29 February, 2024
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‘Unacceptably high’: Aussies are paying hundreds of dollars too much for their NBN plans


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Some Australians are paying up to three times more for the same broadband internet service, new analysis reveals, with potential savings of more than $1000 annually for those who switch.

Comparison website Mozo published figures this week that showed a 65 per cent gap between the cheapest and most expensive broadband deals on the market, with some people on a basic 25 gigabyte (GB) NBN plan paying hundreds of dollars more than others for the same services.

Even customers on a premium 5G home broadband deal could save as much as $490 a year by moving to a cheaper provider, Mozo spokesperson Kylie Moss said.

“Don’t think that the best way to reduce your broadband cost is to reduce the speed of your broadband,” Ms Moss said.

“We found that customers on slower speed plans have the most to benefit from shopping around.”

Paying too much

Mozo analysed 79 different broadband providers, finding that a customer on the most expensive 25 GB NBN plan on the market could save $1074 over 12 months switching to the cheapest.

Using the same scenario, someone with a 5G broadband plan could save up to $490, they said.

“It is outrageous that some people could be paying three times as much for the same service,” Ms Moss said.

“We urge Aussies to drop the set and forget mentality and hunt down a better deal that will suit your home internet needs as well as your budget.”

It’s a particularly good time to assess your internet bill because NBN Co. is preparing to hike its wholesale prices by almost 8 per cent over two years from 2024, according to a roadmap published by the taxpayer owned corporation earlier this month.

Those increases, which large internet retailers have already warned will be passed on to families, will be particularly steep for those who are already paying more than they need to.

RMIT Associate Professor Mark Gregory said the price increases were “disappointing” given prices for broadband in Australia are already high by international standards.

But it could have been worse, with the ACCC rejecting previous price hike bids from the NBN over the past year.

“The reality is the starting point [for price increases] should be much lower,” Dr Gregory said.

“Consumers shouldn’t be faced with broadband prices that are unacceptably high.”

Mozo said those searching for cheaper internet should consider small providers, which are offering better value services than big players like Telstra, Optus and TPG.

Smaller providers cheaper

In fact, smaller providers analysed by the firm – taking into account set-up costs, monthly charges and introductory discounts – were found to have much cheaper deals across the board.

This includes Tangerine Telecom, which had the best value 25 GB standard NBN plan, and Spintel, which was found to have the best value 50 GB deal on the market.

“While you might not have heard of some of these smaller broadband providers, it really does pay to look past the well-known names and seek out those offering potential savings,” Ms Moss said.

Dr Gregory said a larger number of customers are moving away from big internet providers.

“This is the ‘lazy tax’,” he said. “People believe big companies have better performance but what we’re seeing now is people are voting with their hip pockets.

“Every quarter we see the number of people shifting away from the big players growing.”

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