Dudded on the NBN? Why you may be paying more for less

FAMILIES could be forced to cough up 20% more for an NBN connection once it arrives in the neighbourhood and the legacy wiring is switched off,

The analysis published by The Australian on Tuesday comes with the warning that those new to the NBN must shop around for the best deal or risk being left significantly worse off financially.

For those who are not watching multiple videos or movies at once at home, or have a smaller family, they could be paying for speeds that they will never need, according to Ovum analyst Craig Skinner.

Prices for NBN packages have fallen but Telsyte's managing director Foad Fadaghi said that expectations have continued to rise.

"Our research has shown that the average price of plans this year has come down, but the expectation of what people expect to pay in future is actually up on previous years," he told The Australian.

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There has also been some suggestion that NBNCO's wholesale prices are too high, a cost which is passed on to consumers via the telcos.

Labor's regional communications spokesman Stephen Jones described the NBN as a "second-rate broadband service that is failing all expectations".

"Far too many regional Australians are enduring unacceptable connection delays and faults, slow data speeds, unusable services and drop-outs," he said.

In fact, there were 13,406 complaints about the NBN in the past financial year, including 7500 relating directly to faults.

Among the top towns complaining were regional centres of Bundaberg, Caboolture in Queensland and the Central Coast of NSW.

An NBNCo spokeswoman said when shifting from ADSL to the NBN, there was not a big difference in price.

"On the lower speed tiers, the price of nbn plans are largely comparably to ADSL plans - in some cases, they are cheaper," she said.

She added that while there have been more complaints to the ombudsman about the NBN, it was likely due to the large amount of new users being added.

As a proportion of customers, the complaints fell by 12%, according to NBNCo.

Regional Communications minister Fiona Nash has been approached for comment.