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Consumers Urged To Shop Around For Broadband Deals

NBN retailers have been put on notice that they have to be upfront with consumers about recent retail price changes with carriers such as Telstra, Optus, and Vodaphone, who have been told that they need to be more transparent by offering different plans for households.

The move to aggressively go after carriers and retailers of NBN products was initiated after the ACCC accepted changes to NBN’s regulatory commitments.

As a consequence of the amendments, the maximum wholesale prices for some NBN speed tiers will, at the outset, decrease claims the ACCC, including costs for the most inexpensive services; others, however, will increase.

The ACCC claims that the wholesale prices for the 100 Mbps and 25 Mbps speed tiers will initially decrease, while the wholesale price for the 50 Mbps speed tier will increase.

Currently, retail prices paid by households are still set by retail service providers who compete for business, meaning there are a variety of deals available for consumers.

“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. There are significant price differences between retailers, so it is worth seeing what other deals are available,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

She warned that “NBN retailers should not be pushing households towards more expensive offers with speed inclusions that are higher than they need. If we were to see this, it would raise concerns. We expect NBN retailers to provide clear information to consumers about suitable plans for their circumstances and preferences,” Ms Brakey said.

“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,” Ms Brakey said.

She added “We are concerned where we see advertising by NBN retailers that suggests households need to be on 50 Mbps or even 100 Mbps plans to stream multiple shows at once, when a less expensive plan may be sufficient. Of course, some households may have a preference for the higher speed tiers, but we want to make sure that customers have clear and accurate information to guide their decisions.”

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