Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications

Australian Families Abandon NBN In 2023 As Prices Rise, Labor’s Response: More Increases In 2024

Official data shows that the National Broadband Network (NBN) lost thousands of existing customers in 2023, with numbers declining sharply since recent price hikes approved by the Government.

2023 was the first year in NBN’s history in which it lost customers in the existing homes (‘brownfields’) category, which makes up just over 83% of NBN’s total business.

According to NBN’s own data, the number of connections in existing properties fell by more than 30,000 over the last year.

Strikingly, there’s been a sharp drop in the take-up of NBN at existing homes since the Government approved price increases for popular NBN plans in October.

NBN has lost more than 10,000 customers from this category in under two months since internet retailers got the green light to push up prices.

NBN’s satellite business also lost customers in 2023, with almost 13,000 – or more than 12% of its entire customer base – abandoning NBN satellite contracts.

NBN’s minuscule overall customer growth of just 0.6% for the year was due almost entirely to installations at new ‘greenfields’ housing developments.  Excluding connections at new housing developments, NBN lost tens of thousands of customers across the year.

Shadow Communications Minister David Coleman said the falling NBN numbers were happening as price hikes were being imposed under the Government, and more hip-pocket pain was coming.

“Labor has recently raised prices on the NBN by up to 10%, with the biggest increases being levied on the lowest cost plans, which hurts those who can least afford it, the most,” Mr Coleman said.

“This is the last thing that families need in the middle of the Albanese Government’s cost of living crisis.

“Incredibly, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland described the price increases as ‘great news for consumers’ and ‘a positive outcome for households’.

“The Albanese Government has also baked-in a second round of NBN price rises.

“Under Labor’s new NBN pricing regime, householders face twin price hikes in the space of just over six months, with increases from December 2023 and again in July 2024.

“Australians are voting with their feet and leaving the NBN.”

* Source: National Broadband Network – Rollout Information – Weekly Summary (published 2 January 2024)