NBN to consult industry on wholesale pricing

NBN will release an industry-wide wholesale pricing review consultation paper to some 50 retail service providers selling NBN plans to residential and business customers, and special interest groups such as ACCAN.

According to NBN, the consultation paper will seek industry feedback on a number of areas including improving customer experience with the right pricing; promoting the take-up of NBN services by under-serviced segments such as low-income earners, renters, or older Australians; and developing a sustainable business model that will enable NBN to continue to upgrade and maintain its network.

NBN general manager for commercial Ken Wallis told Telecom Times this consultation follows on from the company’s first industry consultation in 2017, which he claimed saw “some really good” outcomes.

We’ve been preparing for this consultation for some time. It’s a natural stage for us to do this consultation because the current discounts and the notice of the bundles run out in May 2020,” he said.

We want to provide plenty of lead time [to our RSPs], undergo the consultation now, take into account industry views, reach a final view and execute on that.”

Wallis confirmed the consultation will also seek industry view on the processes around how NBN makes changes to its prices – an area that has drawn criticism from RSPs recently.

RSPs will have the next five weeks to provide their feedback for the initial consultation paper. Following this, NBN plans to release a second consultation paper in August that will feature proposals developed based on initial feedback before publishing a final paper in November.

At the same time, NBN has also announced it will lift data capacity inclusion for its Bundle 100 from from 2.5Mbps to 3Mbps from September 2019, while keeping cost unchanged at $65.

NBN Co is also extending its existing dimension-based discounts for RSPs until 30 June 2020.

Wallis said the tactical changes would help RSPs provide a better customer experience and give them more certainty while consultation is underway.

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