Users of TVs that are Internet enabled are set to be slugged by the National Broadband Network NBN Co, under proposed costings put forward today by Labour’s Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy.
Conroy is also proposing that users are automatically locked into paying for a new fibre service unless they specifically choose to opt out of the new fibre to the home service.
Set to be hardest hit are TV viewers who want to take advantage of content delivered to their TV via services like the Telstra BigPond Movie service.
What the Federal Government is proposing is the introduction of a $35 basic charge for internet and voice service, and $50 for faster internet and voice.
On top of this the Labour Government is proposing that IPTV users will be hit with additional costs. Currently most carriers are charging $0.15 cents a megabyte for additional broadband outside of a contract. Based on an average movie size of between 1 GB and 1.5 GB the cost could blow significantly unless the provider of the service is delivering unmetered broadband with the movie service similar to what Telstra is currently doing with their BigPond movie service.
Yesterday, analysts predicted that Internet-enabled TVs were proving more popular than 3D TVs they also tipped lower shipments of 3D enabled TVs and that IPTV will become mainstream ahead of 3D TV.
Confirming an increase in the coverage of its national broadband network, Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy said he would support a rollout where people were automatically connected to the network unless they chose to opt out of it.
This he claims will boost take-up rates.
The ABC is reporting that the cost of the $43 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) could double.
In an interview with experienced industry consultant and project manager, Malcolm McKenzie, on Radio National, McKenzie said that the costs of big telecommunication rollouts always blow out.
The claim comes as the Federal Government prepares to announce that more than 300,000 extra premises will be connected to the NBN than originally planned.
“I would say for any project this size, [a cost blowout of] 50 per cent to 100 per cent would not be unrealistic,” Mr McKenzie said.
He says red tape and rain are just two issues that will cause delays.
Opposition communications spokesperson, Tony Smith said: ”this is a massive use of taxpayers’ money. We all want to see better broadband, more affordable broadband,” he told ABC Radio.
”But we make no apology for not matching Labour’s monumentally reckless spending in this regard.”
Mr Smith promised to outline the coalition’s own broadband plan in the ”not too distant future”. Opposition frontbencher, Kevin Andrews, warned Labour’s broadband plan had been cobbled together.
”This is an area of rapidly changing technology and we could be left with a white elephant in the future,” he told ABC Television.