Aussie Broadband has called on NBN Co to halt sales on its fixed wireless network and improve the service in the same way the network builder is throwing resources at HFC.
Managing director Phillip Britt lamented NBN Co’s decision to exclude fixed wireless customers from a new 50Mbps price promotion as well as a permanent new price construct.
He said he believed fixed wireless had been excluded because the network wasn’t geared to support users at higher speed tiers.
"Aussie Broadband believes fixed wireless has been specifically excluded from the new pricing structure due to prolonged tower congestion in some areas of the NBN fixed wireless network, which would negate any increases in speed that would be offered by the new pricing,” he said.
“As a result, rural and regional Australians in NBN fixed wireless areas will most likely be paying more for a lower-quality service when compared to their city counterparts.”
Britt said he was concerned to see fixed wireless users being treated differently to fixed-line users.
“This marks a departure from the current model where all access types follow identical pricing (with the exception of satellite),” he said.
Britt called on NBN Co to publicly acknowledge problems with the fixed wireless network and to commit resources to remediate them.
He noted NBN Co’s recent decision to halt the HFC rollout in order to fix quality-of-service issues, and questioned why a similar effort for fixed wireless had not been forthcoming.
"Aussie Broadband would like NBN Co to commit to fixing the fixed wireless network in the same way as it recently committed to fixing the HFC network in metro areas, including implementing a stop-sell on congested fixed wireless towers if necessary,” he said.
"Fixed wireless should be included in the new pricing structure along with the other access types to ensure the current digital divide between metro and regional areas is narrowed, not widened, by the NBN rollout."