There is a key issue being hammered out concerning the National Broadband Network, especially by the Federal Opposition and, to some extent, Sydney’s talkback radio hosts. It is where signing on to NBN ultra-fast broadband Internet service is going to lead to fixed-line Internet bills that are more expensive than with a legacy ADSL or cable service?
The article suggested that the costs would be the same or cheaper than the legacy Internet service. One situation that could cause this to happen is that a customer who moves on to National Broadband Network may use this as a chance to “right-size” their Internet-service package to their use. This can extend to the reality with most of these services that are sold by “data allowance” where people purchase more than they really use so they can create a buffer for sudden usage spikes. This also allows the customer to end up with a predictable bill that they can budget for.
Similarly, IP telephony including Skype, works as a cost-saver because you could effectively place long-distance calls for “pennies’ worth” or more likely for free, compared to paying an expensive bill for these calls. This includes the ability to have FM-radio-grade voice telephony on these connections as well as videocalls of the science-fiction calibre.
I also wouldn’t put it past the retail NBN carriers to follow France’s example and sell n-play service with broadband Internet, telephony, pay TV amongst other services on the one competitively-priced package. But on the other hand, could we be seeing more of the “over-the-top” telephony and TV services being used with the National Broadband Network?
Sometimes we have to sort out the reality from the rhetoric concerning the next-generation broadband Internet services and pay attention to other larger countries who are operating these services already.