A lack of information can be an impediment to accessing high-speed broadband, but there are ways to avoid that by knowing the providers you’re buying from.
In a report released on Wednesday, Broadband Australia says there are a lot of misconceptions about how much broadband providers are charging for access, and that’s putting Australians at risk.
Broadband providers and government agencies have been making the same mistake many times over, according to Broadband’s report.
It’s a problem that affects almost everyone.
The report found there is an assumption that broadband providers can charge a higher price than the NBN.
That’s not true, Broadcaster says.
“The NBN’s pricing structure is a ‘fair deal’, with all of the costs covered by NBN Co,” Broadcaster’s executive director David McLeod said.
“But we also need to understand how that fair deal works, how it can be applied and why it’s important.”
Broadband isn’t a ‘free’ service Broadband is a service that allows Australians to access high-quality internet, which Broadcaster found is important for consumers to have access to.
It found the price of broadband was often a factor when people were choosing where to live.
Broadcaster also found that Australians were often not told about the price difference between high- and low-speed providers.
That means that even if a broadband provider offers a lower price than a rival, it may not be a true reflection of the actual cost.
“If you’ve been to a high-end restaurant, you’ve probably heard about the ‘discounts’, but if you’ve not been to that restaurant, chances are you haven’t been told about how they’re calculated,” Broadcasters chief executive David McEwan said.
The company also found some providers were charging too much for high-bandwidth services.
Broadcasters’ report found that the cheapest broadband service in the country is $20.99 per month, but that was only available for residential customers.
Broadcasts data from Australian telcos showed that the average price for a broadband connection in Sydney was $54.79 per month.
Broadcast said the average cost for a connection in Melbourne was $62.99, and for the state of New South Wales it was $58.55.
Broadcasting also found there were two major differences in pricing between residential and business broadband services, which are a small business or a small office.
Business broadband providers typically charge a fixed monthly fee, while residential broadband providers often charge a variable monthly fee.
Broadcams report said some residential broadband services charged an average of $10 more per month than a business broadband service, while a business cable provider was charging $6 more per year.
That is a significant difference, Broadcasters CEO David McLean said.
It also means people are often not able to get access to the fastest speeds.
“We can’t afford that, so we need to be aware of what the actual pricing is,” Mr McEwen said.
Broadcomers has found that residential broadband prices vary widely depending on the location of the premises.
“A large majority of broadband users are located in the same state, state and territory,” Broadcomings chief executive and co-founder Tom Binns said.
Mr McLean also found broadband providers charged more than average for services that require more bandwidth than the minimum speed required by the NBN, like mobile data, VoIP and video streaming.
Broadnet’s CEO said it’s not just about the speed, but also about the quality of service.
BroadComings CEO Tom Binnie said Broadcomsts report highlighted the need to educate consumers about broadband providers, but he acknowledged there was more work to be done.
“There’s no silver bullet to the problem, and if we want to make things more affordable, we need more consumer education and information on what’s actually going on,” Mr Binn said.