Government wants you to pay an NBN tax of $7.10 for Fixed Line Internet

Your NBN plans might become slightly more expensive starting the next fiscal year.

Eagle-eyed readers of IT news today might have seen this in their newsfeed, but for those not in the know, here's the full deets.

The government is pushing to introduce a $7.10 minimum monthly broadband tax for fixed-line NBN users to pay for the future cost of the fixed wireless and satellite portions of the NBN.

It plans to both introduce and pass the regional broadband scheme (RBS) charge bill, alongside a package of telecommunications changes, in parliament's winter sitting, which wraps up on June 22.

The Communications department began consulting on the tax in December last year, and took industry submissions until February 3.

However, the result of the consultation has not been released, and at the time of publication was still listed as being “under review” despite the government’s intention to pass the tax law by mid-year.

Users of “superfast” fixed-line services will pay the tax, which starts at $7.10 a month. The tax will be charged to retail service providers, who the government has admitted will pass on the cost to customers.

About 95 percent of those taxed will be NBN fixed-line customers, while the remainder will come from operators such as TPG, which has been deploying fibre-to-the-basement services in metro areas.

Lawmakers have acknowledged the charge will make broadband prices more expensive.

However, they argue the tax is needed because of an expected shortfall in funds from a cross-subsidy that – until now – has been embedded in NBN Co’s wholesale prices.

more news and discussion at Gizmodo

Poll Options expired

  • 21
    I don't mind this tax.
  • 347
    I dislike taxes in general and I dissaprove.
  • 61
    I will move to South Korea, land of fast cheap internet.
  • 68
    Doesn't apply to me, I will never get NBN in my lifetime. ADSL is amazing! (sardonic laugh)


  • +13

    Well this sucks

    • +54

      They say the Government has the midas touch, except it's cursed. Everytime they touch expensive fiber cable it magically turns into copper.

      • +65

        Wouldnt have a problem paying this if i knew they where building FTTP not the crap they are putting out now.

  • +55

    I'd be happy to pay such a tax if it meant FTTP but they're going with extra shitty and more expensive copper….

    • Apparently if you are in a new estate you can get FTTP. But yeah, FTTN just sucks.

      • +2

        The rules were only for 100 properties or greater though I think.

    • +15

      i don't care about wirelesss NBN. Why do they make us pay for it?

      The same reason they make us pay for Medicare. I never get sick. Why must I pay for others that get sick all the time?

        • -7

          This isn't life or death like Medicare is to some people.

          I wouldn't call getting a cold life and death. Some people seems get sick frequently.

        • +2

          I'm pretty sure whooah was being sarcastic.

          I know a decent internet connection is not life or death, but you try doing an administrative task these days without using it. Like banking, looking for jobs, paying bills, communicating with family, etc.

          If you prefer for Aus as a whole to be noncompetitive in this fast paced digital age, then you might as well switch off the lights and say goodbye to our economy. As a nation we need vision and progress or get left behind in the dust.

        • +3


          Yup, I send resumes of each week so that's about 900mb a pop. Paying a bill, well that's another 1.4gb! :p

          I do agree with you, it's better to invest now while we have the AAA rating, worse to invest later to redo everything when a loan will cost more.

        • your fault!!! get a gender change or 2 the money is out there waiting to be thrown at you!!

        • +6

          um.. i've wasted huge amounts of life watching 'buffering..' or the little spinny circle etc.
          anyway, i believe wireless is for rural folk, and since they are/will be teleconferencing with doctors.. actually.. the service is life or death.. just like medicare

        • +1

          @Stitchy: My wife once asked me what I was doing, and I said "I've seen this in a porn, it's called 'Buffering'"

        • much more than that!

      • Because then who pays for you when you get sick, me? Ha!

        • +1

          Because then who pays for you when you get sick, me? Ha!

          My savings. I prefer a payg system.

        • Good luck with some cancer treatments and several surgeries.

