A basic 12 megabit per second (Mbps) connection on the National Broadband Network will cost telecommunications wholesalers $24 per month, according to the business plan released today, although the plan could only estimate retail pricing.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the press conference in Canberra this morning(Screenshot by Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)
The details were revealed in the NBN Co three-year corporate plan released by the Federal Government earlier today. Under the pricing model, a basic service of 12Mbps downlink and 1Mbps uplink for either fibre, wireless or satellite connectivity will cost retail service providers $24 per month.
Pricing for higher speeds available on fibre was also included in the document, with the maximum downlink speed of 1 gigabit per second priced at $150 per month for wholesale providers.
The document makes comparisons between NBN wholesale pricing and that available for domestic ADSL, fibre and wireless broadband.
The company said in the plan that access seekers could find lower prices on the National Broadband Network for similar speeds and download products. Comparing NBN pricing to international wholesale pricing, the plan found that pricing for the NBN was "in line" with current international pricing.
At a press conference this morning, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said it would be difficult to compare the wholesale prices with what is on offer from the NBN.
(Credit: NBN Co)
"There isn't a national uniform wholesale price to compare it," he said. "This isn't an apples-with- apples comparison."
The document stated that prices are expected to go down over time. And Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that the government also would expect prices to be reduced.
"The NBN has factored in wholesale prices coming down over time in real and nominal terms," she said.
Although basic wholesale pricing is now known, there is no certainty about what retail service providers might offer to consumers on the NBN. An additional charge of around $1 per user was estimated in backhaul costs for service providers to bring services from the NBN points of interconnect to the consumer.
Although there were no set download limits mentioned in the document, it did estimate that a basic 12Mbps downlink/1Mbps uplink plan on the NBN with a 50GB download limit would cost around $56 while a customer on a 50Mbps downlink/20Mbps uplink service would expect to pay around $81 for 500GB of downloads per month.
Conroy was at pains to state at the conference that the new powers granted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as part of the telco reform legislation would ensure uniform pricing in Australia. Gillard said that competition would be key to ensuring low retail prices on the NBN.
"Retail prices will be set by the retail market, but it's just a golden rule that the more competition you have the better the prices," Gillard said.
For Twisted Wire this week, Phil Dobbie will be looking at the NBN Corporate Plan released today. Do you have any thoughts you'd like to share? If so, call 02 8006 1257 anytime between now and lunchtime tomorrow (Tuesday, 21 December), leave your name and record your message. It'll be included in this week's podcast, which is coming out a day early (on Wednesday).