MEDIA RELEASE - AUSTRALIA RANKS LAST OUT OF 36 OECD COUNTRIES ON ENTRY LEVEL BROADBAND AFFORDABILITY - 28 AUGUST 2019

Australia has ranked last out of 36 OECD countries on entry level fixed-broadband affordability, according to Point Topic data, Quarter 2 2019, compiled by the Parliamentary Library.

This concerning development follows scathing assessments by Infrastructure Australia and the ACCC Chairman about the multi-technology mix and its entry level pricing.
 
In August an Infrastructure Australia audit observed:
 

“The technology mix for the NBN has diversified, meaning different users will receive different types of connections. This change will deliver varied outcomes for users, and some may shoulder higher costs or receive lower-quality services.” (p. 588).

 
And in May the ACCC Chairman stated in a speech:
 

“Under the new pricing, the cost of accessing the NBN to supply a 12 megabit service has increased substantially and is now, amazingly, close to the cost to supply a 50 megabit service, with this gap likely to narrow further.”

 
The irony of these failures is it has left NBNCo feeling it has no choice but to desperately scour the country for large enterprises to connect with fibre, in order to mitigate the structural damage to its cash flow caused by the reliance on ageing copper and HFC.
 
An example of this is the $200 million NBNCo expects to incur on HFC maintenance capital in FY22. This amounts to nearly $8.30 per month for every active HFC user.
 
Given the concerns of the ACCC, consumer groups, and this recent Point Topic data, ensuring entry-level broadband prices are affordable should be a priority.
 
It’s time the Government stopped playing the role of a disingenuous bystander that is conveniently uninterested in the problems they have created, and instead demonstrated some leadership in addressing these challenges.
 

OECD countries: Australia’s ranking for entry level fixed broadband prices, Quarter 2, 2019

Source: Point Topic data, Communications Day Newsletter, page 3, 8 August 2019, compiled by Parliamentary Library

 

Country

OECD Entry level tariff Rank

Japan

1

Sweden

2

Korea, Republic of

3

Estonia

4

Lithuania

5

United States

6

United Kingdom

7

Slovak Republic

8

Poland

9

Israel

10

Czech Republic

11

Denmark

12

Finland

13

France

14

Germany

15

Norway

16

Canada

17

Netherlands

18

Austria

19

Belgium

20

Turkey

21

New Zealand

22

Iceland

23

Greece

24

Hungary

25

Portugal

26

Latvia

27

Spain

28

Ireland

29

Italy

30

Mexico

31

Switzerland

32

Slovenia

33

Chile

34

Luxembourg

35

Australia

36

 

WEDNESDAY, 28 AUGUST 2019

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