Jul 26, 2017

The huge problem with the NBN’s pricing that no one could see coming (except, you know, everyone did)

Those of us who have paid attention to the topic have long known that NBN's pricing model would lead to problems when people actually started connecting.

Josh Taylor — Journalist

Josh Taylor


There are no winners, only losers, out of the current debate over NBN's pricing model. Now that the national broadband network is available to about half of all Australian premises, Labor's chickens are coming home to roost for the Coalition government. 

The Australian and The Australian Financial Review have run stories over the past few weeks about how users aren't getting the download speeds on the NBN that they were promised -- not because of the multi-technology mix model used by the current government, but because it is too expensive.

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23 thoughts on “The huge problem with the NBN’s pricing that no one could see coming (except, you know, everyone did)

  1. old greybearded one

    Switch to mobile Josh. You are kidding mate. 110 bucks for 9.5GB???? Telstra 4G.

    1. electme

      I get 80G on a 4G modem for $120 from Telstra.

  2. Dog's Breakfast

    Fair enough Josh, it should always have been booked as a nation building piece of infrastructure rather than a commercial proposition, and in the end would have been cheaper and better and FTTP.

    On the other hand, it was done this way because of ideological neoliberal thinking that governments shouldn’t be involved in nation building or budget deficits, and accounting oddities which make a difference between where it shows in budget expenditure. All up a balls-up.

    The new comments sections needs to recognise paragraphs. Crikey contributors are learned enough to be able to contribute real value in the comments section. This just encourages pithy one-liners, which are fine but not at its best.

    1. Pamela

      Ideology may be the excuse which deterred them from a nation building project to produce new future technology but they are happy enough to throw billions of our money at a train line to cart old age coal.

  3. Dog's Breakfast

    OK, that one seemed to have recognised a paragraph, but only after the ‘read more’ is hit. Get rid of that shite.

    1. AR

      Why is the comment section again being mucked about, again – wot is it with tekkies that they just can’t leave well enough alone?
      After that strange beta(?) format on Monday, then semi reversion to the ‘norm’ but retaining the strange ‘notify‘ option of responses in general or specifically to ones own, now we, or at least I, am not receiving any notification of subsequent comments

  4. Con Carlyon

    I’ve had FTTP for a couple of years now. I get 100/40 Mbps plus all inclusive local and national calls Home phone for $115/month from Optus. No problems with getting speed I pay for whatsoever.

  5. leon knight

    Josh – how about some more detail from the cognoscenti like yourself on what would constitute a decent nation-building solution…seems to be many opportunities for the young unemployed in completing fibre to the home with decent speeds and tech back-up for problems.

  6. zut alors

    The danger in regarding this as nation-building infrastructure is that this version is a cock-up. And reflects poorly on the nation.

    If Rudd’s concept had been allowed to proceed without interference from the incompetent Abbott/Turnbull duo we would have a quality system unrolling.

    1. Marilyn J Shepherd

      I remember when I first signed up in 2002 I got dial up so slow it might as well have been a carrier pigeon and it was $30 a month for 500 mb.
      First ADSL incarnation was 256kb for 12 gig and cost $40 a month.
      In the NBN incarnation it’s unlimited at reliable 23-25 mbs, all phone calls included except mobile and 13 numbers for $80 a month

  7. Desmond Graham

    Hmmm! who was the Minister who was the architect of this debacle – ???
    if I recall it was one with the familiar sounding name of Malcolm TURNBULL.

  8. Camm

    The ACCC is also partly to blame. It forced NBN Co to increase the amount of Points-of-Interconnect from 9 to 120 (approx). Connectivity Virtual Circuit bandwidth (the primary problem here) has to be bought for each POI, meaning that its harder to aggregate your contention ratios.

    If NBN Co was serious, it should aggregate CVC pricing across multiple POI’s, it would alleviate current contention ratios without dramatically altering the pricing model.

    Personally, I think CVC is a load of bullshit, and instead there should just be higher port costs, and each port bought on a tiered rating, with lower priority tiers deprioritised if the network is at capacity, but thats just me.

  9. klewso

    Imagine someone running a business the way the NBN is run?

    1. Ben Smith

      You don’t need to imagine, it’s called Telstra.

  10. AR

    I have no understanding of the technical issues involved in this clusterfuck so shall merely comment of the reality – politics got us into this mess and politics will NOT get us out.
    Labor lost to a relentless bunch of NO merchants who only promised to stop/abolish/cease/shutdown etc – whatever, didn’t matter whether it was carbon abatement or NBN, the only promise was NO.
    Well, enough of the populace were stupid enough to vote for it and now the rest of us have to live with it.
    This omlette is already mixed, pity it’s turned out to be shit – whooda thunk it?

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