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Peak communications consumer body ACCAN says the findings from the $25 million National Broadband Network (NBN) Implementation Study offers good news for Australians, who could pay prices comparable to today’s retail costs in exchange for higher speed broadband with higher download limits, provided there is vigorous competition in the retail market.

Picture of mother and son using laptopACCAN says the forecasted $30-35 wholesale price for monthly broadband (20GB allowance) and voice services could mean Australians are paying even less than they are now.

“What Australians need from the NBN is improved accessibility, affordability and availability of communications services and the study’s findings support this becoming a reality,” said ACCAN CEO Allan Asher.

ACCAN will study the report and assess it against the following principles which have been developed in broad consultation with public interest groups:

  1. No consumer should be worse off under the proposed NBN
  2. NBN should provide accessible, reliable and secure infrastructure and services
  3. Consumer requirements should be genuinely considered
  4. Robust consumer protections and remedies
  5. Migration should be as seamless as possible
  6. Information and education is needed
  7. Broader regulatory environment

“The government will have to pay careful attention to issues surrounding consumer protection; to ensure services are available to those with disabilities and to provide alternative services to the 7% of Australians the NBN will not reach,” said Mr Asher.

ACCAN also welcomes the government’s announcement today that it will reintroduce the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill to stop the removal of pay phones, particularly in rural areas.