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Kogan NBN service goes live

Australian online retailer Kogan.com has launched its National Broadband Network (NBN) service, with Kogan Internet offering unlimited data across all plans.

In addition to a AU$69 modem, Kogan Internet’s month-to-month NBN plans start at AU$58.90 per month for the 12/1Mbps speed tier; AU$68.90 per month — currently discounted to AU$58.90 per month for the first 24 months — for 50/20Mbps speeds; and AU$88.90 per month for speeds of 100/40Mbps.

Kogan Internet has contacted all those who joined its waitlist and have premises ready to connect to the NBN, with all plans able to be exited without fees and all earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

“With the recent improvements in the NBN and today’s launch of Kogan Internet, there has never been a better time for Aussies to change their internet provider,” Kogan.com ED David Shafer said.

“It is important that Aussies understand that even if they thought they found a good deal in their current ADSL or cable connection, there is no guarantee their existing provider will continue to offer the best-value service in the age of NBN.”

On the sidelines of CES 2018 in Las Vegas earlier this year, Kogan.com CEO and founder Ruslan Kogan told ZDNet that the online retailer is in a better position than Australia’s major telcos in the NBN services market, because it has never had to bear the expenses of building out fixed-line infrastructure investment, only to have to move customers across to the NBN.

“We are in a brilliant position in that industry because … you’ve got all these telcos that have fixed infrastructure that have had capital expenses building out networks over the last few decades — all of that just becomes meaningless, and everyone gets to buy at the same price from NBN and it becomes a customer acquisition play: Who can acquire customers the cheapest,” he told ZDNet.

“Our cost of acquisition is the cheapest, and we can pass that saving onto the customer. So we’re very excited by this; it’s basically a government-mandated switchover of a huge utility that people want, need, and are using more and more of, and we will have an incredibly competitive price on it.”

According to Kogan, his company would be “launching at the perfect time” after NBN had sorted its rollout issues.

“We’re going to have parity of service with our product that will be through the Vodafone network, everything going through the same pipes,” Kogan explained to ZDNet.

“There’s a big focus on the customer service side of things, which our team’s building at the moment, because one of the worst feedback areas about current NBN providers has been people don’t know is it connected, when’s it getting connected, who’s coming when, what sort of service to get, what the speeds are — that element of the customer service our team is working on at the moment to ensure there’s very clear communication and the marketing side of it is spot on.”

Kogan.com had announced in June last year that it would be launching NBN services sometime in 2018 with Vodafone, at the time saying they would also extend their agreement from October 2015 for mobile broadband services out to 2022, with “significant incentives” for both companies to continue the partnership thereafter.

“We have a unique structure with Vodafone, where we are the branding, marketing, and customer acquisition arm. So Vodafone runs the service, Vodafone runs the network, the call centres, absolutely everything, and it’s branded as Kogan mobile,” Kogan said at CES.

“The way that we’ve structured it makes a lot of sense, because for our business, we are doing what we are good at: Being the brand Kogan Mobile, the online trust, the customer acquisition, the digital marketing, and we can offer a Kogan-branded end-to-end experience for our customers whilst not — we don’t know how to run a telco.”

Vodafone last month announced the expansion of its NBN footprint out to five more areas by April, adding services in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Tasmania. This marked an almost doubling of its original NBN footprint, with Vodafone launching NBN services in December last year to Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Geelong, and Newcastle.

Vodafone’s NBN plans are priced at AU$59 for the 12/1Mbps speed tier; AU$79 for the 50/20Mbps tier; and AU$99 for the 100/40Mbps tier, with all plans including unlimited data.

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