Millions of Aussies will soon be paying more for their internet, as some of the country’s biggest telcos hike the prices of their NBN plans.
Telstra, Optus, Aussie Broadband and Foxtel are among the internet providers that have announced price increases on their lower-speed NBN plans and reductions on some of their faster-speed plans, ahead of new wholesale prices kicking in.
More than 3.8 million Aussies have NBN 50 Mbps plans, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), accounting for 44 per cent of the market. Meanwhile, about 1.5 million Aussies currently have NBN 25 Mbps plans.
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Telstra’s basic (NBN 25) and essential (NBN 50) plans will both increase by $5 per month. Its ultimate plan (NBN 250) will decrease by $6 per month. These changes will kick in from November 1.
Optus said some of its plans will go up by $5 per month for existing customers.
Aussie Broadband’s NBN 12, 25 and 50 plans will increase by $6 per month. Customers on faster-speed plans of 100 and above will see their prices drop.
Earlier this month, Foxtel increased the price of its NBN 50 plan by $10 a month and its NBN 100 plan by $5 a month.
TPG is yet to announce any pricing changes at the time of writing.
Why are internet prices increasing?
The ACCC recently accepted the NBC Co’s special access undertaking (SAU) variation. This will deliver a new approach to NBN wholesale pricing and sets the rules for how providers access the NBN.
Under the new pricing structure, wholesale prices on all but one plan will be reduced from December. The biggest price cuts will be to its 12 Mbps and 25 Mbps plans of $10 and $9, while its 1000 Mbps plan will be reduced by $10.
The 50 Mbps plan will see a $5 wholesale price increase, however, the NBN will increase the included data by 40 per cent.
The SAU is supposed to protect Aussies from sharp price increases. It will cap any annual increase to average wholesale prices to no more than the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Aussies urged to look at internet plan
Aussies are currently spending $78 per month, on average, on their broadband plan, according to recent Finder data.
More than one in five (22 per cent) said they didn’t believe they were getting good value on their broadband plan, while 10 per cent were unhappy with their broadband speed. But, despite this, just 13 per cent had switched plans in the past six months.
Finder utilities expert Mariam Gabaji urged Aussies to start looking at their internet plan now and make sure their speed was up to scratch.
“I would say the best time to compare NBN plans would be in December when there will be a clearer picture of the prices for different NBN providers because, right now, the changes are still kicking in,” Gabaji told Yahoo Finance.
Gabaji said NBN’s new wholesale pricing meant faster internet speed plans would go down in price, while low-speed plans would face price hikes.
“The difference [in price] between an NBN 50 plan and an NBN 100 plan will be even smaller. NBN 50, which has normally been the most popular NBN speed tier for Aussies, will go up in price,” she said.
Gabaji also encouraged Aussies to take advantage of any discounts offered by NBN providers over the next few months.
“A lot of [providers] offer ‘bring your own modem’ options as well, so it’s even easier to switch NBN plans. Once you’ve done your comparison, it takes only a few minutes to switch NBN providers,” Gabaji said.