The review of September 2018 prices shows that there has not been much movement on the major issues identified with retail broadband prices:
1. Lack of affordable entry-level prices – this is still an issue despite the new NBN Entry Level Bundle; but too recent to be reflected in the results discussed here.
2. Poor take-up of high speeds – slightly better thanks to new High Capacity Bundles.
3. Increasing pressure on ISP margins due to CVC pricing (leading to under-provisioning) – still true, with full impacts felt when the migration to NBN ends.
4. The growing threat (to the NBN) of increasingly competitive mobile broadband – no change.
More details at Economuse 2018-10-04
On 18th September, the NBN published details of its much anticipated “discounted” Entry Level Bundle (ELB). It is very disappointing. It does not provide an affordable entry-level plan; which will make its job of holding users in the migration from copper services more difficult. see Economuse 2018-09-21
I gave verbal evidence to the Joint Standing Committee on the NBN in June 2018. The follow-up advice responds to its request for more details on traffic pricing, precedents and the Canadian decision about wholesale pricing. It includes the 2017 Review of the Australian retail broadband market.
The Money is broadcast every Thursday and over 30 minutes tries to understance a topic through interviews with experts.http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/themoney/
On 2 November, its chosen topic was “Fibrte Optics – A look at Australia’s NBN” which set out to explain why “Despite the billions of dollars spent on the National Broadband Network, Australia has continued to slide down the international rankings when it comes to broadband speed and equity of service…Why has the NBN been such a debacle and what can be done to fix it on this week’s episode of The Money”.
The four experts interveiwed were:
Dr Tooran Alizadeh
Director of Urban Design at Sydney University’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning
Independent telecommunications analyst
John de Ridder
Independent telecommunications economist
Laureate Emeritus Professor, University of Melbourne.
The Department of Communications estimates the value of the NBN based on the depreciated current replacement cost less the present value of leave and superannuation. It should now turn to using net present value of discounted future cash flows; as it does now for Australia Post. In doing that, it should not assume that average revenue per users will rise at the rate needed to recover costs but assume levels that reflect the market (especially competition from wireless broadband). It is likely that the fair value revealed by this DCF estimation will then lead to a write down in equity.