The NBN – not a complex nor controversial topic at all really 🙂 Today, NBN our national internet wholesaler released a bunch of changes to their pricing structure that will have a positive impact for lots of Aussies.

NBN is the underlying network through which all fixed-line broadband and telephony services will be delivered in Australia going forward, and while none of us will ever get a bill from the NBN – they are the wholesale provider through which all telcos (known by NBN as RSPs – Retail Service Providers) get access to the network to onsell to us – the punters.

Today, a whole new set of wholesale pricing was announced, and – overall, it’s good news.

The highest download speed available to most consumers is 100Mbps. That is currently paired with a 40Mbps upload speed – this is referred to as 100/40.

A new 100/20 plan will be introduced that should be around 10% cheaper, at least that’s the saving the telcos will be seeing.

This, combined with a new national approach to bandwidth allocation, means we’ll get better prices and better speeds.

The NBN will also be allocating what I can only best describe as a “buffer” over and above the network connections – while there is much more technical detail in this, I’m advised that this will see our overall speeds go higher, closer to those “100” or “50” speed marks (where we currently see 85 or 42 as the maximum speed).

However, there is no incentive in the new plans for telcos to sell the slower speed plans. In fact, some telcos have already stopped offering the 12 and 25Mbps plans.

Without incentive to sell those plans, the poorest among us will struggle with the slowest internet, and pay a bigger proportionate price for it.

Vodafone’s Matthew Lobb touched on this disparity, telling EFTM “We welcome the changes that deliver greater incentives for retailers to sell faster speed services to customers. While NBN is heading in the right direction, we are disappointed that NBN hasn’t taken the opportunity to end the CVC “speed tax

The national approach to bandwidth allocation has been well received by telcos.

OptusAndrew Sheridan  welcomed the announcement, saying “today’s announcement from NBN Co which has positively responded to feedback from retailers by increasing data capacity in the key bundles and providing forward price certainty.”

Phil Britt, Managing Director at Aussie Broadband told 9News “We see the new wholesale pricing from NBN as really good news for consumers – we believe it will lead to lower prices for some of the new high-speed plans, and enough bandwidth that internet service providers should be able to avoid any evening slowdown from congestion.”

Richard Branson, CIO for small Aussie telco Tangerine says “Ultimately these changes in wholesale pricing from nbn will allow us to pass on better products and services to our customers.

It is positive to see nbn put plans in place to assist RSPs (Telcos) in keeping up with the ever-increasing consumer demand for bandwidth. Any increase in bundled bandwidth allows us to improve the performance of our product to our customers.”

Over at MyRepublic, Nicholas Demos says “It is incredibly encouraging to see NBN finally recognising Australian’s want faster internet speeds, with the prioritisation and subsidisation of the 100Mbps product. Ultimately, this will drive down the cost of the fastest internet speed tier with incentivised pricing, while focusing on improving the overall customer experience.

Don’t expect immediate changes, there might be some discounts in December, with the new plans rolling out in March.

Expect a big marketing push in the new year from the NBN pushing people to sign up to the 100 speed plans under the banner “Hot 100”.

Overall, good news!