NBN considers extra charges for regional satellite users

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NBN considers extra charges for regional satellite users

Costs for missed appointments, late cancellations.

The national broadband network builder is proposing to charge service providers for instances when end-users miss appointments, make late cancellations or want to reactivate their service.

NBN today released a list of proposed charges for the LTS - which is scheduled to launch commercially in the second quarter of next year - as part of industry consultation on the fees.

A $15 reactivation fee will be charged to cover the cost of each individual reactivation.

A late cancellation for a site visit or a missed appointment will cost a service provider from $150 to upwards of $225, depending on the location.

The company will also charge for "incidentals" including travel (distance and time separately), car hire, freight, accommodation, and labour.

The incidental costs include a fee of $1.40/km related to the distance the NBN installer has to travel, and an hourly rate of $98 for the installer's labour time.

The fees will apply for areas that are not easily accessible by road, and which aren't covered by the interim satellite service.

NBN does not charge installation fees for fixed wireless and fixed-line services.

Service providers have already indicated the costs will be passed directly on to customers.

CEO of satellite internet reseller Active8me Tony Bundrock told iTnews the costs were "perfectly reasonable".

"It's an expense and a frustration in regional and remote areas for a tech to go onsite," he said.

"Those charges just put responsibility onto the end user to stick with the deal. If an appointment is made and you wish to change it - we're talking with no forewarning - you'd be charged."

NBN will need the ACCC's approval to introduce the charges given its obligation to provide "uniform national wholesale broadband pricing" under its special access undertaking (SAU). 

The ACCC would have two years to either alter or rubberstamp the proposed changes should NBN decide to implement the fees, an NBN spokesperson said.

When questioned on how the new charges aligned with the obligation to provide uniform wholesale pricing, the spokesperson said it had "always been up to [retail service providers] to decide how they frame their offerings".

He said no final decision on implementing the charges had been made.

"We’re seeking feedback from the industry via our product development forum. We’ll take this into consideration before publishing the final product construct paper."

Service providers have until June 12 to respond to the proposed charges.

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