The ACCC Puts Broadband Providers on Notice

Updated 14/11/2023
The ACCC Puts Broadband Providers on Notice

A faster internet speed means you’re able to have more devices online at the same time, with no buffering.

Time to read : 4 Minutes

According to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), NBN Co has successfully gained their approval for a change in broadband charges. 

This may mean some prices will come down - but it’s far more likely to result in another cost increase for Australian households. 

The changes take effect from December 2023 - just in time for the school holidays. 

Remember: The price you pay for your broadband is set by your broadband provider, not NBN Co. 

The upward ‘creep’ of internet charges:

It’s not unusual for broadband customers to pay more for your service than you actually use.  How many emails do you get from your ISP (and others) ‘advising you of changes to your account’? Your internet costs increase and you keep meaning to do some comparisons, but you always run out of week?

You’re definitely not alone in this, but now’s the time to pay attention to the cost of your internet services.

Choosing a new broadband provider:

You’re usually looking for the fastest internet at the best possible price, right? A faster internet speed means you’re able to have more devices online at the same time, with no buffering. Have a think about what ‘fast internet’ means for your household, specifically.  Every household is going to have different needs - so they should be paying very different bills. 

For example: A household of 4 people who regularly stream video, browse, and enjoy online gaming for example, a speed of around 50Mbps would be a minimum requirement. There are 50Mbps plans available for as little as around $54 a month. 

One person living alone and just browsing the internet each evening won’t need 50Mbps. There are plans for as little as $49 with enough speed to stream, browse and game.

Switching broadband providers:

If you’re not on a contract, switching providers can be easy and quick. 

The ACCC is actively encouraging Australian households to shop around for better deals:

“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.

It’s worth contacting your current broadband provider to check how much data you’re using per month. Make sure you ask for a 3 or 6 month average to get a realistic idea. Include at least one school holiday period. That’s the time when your maximum data limits are tested. Most families don’t use our data to the same level once school terms are back.

Ask your provider whether you’re on the right deal for your household - and if you aren’t, ask for a better deal. There’s plenty of competition for broadband customers at the moment, so you have the power to switch to another provider if they won’t offer you any savings.

Kate Browne, Head of Research and Insights at Compare Club, says current broadband deals aren’t always easy to understand:

“Most of us couldn’t live without the internet at home. It’s now an essential service, just like energy, but understanding the plans on offer in the market for many people is just far too complicated. It's easy to say shop around for a better deal but for many Australians, they simply won’t know where to start in a market full of jargon and changing deals.”

How to switch providers without the hassle:

Using a comparison service can take away the stress and complexity of comparing plans with various providers and too many buzz words:

“I’d urge people to do a quick comparison with an expert who can find out exactly who’s using your internet and how, as well as having good oversight of the offers in the market,” says Kate.

The bottom line:

There’s a good chance you’re already overpaying for your internet. Broadband prices are changing, and likely to rise. It’s wise to get some help comparing current deals and working out what’s best for your household.