How much does an Australian Internet bill cost? The good, the bad and the ugly
By Sarah McBride | 04 December 2018 12:54:47As part of its effort to boost the national broadband network, the Australian Government announced plans to roll out the National Broadband Network, which will cost the average consumer $25 per month.
The Federal Government’s National Broadcast Broadband Plan will roll out in 2018, with a new roll out date set for March 2019.
The rollout of the NBN, however, is likely to take longer than anticipated due to the construction of the network.
As the rollout is delayed, and costs will be higher, the Government is seeking to raise more revenue to fund the NBN rollout.
The NBN is expected to cost $20 billion and will cover up to 1.5 million premises across the country.
The cost of the National NBN has been pegged at $21.4 billion by the Government, which has indicated it will be able to borrow $12 billion from the Commonwealth to pay for the rollout.
This is not an unusual position.
The Government has borrowed $5.4 trillion over the past four years, according to figures released by the Department of Finance last year.
The Government has also been quoted as saying the NBN is “on track to deliver a total cost of $24.8 billion over the next 10 years”.
But the NBN cost is expected by many analysts to be significantly higher than that.
A study published in the New York Times estimated that the cost of building the NBN could cost $32 trillion, with an additional $6.2 trillion in funding needed.
While the cost for the NBN has increased in recent years, the NBN project has also undergone significant changes.
In 2018, NBN Co, the Federal Government body responsible for the project, unveiled a new set of plans which will be cheaper to build than the previous plan, and would require less taxpayer support.
The new NBN is also expected to reduce the need for government investment in broadband infrastructure, which in turn will reduce the cost per premises for the Government’s NBN rollout, as well as the cost to consumers.
However, the National Network Infrastructure Fund (NNIF) is also set to be cut, as NBN Co has been required to provide some $1.4bn in funding to the NBN Co Infrastructure Fund over the last four years.
While some analysts have speculated that the Government may also be seeking to increase the amount of money available to fund NBN Co’s NBN projects, this has not yet been confirmed.
In addition to the NNIF, the Department will also be using its existing Reserve Fund to fund infrastructure projects in 2020 and 2021.
As well as providing the funds to fund a new NBN, the Reserve Fund will also allow the Government to fund projects such as roads, hospitals, schools, ports, and other infrastructure, with the intention of ensuring that the funding provided by the Reserve is sufficient to cover future funding needs.
The Department will be making a range of announcements regarding its National Broadcomn infrastructure plan in the coming months, including a new fibre network, and a number of other projects.