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Govt guarantees pricing on NBN upgrades

The Labor Government has given a written commitment to regional Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor to keep uniform wholesale prices for high-speed services across fibre, wireless and satellite on the National Broadband Network as soon as future upgrades increase speeds on the latter two technologies.

The Labor Government has given a written commitment to regional Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor to keep uniform wholesale prices for high-speed services across fibre, wireless and satellite on the National Broadband Network as soon as future upgrades increase speeds on the latter two technologies.

Government amendments to NBN legislation circulated last week specified that while the basic 12Mbps package on the NBN would be the same $24 wholesale price on fibre, satellite and wireless, the prices for higher speeds would not be the same between the technologies.

There was speculation late last week that the two Independent MPs, who helped the Labor party form a minority government, would today seek amendments to key NBN legislation being debated. However, Oakeshott has told the parliament that he has been given written assurance from the government that this issue has been addressed.

"The statement of expectations clearly sets out the agreement and expectations for uniform pricing that NBN Co will upgrade services over time and demonstrate that the functionality and performance of its services is meeting demand and supporting innovation across all technology platforms," he said. "What that means in practice [is] as higher speeds are operationally feasible it is intended that they will be offered at uniform national wholesale prices."

"Again, that is a commitment we now have in writing, I think it's going to be mentioned in speeches by government."

The Coalition will attempt to introduce an amendment ensuring equal pricing for all speeds regardless of technology, Shadow Regional Communications Minister Luke Hartsuyker told the parliament. Oakeshott said he would consider all the Coalition amendments on the Bills once introduced.