Millions of Aussies to be slugged with higher internet bills – what it means for you

In a recent development, millions of Australians are set to experience an increase in their internet bills due to a hike in wholesale pricing for residential NBN plans, effective from July 1, 2024. This price rise will be passed on to households by major telecommunications companies, including Telstra, Optus, Aussie Broadband, Dodo, Superloop, iPrimus, and Exetel.

The cost of the more commonly used NBN 25 Mbps and NBN 50 Mbps plans is expected to increase by approximately $5 per month. This increase comes less than a year after a similar hike, which has resulted in a total rise of between 10 and 13 percent since October 2023. Notably, the standard NBN 50 Mbps plan offered by Telstra will increase from $100 to $105 per month, surpassing the $100 mark for the first time.

On the contrary, some more expensive and faster plans, such as NBN 250 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps, are expected to decrease in price. For instance, Telstra’s NBN 1000 Mbps plan may drop by $20 per month.

The federal government has been criticized for the price increase, with Shadow Communications spokesman David Coleman stating that the Albanese Government is ‘completely out of touch with the cost of living pain that families are going through.’ However, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has defended the government, arguing that wholesale prices for the cheapest NBN plans are cheaper today than they were 12 months ago.

Over the next four years, the NBN is expected to receive a $2.4 billion funding boost from the Albanese government, with privatisation not being an option. Joel Gibson from telco comparison site suggested that NBN Co is trying to incentivize Australians to opt for higher internet speeds, but these higher speeds may not be necessary for a typical four-person household, as a Standard NBN 50 plan is sufficient. The ACCC’s ‘Netflix test’ has found that 99 percent of Standard NBN plans can stream Netflix in HD on 4 screens simultaneously.

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