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Will new NBN rules finally mean cheaper high-speed internet?

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NBN Co proposes major changes to its rules. How will that affect what you pay?

NBN Co looks to make higher-speed internet more accessible, with plans to drop the wholesale prices of some of its fastest plans to try to attract more customers.

Internet providers such as TPG, Optus and Telstra will be relieved to hear this. They've argued time and again that the NBN's current pricing structure makes it difficult to predict costs on their end and means consumers pay too much.

What does the NBN's new proposal mean for households?

It remains to be seen if households will reap the benefits of the reduced wholesale prices.

Wholesale pricing is what your internet provider pays to access internet bandwidth from the NBN. Your internet provider is the middleman and, in theory, should pass on any savings to you as the end user.

Here are some key changes addressed in the NBN's revised Special Access Undertaking (SAU) discussion paper:

  • NBN will continue its commitment to remove CVC pricing, which is a charge service that providers pay to cover the amount of bandwidth they provide to their customers.
  • Instead, it will introduce AVC-only pricing for NBN Home Fast (100Mbps) and any speed tier above it. This is a fixed monthly charge on a per-user basis and comes with a specific bandwidth allocation for each home. This will happen by 1 July 2023.
  • NBN is willing to gradually reduce excess capacity fees for internet providers when data use goes above the monthly allowance they had initially bought from the NBN.
  • Consumers and businesses will still need to bear a yearly price increase due to inflation.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will need to once again review the revised proposal and get back to the NBN.

"We appreciate that retailers want price certainty, and this proposal provides for that. We believe that it is in the entire industry's best interests," said NBN Co chief executive officer Stephen Rue in a media release.

We are proposing further reductions in wholesale pricing while also seeking to ensure we remain financially resourced to invest in upgrades to the network for both speed and reliability.

"Central to our ongoing discussions with the government, ACCC, retailers and other key stakeholders is the need to meet the growing broadband access needs of end customers, at a fair price, over the long term."

We'll update this piece with more details as they come to light.

Looking for fast internet at a good price? Check out this month's best NBN plans.

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