NBN Co has responded to calls from retailers to slash the price of access to the network in order to boost broadband speeds and reduce customer costs.
The company in charge of building the national broadband network says it will reduce the cost of its top-tier internet access plans in a bid to convince retailers to buy more bandwidth, which could improve speeds and services for consumers.
Under the current model, retailers buy access and bandwidth separately but access and bandwidth charges will be bundled together for higher speed plans after the changes.
This will allow retailers to buy more bandwidth at a cheaper price and will also reduce the costs of higher speed plans.
Retailers have previously criticised NBN Co’s broadband pricing for being too expensive, saying the costs were limiting the industry’s ability to provide faster speeds to customers.
Vodafone Australia’s general manager of fixed broadband Matthew Lobb welcomed NBN Co’s proposed pricing changes and said the telco will now need to review its NBN plans.
‘Unfortunately, the current pricing structure was a lot like driving with the handbrake on as it limited the ability for industry to sell faster speeds,’ Mr Lobb said.
‘By bundling… the pricing restructure removes a lot of the risk for retailers around the faster speed tiers.’
The new options will come into effect in the second quarter of 2018, and will give those using NBN’s lower speed packages the opportunity to receive faster internet once they are upgraded by their retailer.
It is also expected to result in significant savings for NBN users, who under the current deal are forced to pay more when retailers purchase additional bandwidth.
NBN Co said it has been in consultation with retailers over pricing in the past six months, and will continue to consider refining how it offers and manages bandwidth over bundled services.