The Increasing Cost of Australia’s NBN

It is a well-known fact that Australia has around the 6th most expensive I.S.P costs in the world and the land down under sits well under on the list of world internet speed. Currently sitting 51st  for internet speed we are the lowest first world score for that pre-mentioned eye watering high price tag. Now the cost of our internet is not on the government (directly) It’s on the I.S.P

This is because of the few companies that have stakes in selling internet services. This is the part most people don’t understand; while Australia has over 150 + I.S.P. companies Telstra still have a monopoly over the country as they own and/or part own 8 of the submarine internet cables connecting the country to the remaining world. That -DATA?!- is then sold off to the remaining I.S.P’s or handed down to child and sibling countries. With Google, Vodafone and Optus part owning some of the remaining infrastructure.

As mentioned in the previous installation of the NBN train wreck pieces, the National Broadband Network is not a Telco but an infrastructure NETWORK, which is partly why the plans went ahead to begin with. Back in 2006-2009 when the network was first proposed, the governing parties in play first looked to the privately owned I.S.P to build this network. Which would of course allow one company to hold this said monopoly over the other businesses and cost of Australian internet. Telstra was the first to “bid” for a chance to build the infrastructure, with Optus choosing to create a somewhat partnership known as a consortium, with companies Internode Systems, iiNet, Macquarie Telecom, Primus, TransACT,  Soul,  Powertel and AAPT. Which thwarted Telstra’s bid, and left the government to reconsider this decision. This was the time the company NBN.co was created as a private-public firm

The initial predicted cost and time of NBN.co to plan, and implement the Fibre network was around 26 billion AUD and around 5 years to start (2014) and 7 years to finish (2016). However so far, the NBN planning and roll out has cost a recent estimate of over $50 billion AUD – that’s TWICE the amount the public was told it would cost.  not to mention the promise of the install being complete in 2016. (she writes in October 2017). NBN.co and the Governments plans have failed MASSIVELY on both the time and cost of the entire project. 50 MILLION tax payer’s dollars, also take into consideration that for the NBN to be considered successful according to CEO Bill Morrow the company nbn.co must make a profit, after repaying government loans and returning the government’s investment through dividends. And as stats prove for the time being this is unlikely to happen, with the current use of mobile data and the speed of the current 4G network (not to mention tech companies are looking to roll out for a faster & stronger 5g network).

“There were 13.7 million internet subscribers in Australia at the end of June 2017. This is an increase of 2.1% from the end of December 2016. Fibre connections grew by 49.8% in the six months between December 2016 and June 2017. There were 2.1 million fibre connections in June 2017, an increase of 123.3% for the year between June 2016 and June 2017." According the bureau of statistics

Consumers were led to believe they could access broadband speeds of between 12-25 MBS for the same price they were paying for a pre-NBN service of 5 MBS. what they were not told is those speed come down to a somewhat lottery of cabling infrastructure that is pre-existing in your neighbourhood. Through NBN.co there is potentially 6 different connection types, with each of them capable of different speeds. To ensure you get the faster connection you can privately pay to have that connection type run directly to your house, and sometimes this may require though the streets. With the latest reports showing residents in Tasmania spent $91,196 for a single home. on the nbn.co website it directly states that to have this type of connection run it can be costly from $1000 to tens of thousands to secure your fastest option connection. Keeping in mind this is just the installation fee thought NBN.co, those poor residents then approach their I.S.P and pay a further inflated cost to secure a faster speed package the program says it will review the $49 billion NBN project as it passes the halfway mark of the broadband rollout. This comment comes as they announce to switch from FTTP to FTTC to lower costs

The next NBN feature installments will continue about the type of connections and potential speed, click here to keep reading…

Stacey Friswell
Article Author

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