        • +11

          NBN wasn't meant to be tax payer money, it was meant to be self funding, i.e. take out loans (at very low rates), do business and pay off loans. No tax payer money spent.

          This tax is retarded. Unless the government are even more colossal (profanity) than we thought (and they might be), it must be a quick cash grab to cover other incompetence.

        • Yeah but they had to spend 600 million buying the Optus HFC network. For reasons.

      • +3

        A well functioning society depends on the health of its people.

        Even if you choose to just ride a bike, you pay for the upkeep of our roads do you not?

        • Even if you choose to just ride a bike, you pay for the upkeep of our roads do you not?

          We pay a motor vehicle tax for every vehicle we own. So the answer is yes.

          Btw we don't have push bikes. We prefer to drive.

        • +3

          @whooah1979: My point is, you're contributing to something for a greater good.

        • -3


          My point is, you're contributing to something for a greater good.

          That settles it then. We should accept the rbs with open arms, close this discussion and never speak of it again because it's for the greater good.

        • +5

          @whooah1979: If you feel that way you should move to the states. Everyone know how great their healthcare system is right?

        • -2


          If you feel that way you should move to the states.

          it's not that easy now with mr trump in control.

          like i said. we prefer a payg if that means that we pay less taxes. we don't see value in paying more taxes for something we don't use or need.

      • +5

        I never get sick.

        yet …

      • +4

        I prefer to live in a village as a hunter that feeds everyone but i have the village to take care of me when i need it. It seems that you prefer to be a lone hunter and look after yourself when you are sick. There is nothing wrong with that, you may want to move to that kind of village which has no or very little tax, you can accummulate all the resources you gather and look after yourself when you are old and sick. Its a choice…

      • -1

        You might be illness free now, but 20 years in the future you might have a stroke, develop dementia, experience congestive heart failure, etc. When that happens, you'll want the nanny state to bail you out and give you gold plated treatment for your condition.

        The thing about healthcare is that the need for it is not evenly distributed through life. Huge amounts of money are spent per person during the last year, and particularly the last month of a person's life. I personally regard it as an egregious waste of money, to spend so much $ keeping a sick person alive for 2 more weeks,and would prefer the money would be better spent on young and middle age people.

        • Part of your argument I agreed with until you differentiated between young and old.

          Why should we subsidise the young who (may not) have looked after themselves, but then 'throw the oldies in the bin' because they've reached their used by date because they took care of themselves?

          Fair to say, the longer you have lived, the more you contributed to said fund, therefore entitled to a bigger piece of the pie…. No?

          Not having a go at you, just curious to your reasoning, other than they're going to die anyway, so why bother trying. Not everyone on their death bed, dies immediately, some are genuinely helped and given a few more years to live - age should not be the determining factor on whether or not you get any treatment.

    • +2

      Since the government is essentially footing the bill there is absolutely no way to not be taxed for it.

      The government basically gets all its money from tax payers, they don't make money any other way.

      So they can say "we'll tax you X for Y" or they can just take it out of some other bucket, either way we're still paying.

      For me it's pointless caring about how we're taxed. It's where they allocate the tax they take that matters.

      If you want to pay less tax then FIGHT HARD to stop government spending handing money out - that's the ONLY way to pay less tax.

    • +1

      Dont even try … just bend over, the choices will be given to you. Take it or leave. Post Modernism FTW

    • I don't care about solar electricity but i pay for those that have panels on their roofs

  • +11

    The idea of bringing fibre to every home sounds great and supported it from its first day. Then it got crippled into 'bring copper/HFC/whatever for the time being as a fibre replacement". Now I am starting to believe that this kind of a project should have not be done on a government level in the first place. Too much inefficiency and politics. Now they want to make it even more expensive for the consumers…

    • 93% of homes*

    • -5

      Shhhhhh don't admit that the government shouldn't be providing a service that private providers wanted to provide before Kevin Rudd came in, you'll get lynched in these parts of the internet.

