New rules approved: Is your NBN internet plan about to go up in price?
After months of back and forth, new regulations will soon change the NBN's pricing model - and for some consumers it might be for the best.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted NBN Co's latest proposed variation to its Special Access Undertaking (SAU), which will affect the price of NBN plans.
According to NBN Co, the SAU will deliver a new approach to wholesale pricing, supporting faster internet speeds, greater data demand and improved cost certainty for households.
What are the rule changes for NBN plans and pricing?
While there's a lot of jargon to wade through, some of the key things to note are:
- A restriction on any annual increase in NBN Co's average wholesale price to no more than the change in the consumer price index.
- A new basic voice and data service will be offered at about half the price of NBN Co's existing entry level broadband offer.
- Wholesale prices for 25Mbps and 100Mbps or faster speed services will also be reduced.
- There will be a small increase in the wholesale price for the 50Mbps speed service.
Who will be affected and how much will it cost?
This new pricing structure will affect a lot of the population, with changes seem to be geared towards moving people onto higher speed NBN plans as internet use increases.
The ACCC reports that 44.2% of Australians have an NBN 50 plan.
Although the most popular of NBN plans, it has been slowly falling out of favour.
So anyone on that speed tier is likely to see a price increase from their provider if they haven't already.
But NBN Co has been encouraging people to sign up for fibre upgrades to access speed tiers of NBN 100 or above.
- Keep in mind: According to Finder's database, the average cost of an NBN 25 plan is around $66 a month, NBN 50 is $76 a month while NBN 100 is $95 a month.
"Maybe a couple of years back this proposition would have made us all just a little mad," Finder's Utilities editor Mariam Gabaji said.
"NBN 50 has been the tier of choice for many Aussies for a while now, but there's definitely been a shift.
"People are either looking to move down speed tiers to save money or move up to faster speeds to have a better work from home environment and take advantage of all the home tech that requires a Wi-Fi connection.
"The latter also complements NBN Co's fibre upgrades, which can only be triggered if eligible households sign up to one of the faster speed tiers."
It will be up to each NBN provider to decide how much they charge, but if these changes affect you, you can check out our guide to cheap internet plans.
When will prices of NBN plans change?
The changes to the NBN's pricing have been going on for a long time, with changes first proposed nearly 18 months ago.
But as NBN providers have known for a while about the impending changes, some such as Telstra and Optus have already changed their prices to reflect this.
NBN Co is aiming to implement the new wholesale prices and products from 1 December 2023.
That means we could expect more price changes to NBN plans to kick in soon after.
"The new pricing arrangements will result in greater price stability, keeping prices in line with inflation and protecting consumers from unexpected sharp price hikes," ACCC commissioner Anna Brakey says.
"This will deliver greater cost certainty to retailers and significant long-term cost savings for customers than would otherwise be the case under our current wholesale price structure," Jane van Beelen, chief regulatory affairs officer at NBN Co says.
Looking for fast internet at a good price? Check out this month's best NBN plans.