/>
X

Next G 'competitively priced', says govt

The Federal Government yesterday labelled Telstra's Next G service "metro-comparable" and "competitively priced", meaning no subsidy would be offered to other providers under the Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) in Next G mobile coverage areas from 1 July.
zd-defaultauthor-ben-grubb.jpg
Written by Ben Grubb on

The Federal Government yesterday labelled Telstra's Next G service "metro-comparable" and "competitively priced", meaning no subsidy would be offered to other providers under the Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) in Next G mobile coverage areas from 1 July.

Rural Landscape

(Rural driveway image by
susan, CC2.0)

"This means that other [internet service providers] can no longer claim the ABG subsidy for new customers in these areas, as there is now a 'metro-comparable' service available to consumers," Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's office told ZDNet Australia yesterday afternoon.

Registered wireless providers would continue to receive the subsidy for eligible new customers within their existing service areas for a further year, the office said.

Conroy's office said that the deeming of Telstra as a "metro-comparable" service provider followed the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) undertaking a "comprehensive, independent testing of the performance and coverage of the Next G network".

Now that Telstra's Next G services were found to be "metro-comparable" under the ABG in "most areas of the network", the minister's office said it had decided that from 1 July the program would "no longer subsidise new customer connections across these Next G service areas, except in areas beyond Telstra's handheld mobile coverage or in any black spots".

By making the Telstra Next G service "metro-comparable", the Federal Government is expected to show a saving in the ABG part of the Federal Budget tonight. The minister's office told ZDNet Australia that any adjustments to funding allocations would "be outlined in the Budget".

The minister also released new standards for the ABG yesterday, which would double minimum speed and quota requirements. "The department will now commence consultations with registered providers and key stakeholders on proposed changes to the program guidelines giving effect to these improvements," the minister's office said.

"Customers already on the program, wherever they live, will be offered the upgraded minimum threshold service within the same price cap as currently exists," Senator Conroy said in a statement.

ABG minimum requirements

New ABG minimum requirements
(Screenshot by Ben Grubb/ZDNet Australia)

Since the Federal Government renewed its funding in 2008, 59,000 households and small business premises have been assisted by the program, according to Conroy.

In March, ZDNet Australia revealed the government had reclaimed almost $1 million from two internet providers which allegedly misused ABG funding.

Related

A United Airlines pilot made a big speech to passengers. Not everyone will love it
screen-shot-2022-08-09-at-9-39-33-am.png

A United Airlines pilot made a big speech to passengers. Not everyone will love it

Business
Dear American Airlines customers, your pilot today is a United Airlines trainee
gettyimages-1155904758-american-airlines-dreamliner2.jpg

Dear American Airlines customers, your pilot today is a United Airlines trainee

Business
How to get Photoshop for free
photoshop free trial

How to get Photoshop for free

Photo & Video