Top internet providers ask NBN Co for better pandemic relief

Utility pole with phone lines

Australia’s top five internet service providers have again banded together to request greater financial relief from NBN Co. The bosses of each provider have joined forces to pen an open letter to NBN Co and the Minister for Communications, labelling their current relief package as inadequate. 

For the second time in just a matter of months, the top five internet service providers in Australia are taking a stand over NBN Co’s COVID-19 relief options as they face greater costs to keep users connected. 

The providers argue NBN Co is making substantial profits with the pandemic forcing more customers online, but has thus far failed to adequately support the additional usage charges incurred by providers. 

While NBN Co has provided rebates to the service providers, including cancelling some of the extra CVC charges incurred, the providers contend they’re still being left with costs that aren’t sustainable. 

“The wholesale costs borne by all retail service providers continue to increase month after month at an unmanageable rate and, without further action by NBN Co, this will ultimately result in poor consumer outcomes,” the statement from the providers reads. 

The open letter goes on to state that a more appropriate rebate scheme would “protect consumers from higher prices and/or a lower quality service”, implying a further lack of support could see costs begin to trickle down to customers. 

While July saw the providers speak out against the current relief packages offered by NBN Co, earlier this month the providers again banded together to complain about the current pricing model to the ACCC. 

The relationship between NBN Co and its service providers seems fractured on a number of fronts. While the top service providers continue to argue NBN Co is making far too much money per customer, the wholesaler contends it is falling short of recovering costs. 

NBN Co says it has paid providers over $100 million in support since the pandemic began, however the company still refuses to release any detailed financial information.

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Last updated 13 July 2024