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Finder to the Node: Budget cuts regional NBN subsidies, Vocus cuts NBN Basic plans


Lower subsidies and the start of the death of basic NBN plans in our round-up of the week's NBN news.

NBN regional subsidy slashed in 2019 Budget

The Federal Budget this week didn't contain a lot of NBN-specific detail, which makes sense when you consider that the whole project is meant to be off-budget anyway, but there were a few funding changes proposed.

As ZDNet reports, the subsidy charge that's in place to help fund the satellite and fixed wireless portions of the NBN rollout will see a reduction from $10 per month down to just $7.10 per month in the new budget. Going forwards, the subsidy charge will be linked to the CPI.

The Federal Government will also expand its $20 billion loan to NBN Co out to June 2024, while allowing the government owned entity to seek an additional $2 billion in private sector debt.

469 missed NBN appointments per day

If you're waiting for an NBN connection to get hooked up, you're typically looking at a day off work while you wait for the technician to show up, plus however long the actual cabling and installation process takes. Depending on the type of connection and the complexity of the actual location of your premises, that can be a slow process – if the technician actually turns up at all.

As ITNews reports, NBN Co's latest figures on missed appointments suggest that 469 technicians per day over the period between 1 July 2018 and 20 Feburary 2019 missed their appointment windows. Of those 469, 150 did turn up outside the appointed time to complete works. That leaves 319 people with no technician, and no NBN connection either.

Basic NBN plans start to vanish

The removal of discounts on basic NBN services – those plans offering a rudimentary 12/1Mbps connection – is already starting to hit the market, with ITNews reporting that Vocus, owner of the iPrimus and Dodo brands, has pulled its 12/1Mbps plans from the market.

If you're on an existing basic NBN plan, the removal of the discount by NBN Co will most likely mean a price hike once your contract concludes, either in a rise to make up the discount difference, or as is the case now with Dodo and iPrimus, shifting up to a Standard NBN plan tier. TPG has already signalled that it may also drop its basic NBN plans, so it seems unlikely that only the Vocus brands will go down this path.

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Finder to the Node is a weekly round-up of all the latest news surrounding Australia's complex National Broadband Network.

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