Aussies are being urged to shop around for better value on their NBN plan, as more than 5 million households brace for internet price hikes.
Telstra, Optus, Foxtel and Aussie Broadband have announced price increases to their lower-speed 25 Mbps and 50 Mbps NBN plans.
The increases mean households will be forking out an extra $60 to $120 per year on their standard and basic NBN plans.
The price hikes are the result of the National Broadband Network’s new pricing agreements, which kick in from December 1 and were approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The changes mean the wholesale prices for some NBN speed tiers will reduce, while others will increase. For instance, the wholesale 100 Mbps and 25 Mbps speed tiers will decrease, while the 50 Mbps speed tier - which is the most popular among households - will increase.
The actual prices paid by households are still set by telcos, but the ACCC said there were a range of deals on offer.
“It has never been more important for consumers to compare prices between retailers to make sure they are getting a deal that represents good value for them,” ACCC commissioner Anna Brakey said.
The ACCC warned that retailers could push customers to take up more expensive, higher-speed plans they didn’t need. It told retailers they needed to be “up front and honest” with customers about the price changes.
“Less expensive, 25-Mbps-speed plans allow households to access most online applications, including high-definition streaming applications. Depending on the number of people online at the same time, many households could find that a 25 Mbps plan offers good value for them,” Brakey said.
‘Don’t cop it on the chin’
Money-saving expert Joel Gibson said there were still ways Aussies could take back control.
"With energy bills up 25 per cent, insurance up 20 per cent and groceries up 10 per cent in a year, Aussie families need this like a hole in the head right now,” Gibson told Yahoo Finance.
"Internet is not a luxury in the year 2023: it's a necessity and this makes it harder to access for thousands of homes.
“But you don't have to just cop it on the chin - you do have options. Whether it's downgrading your speed or switching providers, or ditching the NBN in favour of 4G and 5G internet, there are ways to save as much as $300 a year.”
Gibson and comparison site WhistleOut offered the following four tips:
Switch: There is currently more than a $400-per-year difference between the cheapest and most expensive standard NBN plans.
Ditch the NBN: Many providers now offer home wireless broadband that uses the 4G and 5G networks from around $60 per month.
Downgrade your speed: Depending on your household’s internet needs, downgrading from a 50-Mbps to 25-Mbps plan may still offer you good value.
Upgrade only if you can afford it: The price difference between standard and fast NBN plans will now be smaller, so you may find faster speeds offer you better value for money.
How much are internet prices increasing?
Telstra’s basic 25 Mbps and essential 50 Mbps plans will both increase by $5 per month. Optus said some of its plans would go up by $5 per month for existing customers.
Aussie Broadband’s 12 Mbps, 25 Mbps and 50 Mbps plans will increase by $6 per month. Foxel’s 50 Mbps plan will increase by $10 per month.