Aussie Broadband said its NBN bandwidth spend increased 137% quarter over quarter, resulting in an excess bill of $ 3.3 million.
The retail service provider said its excess usage bill would have been even higher – around $ 5.1 million – for the three months ending late September, had it not been for NBN Co’s rebates and a kind of “godsend” from an NBN. price promotion.
However, chief executive Phillip Britt said in an ASX filing that the numbers supported the internet industry’s repeated calls for financial relief, similar to that offered for much of 2020.
NBN Co and its top five retail service providers (RSPs) have been at odds throughout 2021 over the extent to which RSPs bear the increased costs of providing broadband services as several states are stranded.
NBN Co in particular contested the usage and cost figures of the RSPs and offered only partial compensation in the form of a discount.
Aussie Broadband said managing the bandwidth – known as the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) – over the past three months “has been extremely difficult due to the ongoing lockdowns in Victoria and New South Wales.”
âDomestic usage is up 15% from pre-lockdown levels in May 2021,â the retailer said.
âTotal HVAC spending for the period was $ 3.3 million, an increase of 137% from the previous quarter after factoring in NBN’s relief and increased inclusion benefits. of NBN’s Focus on Fast campaign. “
Aussie Broadband said he qualified for $ 800,000 in rebates from NBN Co during the period.
However, most of its ability to offset increasing HVAC costs came from a strategic move described for iTnews in August, where Aussie Broadband offered its customers a discounted switch to a faster plan, which includes larger HVAC inclusions.
As HVAC is ultimately a pooled resource, Aussie Broadband indicated at the time that the upgrades could leave the company with excess capacity that could be used to offset the need to purchase more HVAC. to meet its overall needs – and it appears to have happened.
âAt the start of the first quarter of fiscal 22, the company migrated 51,000 broadband services to the higher speed tiers of NBN to take advantage of the increase in HVAC inclusions as part of the Focus on Fast campaign. NBN, âsaid the RSP.
“This action reduced overall HVAC expenses for the quarter by approximately $ 1 million and will continue to reduce excess expenses over the course of [the second quarter].
âIf the company had not proactively migrated its customers as part of the Focus on Fast campaign and if NBN Co had not provided relief during the period, total HVAC expenses for the quarter would have was estimated at $ 5.1 million, an increase of 264% from the previous quarter. “
Aussie Broadband said high bandwidth charges are also expected in the last three months of calendar year 2021, despite the bottlenecks being lifted.
The company said “a reduction in usage has been observed” in New South Wales since the restrictions were relaxed.
However, the company argued that NBN retailers generally bear the costs of blockages unfairly, where NBN Co could reasonably help more.
âIn essence, Aussie Broadband believes that retailers bear an unfair proportion of the network costs related to the Covid lockdown, and NBN Co should do more to support Australians during this difficult time,â he said.
âTo be clear: Aussie Broadband believes NBN Co is generating additional HVAC excess revenue as a direct result of the bottlenecks, while incurring little or no additional costs to provide this additional capacity. “