An NBN internet service provider is warning customers they could be hit with a $4000 fee for Fibre-to-the-Home if they don’t connect before Saturday’s federal election.
AusBBS is urging customers “to connect today” and warns even customers already passed by the roll out could find themselves with a hefty bill when they decide to connect, should the Coalition win.
The Coalition has stated that it intends to scale back Labor's NBN Fibre-to-the-Home plan and replace it with Fibre-to-the-Node - leaving customers to make the connection from node to the premise at their own cost.
“Currently NBN Co will install a fibre optic cable right into your home for free,” an AusBBS release states. “After next Saturday you may have to pay a fee and there are rumours that it could be up to $4,000 or more."
“If you are lucky enough to live in an NBN active area don't take the risk, connect today.”
The company statement has also offered to pay the termination fees on current contracts if you sign up to an unlimited plan.
Communications minister Anthony Albanese said customers already connected would be left to battle on with last century’s copper technology or have to fork out much as $5,000 to connect to superfast fibre.
“A senior member of Tony Abbott’s frontbench has admitted that if you are already connected to Federal Labor’s National Broadband Network (NBN) and there is a change of government next month, then count your blessings because you will be amongst “the lucky ones,” he said.
“Australians face a clear choice: they can vote for the future and fibre under Labor or the past and copper under the Coalition.”
Oppostion communications spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull did not respond to ARN’s questions.
Independent telecommunications consultant Paul Budde told ARN that those who want Fibre-to-the-Home and are not already connected would pay between $3000 and $5000 under the Coalition government.
“What the Coalition proposes is a second class system for less money,” he said. “They agree that Fibre-to-the-Home should be the end solution but so far there are no plans for that.
“At this stage they simply indicate that those who don’t get it and want it, will have to pay for it.”
Budde also questioned using copper for the last mile under the coalition’s cheaper Fibre-to-the-Node plan and said that much of the 40-year-old copper would have to be upgraded.
“Malcolm Turnbull has said many times that eventually we need to go to Fibre-to-the-Home,” he said. "How much money do you want to spend for an interim solution when in five or seven years time we have to spend the money anyway?"