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NBN woes: Pricing model that's fit for purpose urged

The head of MyRepublic in Australia and New Zealand has challenged the NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow to give Australia an NBN pricing model that is fit for purpose.

Nicholas Demos said in a statement that the current pricing model had created the problems that Morrow was now trying solve with a consumer marketing campaign.

NBN Co announced on 28 July that it would be launching a campaign to answer what it calls "the nation's top questions" about the NBN.

Demos said that a recent announcement from NBN Co that it would review its current pricing model "is exactly what we need. We believe that the sooner it is changed, the better it will be for the RSP and the consumer experience".

“We agree with Bill (Morrow) that a goal of NBN Co should be to drive and stimulate retail competition because the very success of a NBN is dependent on its ability to drive this.

"However, competitor trade amongst the ‘big four’ RSPs is not sufficient. In all other NBN markets, new entrants have been critical to its success,” Demos said.

“We know this because MyRepublic has sparked competition and driven significant benefits to consumers in our home market of Singapore, New Zealand and more recently in Australia, by providing our customers with the fastest NBN speed tier possible – up to 100 Mbps.”

He said MyRepublic had reminded RSPs they had an obligation to ensure all customers were "wowed" when they moved to the NBN, rather than the current practice to "lift and shift" them like the "big four" were currently doing, resulting in 82% of the market being on speeds of 25/5Mbps or below.

“The NBN Co needs to meet the RSP community halfway with a ‘fit for purpose’ commercial model,” Demos said.

“We also need to call out the practices and attitude of the ‘big four’ RSPs which are compounding NBN woes. They have no interest in the success of the NBN, because if they did, they would not be so disingenuous and actively working against the NBN and its goals.

“The current wholesale pricing model promotes a poor user experience with low AVC speed tiers being available and the opportunity for some RSPs to scrimp on the CVC and that all affects the perception of the NBN product.”

Demos said Telstra's growth in marketshare should not be happening in the midst of the NBN rollout.

“In fact the opposite should be occurring. In successful NBN markets the challengers reset the offering indicating that something is broken. The current pricing model is a major contributor to this,” he claimed.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.