The cost of the internet - price and speed - city vs regional

Internet Service Providers sell packaged broadband deals at set prices. Same price if you’re city or regional.
However, the speed (upload and download) is often significantly different. City people enjoying speeds closer to those the telcos advertise whereas many regional customers have speeds that struggle at the best of times.
Why should customers on sub standard systems have to pay the same amount as those on faster, more modern systems? This instantly creates imbalance and gives the city customers a much greater advantage, especially in business.
I believe there needs to be more balance here and that regional customers should receive a discounted service cost since they do not receive the same benefits on the same product that city customers enjoy.


Great suggestion @maxim. It is not only regional subscribers who get degraded service. We live about 800 meters from the exchange as the crow flies, and 1.4km by line length as measured Telstra technicians.
We are paying our ISP for ADSL2+, and only get ADSL1 speed with an extremely noisy line (as measured via our modem).The quality of the line degrades when it is stormy, and most particularly after heavy rain. The line quality also periodically deteriorates to the point where we lose our connection.

We have complained many times to Telstra (the landline provider) about the quality of the line. The response from Telstra is that it is within acceptable limits. There have also been a number of catastrophic failures resulting in complete loss of landlines to the neighbourhood which took weeks to repair.

So I agree with you; why do we have to pay full price to Telstra, and to the ISP for this substandard service?


I agree I find it very difficult to understand how Telstra can justify changing regional areas substantially more for a substandard service.

My Current provider advertises ADSL+2 on bundled phone plans for metro areas for $39.99 per month but for my area Megalong Valley in the Blue Mountains the charge is $69.99 and the max connection speed is around 4Mps.

Exetel advises that Telstra sets the wholesale price for accessing regional areas network and there is not much they can do about either the higher price or the sub standard quality of the lines. It leads one to think because Telstra have a monopoly on the infrastructure they can charge regional areas what they like.

1 Like

I am glad I am not the only one. Last night and the past few days the internet has been dreadful.

Like you we have an old exchange with copper wires. NBN will not arrive for years. For 26 years (that is when I moved here), cold weather the net drops out, rain the net doesn’t work. I often hot spot my phone to my PC in times of need.

Telstra are aware of the issue and yes I get credits on my account, though it is ongoing pain in the butt and there appears not end to it soon.

Why should I be paying the same for a poor quality.


Living in rural Victoria, still a town of 45,000 so not tiny, the speed is garbage,drops out, but, Telstra has a monopoly. As bad as their connection is, the others are worse, for both ADSL and mobile, despite their claims. Have tried iiNet, Optus, Vodaphone etc and ended up back with Telstra.

1 Like

Valid question. Service should be rated and charged accordingly. Why pay the same amount for ancient failing exchanges and Slow connections (or dropped ones) as brand new swift and efficient ones? Where else would you pay the same for crap? Pay Rockpool prices for McDonalds? Rolls Royce for Great Wall?


I just had Telstra taken off my house as their prices are so ridiculous and being on a pension I find I just can’t afford it any more and the speed of the internet is so slow it’s rubbish , so I’ve decided to just stick with my 4G with Telstra on my mobile phone , it’s still slow but it’s a damn sight cheaper for me . thank you .P.S I live up in far North Queensland so what can you expect when this government has deliberately pulled the plug on the NBN where I live and all I can say is thanks Turnbull for creating all these problems for us country folk , after all he was the minister for communications and he let every Australian down big time , so cheers .


In the Bega Valley (South East NSW) an independent business has set up a fixed wireless network that is well priced and good service. Even with Broadband fixed wireless (and some fibre–in the towns) now being rolled out locally, the local company (Splash Networks) is cheaper and better. I pay $80/month for unlimited bandwidth, and the speeds are pretty good (current is download: 13 Mbps upload 20 Mbps). It slows down a bit during peak times (Saturday night). I know it’s not as fast as FTTH, but in country areas we were never going to get that. Most of will get fixed wireless.

I suspect there’s an opening in many rural/regional locations for similar independent providers.

1 Like

Regional customers cost more to connect and provide the service too. Its the old city subsidises regional debate hence everyone pays the same. Same with low usage users subsidise high usage. Its all averaged out so everyone pays the same.