      • +3

        The experiment with private monopolies failed miserably and the government absolutely SHOULD be providing the utility. My house and my parents' houses both still have ONLY Telstra available because of their crap private monopoly. No choice of provider. No competition. The original plan for the fibre NBN is essential and inevitable eventually.

        • -1

          That could be solved by regulation. it does not require a nbn.

  • +14

    In government speak that's 2 cups of coffee a month. Turbull and all the knobs in government think i drink 25 cups of coffee a day and think i buy them all

    • -2

      No, they don't…

    • My instant coffee tins are 14$ on sale. I go through half a tin in about a two months. That's 80 cups of coffee!

    • i don't drink coffee.
      am a recent migrant from a predominantly tea drinking nation..
      i disapprove this tax

  • Where is the poll for cable?

    • Thats the best part, theyre not doing anything to HFC and charging more for it.

  • +11

    There is the option for dialup? I miss the handshake tone of my 56k modem

    • -1

      Yep dunna wanta da nbn ftts just dial up will do me fina no more congestions only de handa shakes

  • +4

    That sucks. I have already been charged one-time user contribution of $300. Guess it's a black hole to suck your money and for me I have no choice as I don't have copper cable in my building.

    • +3

      Isn't the NDC meant to mirror the new connection charge you would have for a new property today that isn't currently connected to the Copper network? So without NBN you would have had to pay it to Telstra (or whoever provided copper in your local area) instead?

  • +3

    Unless things have changed this was suppose to be for NON-NBN customers so they contribute to regional NBN costs:-…

  • +6

    brb moving to North Korea

    • +31

      brb and North Korea don't go together in the same sentence

      • +24

        im starting

        • Discounts on Kim-Jong-Un harircuts?

        • @brokeunistudent:
          just you wait ;)

        • +7

          @tuzii: Guys, he actually did update his profile info lol…

        • +1

          any food deals?

        • +1

          Big Kim Burger deals coming soon!

    • I'm going a little off-topic (although I did watch it on Netflix over a super-fast cable internet connection…), but you should all watch the doco 'Under the Sun':

      It is a fascinating view of the daily lives of North Koreans (if you read between the lines and look beyond their propaganda filming).

  • +19

    Have had 100/40 NBN FTTH since day one, being one of the lucky people.

    Would gladly pay a small tax if it helped get NBN to every other person in Australia, given NBN -or fast internet generally- ought to be considered as basic as water and electricity.

    That said, (profanity) every politician that (profanity) up the NBN.

    • +1

      The NBN was conceived as an effective monopoly with the idea of an internal cross subsidy for remote and regional users. In your current fees that flow from your provider to the NBN you are already paying to subsidise the roll-out of the satellite and fixed wireless component of the NBN.

      What the government is doing is formalising this cross-subsidy as a tax rather than have it hidden in the NBN's internal accounting. The tax will also be charged to non-NBN accounts such as TPG's FTTB and those housing estates that have private fibre connections.

      A similar charge was added with telco deregulation in Australia to fund the Universal Service Obligation

      I suspect that the true goal of this change is to support the eventual breakup and privatisation of NBNco.

    • Thats only thanks to labor you have FTTH at all …

  • +16

    Got to fund the CEO's $3.6 million salary somehow

    • +51

      More like need more money because an amazing amount of it is flowing to Telstra.

      Billions and billions of dollars went to Telstra from NBNCo to pay for Telstra's copper wire network that does not work - to replace proposed FTTP.

      Then after NBN bought this junk copper network from Telstra the maintenance contract to fix up the copper network that doesn't work went to Telstra. NBN explained that this happened because they have no idea what they are doing with copper networks (not making this up).

      So now Telstra is getting paid billions of dollars to slowly replace the network they just sold to taxpayers NBNCo as various bits of it fail to work and provide terrible internet service to taxpayers customers.

      It's important to note that this happened while Turnbull was Communications Minister and Prime Minister. Turnbull's former NBN advisor now works at Telstra. Are you seeing the corruption here? It's your money this criminal is paying to Telstra so you have internet that doesn't work.

