Note: Since this article was published, iiNet, Internode and Westnet have now raised their NBN prices.
As Aussies experience rising costs across virtually every household expense, yet another bill is set to rise for some customers with several NBN providers increasing plan prices.
Customers of TPG Telecom brands, TPG, iiNet, Internode and Westnet may now have to pay extra for their home internet. Price changes across the lower speed tiers have officially increased for TPG customers, and are set to rise across the other brands in the coming weeks.
This comes at a time where many household bills are increasing, such as energy and phone plans, and there are concerns NBN prices could rise more broadly before the end of 2022.
TPG Telecom brands raising prices by $5 per month
Brands across the TPG Telecom group, most notably TPG, iiNet, Internode and Westnet, have displayed a note to customers on the respective websites about the increasing cost for some NBN plans.
The statement mentions that the brands have had to make the difficult decision to raise prices by $5 per month across NBN 12, NBN 25 and NBN 50 speed tiers due to “ongoing increases to the wholesale costs that NBN charge”. Prices for NBN 100, 250 and 1000 speed tiers will not change.
Prices on impacted plans will change for existing customers, and new customers who sign up before the price change will also be switched to the new pricing. TPG’s new prices have already gone live as of September 21, with iiNet, Internode and Westnet’s price changes to come at an unconfirmed later date, although Canstar Blue has been informed this change is likely to come in the following weeks.
In a statement from TPG Telecom to Canstar Blue, a spokesperson said that the company was forced to pass rising operational costs on to customers.
“The amounts we pay NBN for use of its network have significantly increased in recent years as people use more data when they work and study from home. While we have worked hard to try to continue to absorb these costs, unfortunately it is no longer sustainable to do so.
“While there will be a small price adjustment to our 12, 25 and 50Mbps NBN retail services, it is important to note these changes only apply to these NBN plans. Pricing for our fast, no-fuss 4G and 5G fixed-wireless services continue to be as competitive as ever and available at a lower cost than similar speed NBN plans.”
Plans from TPG have always been rather competitively placed, and it is partly why TPG has won Canstar Blue’s Outstanding Value award for NBN in 2021 and 2022. However, it’s worth noting that even with the price rise, TPG plans still remain highly competitive, mostly across its NBN 50 speed tier and above. In comparison, iiNet, Internode and Westnet might sit on the more expensive end of the market after these price changes.
Price changes for NBN plans could be the next home budget hit for Aussies
Many Aussies will have been hit by recent price increases to their phone plans as Telstra, then Optus, raised prices for postpaid customers. Considering these two telcos are some of the largest phone and internet providers in the country, many customers would have seen one of their essential services rise in cost. If you haven’t been hit by a phone or internet price increase yet, it still might be on the cards down the track.
“Considering the recent changes to mobile plans by other major providers, and the rising cost of living overall, it’s not surprising that TPG is getting ahead of possible upcoming NBN wholesale price changes by increasing plan fees. Demands on the NBN network have also increased in the last two years, but many of the discounts and capacity extensions previously offered to retailers are no longer available — meaning telcos may have to choose between raising prices or buying less bandwidth,” said Canstar Blue’s Utilities Editor, Tara Donnelly.
Irrelevant to recent cost of living pressures, an increase to NBN prices has been on the cards for a while and due to a number of factors.
Earlier in 2022, we reported on the concern from some telcos that NBN Co’s proposed Special Access Undertaking (SAU), which was submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), would result in increased NBN costs. The SAU regulates how internet providers access and sell NBN to customers.
NBN Co initially proposed a range of changes, including a price increase on NBN 25, but with the trade-off of faster upload speeds. The ACCC was concerned some of the proposals would increase prices to customers on the most popular speed tier (NBN 50), while some telcos — including Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom — all raised concerns over rising costs, especially for the slower (and therefore cheaper) speed tiers, which could also lead to higher prices for customers.
The ACCC flagged the SAU’s potential issues, in addition to considering submissions from concerned telecommunications companies, and the ultimately NBN Co withdrew the proposal. This means NBN Co has gone back to the drawing board and will submit a new variation proposal, with hopes the ACCC will be able to finalise a review in early 2023.
However, this puts the industry in a bit of a limbo. NBN providers are left waiting to see if they’ll need to raise their NBN prices soon, and are still wondering what the future holds for the slower and cheaper speed tiers.
Optus raised its NBN prices early in 2021, citing the difficulties between maintaining capacity for increasing internet needs and rising NBN costs for the change. We reached out to Optus for comment as to whether prices would be raised further this year, but they were unable to provide comment on future plan changes.
We also reached out to Telstra to find whether they had any plans to raise NBN prices in the immediate future. “Telstra aims is [sic] to give our customers the best experience at a competitive price. Like any business, we regularly review our prices to ensure we remain competitive,” said a Telstra spokesperson.
“There are a range of factors that we look at but our focus is on delivering value for Telstra’s customers, like bringing our customers fast, flexible internet options with our industry leading Telstra Smart Modem.”
Despite the NBN market being in an almost-limbo when it comes to prices and its future, customers impacted by these price changes might take this as an opportunity to shop around and compare NBN plans from a wider range of providers.
“Some customers may be unaffected by TPG’s $5 per month price increase, but it’s understandable that many households already feeling the strain may consider going elsewhere for a cheaper deal. It’s likely that many other major NBN providers will be reassessing their internet costs in the coming months, so customers should be aware that their bill may be the next to change — and that there’s never a bad time to switch plans if your current telco isn’t delivering,” said Ms Donnelly.
Belong also raises its NBN prices
Another NBN provider to raise its NBN prices recently is Belong — a subsidiary of Telstra. The telco has taken the move to increase its Starter (NBN 25) and Standard Plus (NBN 50) plans by $5 per month. However, new customers will be able to take advantage of a $5 discount on these plan fees for the first six months of your plan.
Compare NBN plans
If you’re looking to save a bit on your home internet bill and looking to switch NBN providers, the following tables compare a range of NBN plans across popular speed tiers. Switch between the tabs to compare plans on different speeds.
Unlimited NBN 100 Plans
The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 100 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
Unlimited NBN 50 Plans
The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 50 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
Unlimited NBN 25 Plans
The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 25 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
Unlimited NBN 12 Plans
The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 12 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.