Weather and maintenance are issue for the city customers as well. (along with congestion).

As long as copper technology is used the laws of physics means the further you live from the distribution point the slower the maximum speed of your service will be. So that does disadvantage regional users and the only way to solve that is with fibre which is now at least 20+ years away so a moot point.

1 Like

@matsp003, you beat me to it and agree it is about user pays.

In the city the telcos have exchanges with more connections and higher connection density outside the exchange - cheaper service costs. The exchange to router distance is also shorter, cheaper to maintain and speeds are faster. In reality, the cost of city connections are far less and city folk are possibly paying more than they should in a true user pays environment so that their country coudins can enjoy cheaper service provision. Consumers closer to exchanges should also in theory pay less than thise further away.

Also, if one uses data cost model rather than connection cost, it is possible that city folk may use similar amount of data to those in the country, even if it comes in faster in the city.

If city customers are having problems too then you can appreciate our woes and all the more reason to adopt a combined front on this.

If the option for faster connections were available in regional areas then people would pay for them. But it’s not about service, it’s about numbers and how those numbers equate to profit.

An enormous amount of money is swallowed up by the telcos every year and what have they done with it?
Slow internet connections create disadvantage in business, education and personal development.
Massive roads are built up and down the country… where are the fibre trunks?

It’s data pumping through lines that will continue to be needed for the foreseeable future. There is no end to the future income the telcos can reap for this so it seems like a pretty sound investment.

User Pays… great! Pay for what you use and make all connections fast… seems fair to me and we’re definitely going to need a lot of bandwidth soon as we move more and more of our lives online.

1 Like

Yes, I am hoping that the Government, having appointed the ACCC as the overseer and protector of consumers, will act and protect us from this internet rip-off. We were advised the NBN was now available at our doorstep, however, to get the same speed as my son in Melbourne already has, we have to pay $20 per month. It is amazing that our PM, who was the Minister for Technology, prior to having the top job land in his lap, is having another lap of judgement.

Would you be happy to pay say 2-3x times what you do now just for your current connection though (maybe even more)? in a user pays model that is more likely what you’ll get lumbered with the cost won’t go down for regional area’s.

RSP’s would likely ignore ~40% of Australian population if they weren’t (cross)subsidised and the like.

That was kind of the whole point of the NBN 93% fibre coverage and level the playing field (with hopes of extending the % once profits were made) and take distance out of the equation.

ACCC are more than partly responsible currently too, I doubt they’ll do much more than ensure prices don’t go up for ADSL :confused:

Hi, I live 50 kilometres west of Coffs Harbour and thanks to the NBN I get speeds of 24 mps downloads and uploads of just under 5 mps. This is on NBN Wireless. I pay $49.00 a month for 100 gigabytes. I can upgrade to 50 mps if I want to, but I can’t see any reason as the speeds I am getting are quiet sufficient for streaming. I find the service very reliable and am very thankful for the foresight of the previous government…that’s Labour.
When I talk to friend in the city they are very envious.

I live in rural Qld and can not access ADSL so rely on satelite connection. I cost me $169 a month for 25gb. Its ridiculous as soon as my kids come home from boarding school or uni due to having to do work at home we tend to go over the data usage very quickly which can cost me up to $300-$400 as soon as they go over. Our connection is crap our speed is crap but I can’t get anything better.

Im presently with Telstra, now they are amazing. They have a calendar with a ‘0’ day in the usage cycle. When counting down the days remaining, when getting to 1 & expecting to get renewed at the end of the day you receive a ‘0’ day. I have never seen a calendar with a ‘0’ day included. The response was literally, illiterate. Made no sense in this world. Then to my amazement they suddenly added an extra day. My usage period went from 28 days to 29 with no explanation. So now I have to endure an extra 2 days which includes a magical nothing day that lasts for 1 day. Amazing. I did again write to them for showing this new accounting system, that basically says dumb customer. This was after they signed me up with mine & the representative signature as well, then nothing. I had to chase them to find out as to why, again dumb customer. The ombudsman is another joke!