Most households not paying more for NBN internet

A survey of 282 households in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick has found 37 per cent of NBN-adopters are paying more for their Internet

A university study has found most early adopters of the NBN are not paying more for their Internet connection.

The research was carried out by the University of Melbourne and Swinburne University, with a research funding grant provided by consumer advocacy group ACCAN.

It surveyed 282 households in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, which was one of five first release sites around Australia.

Report: What’s life really like on the NBN?

The study found 49 per cent of households which had signed up to the NBN were not paying more for their Internet.

A total of 37 per cent said they were paying more for their broadband connection, which Elise Davidson, ACCAN spokeswoman, attributed to households signing up for faster speeds.

Fourteen per cent said they were paying less, which Davidson attributed to consumers switching from a landline phone to a VoIP phone.

At a Senate Estimates hearing in October last year, Jim Hassell, former head of product development and sales at NBN Co, said NBN Co originally forecast that the highest take-up would be on the lowest speed – 12/1Mbps.

However, Hassell said there has been a take-up rate of 44 per cent on 100/40Mbps, but he conceded it was too early to tell if this was indicative of longer term trends.

David Kennedy, research director and principal analyst at Ovum, has previously said while there have been higher than expected numbers of people signing up to 100Mbps plans in early rollout areas, they tend to be consumers who want high speed broadband regardless of how it is delivered or how much it costs.

The real statistics on what speeds consumers want remain to be seen, Kennedy said.

The Brunswck survey also found:

• 82 per cent of households believed the NBN ‘was a good idea’
• 70 per cent of NBN-connected households spend more than $50 per month
• 30 per cent of NBN-connected households are likely to telework, compared to 15 per cent of other households
• 63 per cent of those surveyed were homeowners and around 59 per cent of NBN customers were families with children

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