As iiNet now owns the ex Vodafone mobile network then naturally they would move customers over to that network, and that does involve porting of phone numbers from previous Optus to iiNet. That does require explicit consent from you for security reasons.


It appears we are discussing porting of mobile numbers with iiNet (TPG) moving it’s customers from Optus to Vodafone. Not related to the NBN, but for those interested in TPG issues,
TPG- Service from hell

Is it a registered business for tax purposes, EG ABN, Sole Trader, Trading Name, ACN?

Previous experience with two of the Telcos and mobile accounts in business names is that they require full evidence of ownership or authority for the simplest of tasks. There are GST implications for the providers who usually identify business accounts and charges separately. iiNet may not have been as particular when you set up your original service. There are also strict requirements imposed on the Telcos to assure the identity and ownership of a service. (A bit if joke when it’s so easy for OS callers to obtain local mobile numbers or spoof caller ID’s.)

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What the telco’s don’t want you to know you wont find out here. It is a closed door discussion on revenue raising. Any public listed telco on stock exchange relies on dividend result. The consumer gets nothing from that unless it has a share portfolio tuned to telco revinue.

Arguing the validity of prices and what you get is not really useful.

Covid or not it is allways a neccessity to increase the grid cap enginerring as it grows it does not diminish or reduce relevance a society has transitioned into its infrastructure.

Humans create stuff and some of it changes how we work,live and play. The NBN is just part of what we all are and we adjust based on the value we get from services the NBN provides.

All that was before the NBN is not dead or obsolete. It measures a part of how the NBN became a neccessity. The NBN will soon be similar in context it too will not meet market demand and another type of engineered brilliance will replace it.

It is to those who want value for money and need the internet.