There is much debate about how much it will actually cost to run once the NBN is installed. However, thanks to trials in Tasmania, the government can estimate that pricing will be very competitive with the market. Wholesale pricing will begin at $20-30 per month for internet only and $30-35 per month for internet and phone packages. It must be remembered that this is for the most basic data packages. If people wish to upgrade to higher data packages, it will cost anywhere between $30 and $139.95 per month depending on the range of speed and data you prefer. (Considering Telstra’s current average internet cost of $24.44 per month however, the median rate of $20-30 per month is more than favorable.) In Tasmania, where the program was trialed, the first offers of NBN subscriptions are beginning to surface. Popular broadband network provider, Internode, has unveiled a $29.95 a month plan, with 15 gigabytes of data and a super fast 25 megabit (or over three megabytes per second).
However, another viewpoint is offered that the expense will be far higher. In a recent interview with Connected Home Technology, Chief Executive officer of The National Electrical and Communications Association, Mr James Tinslay, said “Residents will need to consider what technology they wish to embrace when the NBN reaches their front gate and it is very likely that many households will need to be retrofitted with new cables, wiring and outlets to access new services. A standard retrofit may cost anywhere up to $3000 and even more for a top of the line system. However, the big unknown at this stage is what the cost will be for getting fibre optic cables from your front gate into your living room.”
How much will it cost the nation?
The biggest issue for many people is of course the price. Whichever way you look at it, a job this large is going to cost a large amount of money. The cost of the project is estimated at about $43 billion Australian, a figure which Australian taxpayers will foot the bill for a little less than half ($26 billion). The balance is expected to be paid by telecommunication companies.
Do you have to pay?
To dispel a popular myth, unlike the rollout of digital television the implementation of High Speed Broadband will not be mandatory. Therefore the only effect it will have on any individual is for those wishing to participate in the Broadband rollout. However, it is likely there may be a tax increase to pay for the NBN. There are plans being muted to sell the network to return public funds in 15 years.