NBN to cost more in regional Australia: Internode

By William Maher on Jul 22, 2011 8:19 AM
Filed under Communications

Backhaul costs are a concern.

For some people the NBN is the promise of super fast broadband, and possibly, if you can afford it, massive download quotas. For others, it's more simply the ability to get a reliable, fast Internet connection that doesn't cost the Earth.

It's not exactly reassuring then, to read warnings by the head of one of the ISPs currently involved in the NBN trials, that regional users might end up paying more.
 
The comments come from Internode managing director Simon Hackett, a critic of the way the NBN is being structured. The cost of the "backhaul" connections between different access sites, as well as the way the network will be structured, means regional users could face higher prices he argues.
 
"Unless the government decides to take the initiative here … regional consumers are likely to pay more for their Internet access than they otherwise could," Hackett states on his blog.
 
"The costs to reach POI’s that are more distant will be higher than the costs to reach POI’s distributed within a major capital city area. That means that it’ll cost more to service a regional customer."

"Higher regional costs will naturally flow through to regionally specific higher retail pricing for consumers."
 
All this, he argues, goes against the understanding that NBN retail prices will be uniform around the country.
 
Internode's NBN plans: how much you'll pay

Internode today also announced how much it plans to charge users for the NBN (beyond current "live trials"). An entry level plan will start at $59.95, and will include 30GB of data at a download speed of 12Mbps and upload speed of 1Mbps.
 
The fastest plan, with downloads at 100Mbps and uploads at 40Mbps, costs $99.95 with 30GB. For the same speeds with 1Terabyte of data, Internode plans to charge $189.95.
 
Below is a table of Internode's planned NBN prices. while it's tempting to compare If you take into account line rental, or Naked plans which remove line rental from the equation, the entry level NBN prices are very similar - at least at the slowest speed option.

Here is Internode's NBN pricing (table provided by Internode):

Name

Port Speed *

30 GB

200 GB

300 GB

1 TB

Bronze

12/1 Mbps

$59.95

$79.95

$99.95

$149.95

Silver

25/5 Mbps

$69.95

$89.95

$109.95

$159.95

Gold

50/20 Mbps

$79.95

$99.95

$119.95

$169.95

Platinum

100/40 Mbps

$99.95

$119.95

$139.95

$189.95

* Port speeds noted here are the nominal NBN access port speed only, and are not necessarily indicative of the Internet data transfer speeds the services will achieve in practice.

 
In fact, Internode has used the same pricing for its 12Mbps NBN plans as it currently offers for its Easy Naked ADSL2+, or Easy Bundle ADSL2+ plans.

We've seen a few reports comparing the entry level NBN prices above to Internode's entry level plans, such as the 5GB plan. Keep in mind that the cost of that 5GB Internode plan - $39.95 - is cheaper, but it's dependent on you also factoring in a monthly phone service on top.
 
Other points of interest: users will be able to get an analogue voice line as part of the bundle, instead of VOIP. Uploads and downloads will be counted towards monthly usage, and users will be able to buy extra data blocks on demand.
 
NBN Co aims to connect 93% of Australian premises with fibre. The first trial services on the mainland were officially launched earlier this year in Armidale and four other locations. Satellite and wireless will be used to connect the 7% of premises not connected by fibre.
 
 
 
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