Great articles on other sites
- iiNet founder Michael Malone finally backs TPG Telecom takeover
- How and why the public sector must make friends with artificial intelligence
- Second anniversary of IT pricing report approaches - Computerworld
- Doctors spend 15 mins opening Fiona Stanley Hospital software
- What to expect from Abbott's national cyber security strategy
- ISPs need more time for data retention compliance
- TPG iiNet bid: major shareholders complain
- Qld emergency services payroll replacement on the rocks
- Victoria to wait another eight months for public IT dashboard
- Superloop CEO slams Australian govt tech policies
Renai's other site: Sci-fi + fantasy book news and reviews
- Kim Stanley Robinson’s new book Aurora is due in July
- What’s the future of “Grimdark” fantasy?
- An epic rant from Richard Morgan about nuance in writing
- Brandon Sanderson’s Firefight: Review
- Get into Jeff VanderMeer’s head as he writes the Southern Reach trilogy
- George R. R. Martin’s next book The Winds of Winter won’t arrive in 2015
- Alastair Reynolds’ Poseidon’s Wake launches 16 April
- Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword: Review
- Ann Leckie finishes Ancillary Mercy
- Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Fractal Prince: Review
News, Telecommunications - Written by Renai LeMay on Saturday, March 24, 2012 12:25 - 18 Comments
Exetel releases $55 ‘Fair Use’ unlimited ADSL plan
news National broadband provider Exetel has once again dipped its toe into the ‘Unlimited’ broadband plan market, launching a new offering at $55 and $65 monthly price points (including telephone line rental) that will see customers who exceed average usage patterns requested to reduce their downloading habits.
The ‘Unlimited’ style of broadband plan is popular in a number of major countries such as the US internationally, but only a small number of broadband providers offer them. They see the monthly quota on users’ accounts removed, with users theoretically being able to download as much data as they want. Other popular providers in the Australian market with unlimited plans include TPG and Dodo, which are both cut-rate providers.
Exetel has had a long-term on-again, off-again relationship with unlimited plans dating back most of a decade. In the earliest years of this decade, for example, before the onset of ADSL2+ speeds up to 24Mbps, Exetel offered a number of unlimited plans at various speeds. However, at one point it cut them, before reinstating them in December 2004. This was a pattern which the company would repeat over the years, with the most recent flirtation with the unlimited idea occurring in November last year, when then-Exetel CEO John Linton mooted the idea of bringing the plans back.
Following Linton’s untimely passing earlier this year, his business partner Steve Waddington has taken over the business. Late yesterday on his company blog, Waddington noted that Exetel had had “a sudden brain storm” with respect to Unlimited plans.
“We were talking about ‘unlimited’ plans on offer in the market, and how they all have one or more asterisk, tilda or some other super text that points to a ‘fair use’ policy that explains how ‘unlimited’ doesn’t really mean unlimited. And why the ACCC. for some reason, requires ‘unlimited*’ actually be ‘unlimited’,” Waddington wrote, referring to the regulator’s long-term suspicion of the term ‘unlimited’ being used in marketing material.
“So, why not, we mused, just call the plan ‘Fair Use’ up front – flat rate, no metering, no shaping, except in conditions where it is required – which is what the fair use policy says,” Waddington added. “Just instead of ‘hiding’ it and hoping no one notices the tricky conditions of ‘unlimited*’, have fair use up front, and explain what makes it unlimited. In fact, do away with any word as possibly misleading as ‘unlimited’ and state plainly what is being offered.”
“Maybe there is something we all missed in this, why no one does it? I guess we will find out. The ‘soft release’ of our Fair Use $55 and Fair Use 65 plans will be on the web site later today. It will be a limited time offer, and we will see how it goes.”
As Waddington noted, Exetel has launched two new fair use plans on its website, at $55 and $65 monthly price points (including $20 worth of line rental for a compulsory bundled telephone line). the $65 plan also comes with 9,000 call minutes included on the telephone line. The offers are broadly competitive with similar offers from other ISPs on the market, but those interested in signing up may want to read the ‘Fair Use’ fine print.
In the fine print associated with the plans, Exetel notes that it regularly monitors average usage statistics of its users. “… if you are deemed by Exetel to be exceeding the average, Exetel will request that you reduce your usage,” Exetel’s terms state. “Persistent breaches of our Fair Residential Fair Use Policy may result in Exetel terminating your service.” Exetel has not extended the unlimited plans to its National Broadband Network pricing.
Ah Exetel. Such an inconstant beast there never was. If the company proves to be as fickle with its pricing as it did during the Linton years, I expect these new unlimited plans to hang around for a few months (perhaps as much as six months) and then disappear. The company loves to tinker with its pricing constantly. If you’re interested in them, jump on board quickly before they vanish.
I am also pretty suspicious of the so-called ‘Fair Use’ policy which Waddington made such a big deal of in his blog post. To be honest, it’s incredibly vague, and for now pretty much states that Exetel can warn any customer they please about downloading too much data on its fair use plans, without disclosing what that actual limit it. In practice, Exetel must have some idea of what quota average usage hovers around — is it 200GB? 300GB? Why not disclose this on its web site from month to month, so that customers would have an idea of how ‘unlimited’ its ‘fair use’ plans truly are? Now that would be the definition of ‘fair’.
Blog, Policy + Politics - Jul 31, 2015 12:43 - 0 Comments
More In Policy + Politics
- Four months later, data retention funding model still incomplete
- Less talk, more action: Entrepreneur tells ‘Labor for Innovation’
- Bronny Copter is here to save us from Bishop’s Choppergate
- 7:30 exposes Aussie Hacking Team industry
- Hypocrisy? Fletcher pushs tech exports to China while TSSR bill looms
Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 31, 2015 14:16 - 1 Comment
More In Enterprise IT
- Microsoft wants to win you back with Windows 10
- Qld Govt Depts have no disaster recovery plan
- ASD releases Windows 8 hardening guide
- ASG picks up $35m CIMIC IT services deal
- Datacom completes mammoth Health ICT takeover
Industry, News - Jul 28, 2015 12:37 - 0 Comments
More In Industry
- iiNet shareholders vote ‘yes’ for TPG buyout
- iiNet chairman “proud” as TPG sell-out looms
- Kotaku alleges abuse, gross staff neglect at retailer EB Games
- Aussie software firm Marketplacer grabs $10m
- Expert360 pulls in $4.1m for consultancy 2.0
Consumer Tech, News - Jul 29, 2015 17:14 - 11 Comments
More In Consumer Tech
- Older Australians embracing video games
- Gasp … Qld will fuel electric vehicle charging stations with solar
- Oops … Tesla enthusiast charges car on Qld windfarm
- Netflix Australia: Review
- RAC builds electric vehicle highway in WA