In a Senate Estimates hearing, nbn CEO, Bill Morrow, said that Australians may need to pay extra for future upgrades on Fibre-to-the-node services.  

“If people said, ‘Not only do I want 50 megabits per second (Mbps), I want 200, and I’m willing to pay the difference between 50 and 200 because of incremental utility in my house, I have a new value that I didn’t have before, so it’s worth it to me to spend a little bit more money,’ then we will say, ‘Great, let’s do a business case,” Mr Morrow said.

“We will actually upgrade those people out there for that. But you have to be willing to pay above what you are paying today for the 25 Mbps service, and the only way people typically do that is if in fact there is better value for them and there is better utility for them.”

In response to questions from Senator Deborah O’Neill in the hearing, Mr Morrow discussed customers upgrading their network in order to use new technologies, such as virtual reality.

“If AR and VR come closer to time and reality—and there are mixed reviews out there as to when VR is going to be here—to a level where people are willing to pay for it. Let us assume that within five years it is going to be en masse.

“Many people are going to want it, they will see the value in it and they will want to spend the money, but their network will not be able to handle that. That is your concern.

“My point is that when we see that people are actually willing to pay incremental amounts over what they are paying today for 25 (Mbps), then a business case can be written, bolted onto the top of what Stephen [nbn Chief Financial Officer Stephen Rue] has been talking about with the current out to 2040 time frame, and we will go ahead and update that network.”

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