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NBN Blames Elon Musk For Planned Price Hike

The National Broadband Network has blamed Elon Musk’s Starlink, among other competitors, for its planned price hike.

NBN Co’s proposal to raise its prices was released by the ACCC this week, sparking a flurry of criticism.

In the heavily redacted document submitted to the ACCC, NBN claims a price raise is necessary, given the increase in competition. It estimates it will lose 263,000 customers this financial year to fixed wireless services, naming Elon Musk’s low-earth satellite operation Starlink, with another 283,000 customers jumping ship the following year.

“A significant and growing source of competition in markets in which NBN supplies residential services is from 4G, 5G, fixed wireless network and low-earth orbit satellite operators that are expanding their footprint and aggressively marketing their services as a substitute or alternative to a NBN fixed line service,” the submission read.

“The extent of competition and substitution risk means that NBN faces substantial revenue sufficiency risk. The consequence of this is that NBN faces the risk of being unable to generate sufficient cashflows to sustain its business and continue to invest in the network to meet its policy obligations and the needs of end-users.”

The country’s leading telco’s struck back at this proposal in an open letter.

“NBN Co’s wholesale prices will rise and increase every year thereafter at a rate higher than inflation, thereby worsening household cost of living pressures and making NBN high-speed broadband unaffordable for many Australians,” an open letter, signed by Telstra, Optus, TPG Telecom, Vocus, and Aussie Broadband said.

“We believe the long-term interests of end users are paramount. Current and future end users should not be compelled to underwrite NBN Co’s inefficient historical costs and subsidise its entry into adjacent competitive markets.”

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