      Do not vote this criminal Telstra employee in next time please. Turnbull never again.

      • +6

        Should have made the front page of Ozbargain the deal was so good. For Telstra. :)

      • I feel like this is appropriate…

      • +1

        The man…
        who virtually invented…
        the Internet!

  • +3

    what about the poll option of - I will move to North Korea, land of fastest cheapest Internet as invented by Our Glorious Leader.

    • +1

      Well if your internet is just the same 4 pages being cached your net access is actually just the speed of your pc

      • and NKBargain!

        • +1

          Where you get shot for treason for posting s8/s8+ deals

        • @Fiximol:

          exploding Note7 are the work of North Koreans

  • +12

    In theory, the idea of urban users subsidising country users (to ensure the same level of service) is fine with me.

    However, it seems the project has been so poorly managed that this is just a money-grab to try and rectify the accounts.

  • +16

    "Users of “superfast” fixed-line services will pay the tax" should mean 95% of NBN users don't need to pay.

  • I am on FW, this is good for me I guess.

  • +1

    Please -1 "I don't mind this tax", blame the bumpy bus ride…

    • +1 it back, because I was going to click "dont mind" but the "doesn't apply" response somehow managed to command all of my attention.

  • I would pay it to get better internet where I live. Stuck on adsl2 living 15km from the cbd of Brisbane.

    • Yep, I'm in an estate, all underground lines. Never getting NBN whether it be FTTP or FTTN.

      • Why wouldn't you get nbn because your services are underground? They can still feed fibre cable through existing service conduits. Most modern Estates have no overhead services.

        • +2

          I'm just being negative, my place wasn't on the 5 year plan. So 4 years, is technically forever.

  • shhh. budget time.

  • +3

    I thought the NBN in all its forms was government funded so shouldn't it come from the taxes we all (or should all) be paying?

  • How do revoke or change a vote? I accidentally pressed it while scrolling

  • NBN is a joke; the government made a big mistake not giving it to Telstra. They could've dumped it on Telstra and made it their problem, but, instead, they gave it to an overseas company that has been milking it ever since.

  • +9

    this is why you don't (profanity) vote libs. not to get political but they've bent over to every single (profanity)-y lobby group that would get hurt from FTTP. also, Bill Morrow CEO doesn't just get paid $3.6mill, its plus bonuses from hitting low low KPIs like premise activations.

    • -3

      yes, because labour is sooo much better at promising things and then under budgeting them by billions.

      • +3

        yeah but labor's original idea would've been much better in the long run. the claim that there needs to be a financial return to the taxpayer is a rouse, you don't need to worry about it especially in this case because the benefits far outweighed the cost. we're going to abandon copper in the future anyway.

  • +5

    Where is this "superfast" internet in the first place. All I know is decade old coaxial is the same speed as the NBN. smh

    • +1

      Probably anything faster than 25mbps ADSL is deemed superfast.

      • I see internet speeds around the world and cry. 25mbps is only download, upload speeds are far inferior to this.

      • 12/1 nbn

        • +1

          Try 4/1 ADSL2+.

        • +2

          @cwongtech: Well considering that 12/1 is the theoretical max for that NBN tier, you should be comparing it to the theoretical max of ADSL2+ which is 25/1.

          Of course none of that matters because majority of people are probably getting <3/1

      • +3

        I am from the Netherlands originally. My biggest shock of moving to Australia is the internet here, or the lack of it… The cheapest we can get is 50 Mbit, and data limits don't even exist. 1 Gbit (1000 Mbit) is starting to become widely available now haha

  • Seems fair, those people who only get wireless are already getting shafted.

    • +1

      Anyone getting the NBN is getting shafted by this government.

      • Not so … more than happy with the 100/40 FTTP connection ive had the past few years ;)

    • I'd rather not be shafted, I'd rather they got me at least FTTN, but no I gotta wait forever to get wireless :(

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