The NBN: Misleading Information and Money-Grabbing Connection Costs

A few weeks ago the NBN became available in my street. Initially I was excited, until I started getting all the promotional and scare tactics filled material in my mailbox.

The TLDR version: switching to the NBN is expensive and not worthwhile until it is forced upon you.

The two worst offenders in the mail blitz were:

  • Telstra: I received advertising from Telstra telling me that I had already received notification that my current phone connection would be terminated soon. The reality was I had received no notification of this, and checking the NBN rollout map showed that the date of termination of my existing phone service was yet to be determined.
  • NBN CO: About a month after getting the letter from Telstra I got official notification of when my current phone service would be terminated, it is a little under a year way. This letter was filled with fear such as “Act now… before existing services are switched off” and it then continued further to state “NBN does not charge for standard installation”.

At this point I checked the NBN plans which my current internet provider offers. To meet my existing usage and to even match the speed I get on my ADSL connection would cost at least $15 more per month as well at least $100 in additional connection costs.

So much for no charge for installation. Annoyed I then checked against a number of other ISPs. All but one charges installation fees and all are a least $10/month more than my current connection.

With millions of people still to connect to the NBN these increases in fees will raise millions in profits for a variety of ISPs. None of which is good for consumers.

Given that the NBN has a reputation for poor service and support I will not be switching to the new network any time soon.