news National broadband provider TPG has revealed the prices it will charge for access to fibre broadband infrastructure rolled out by Telstra in the South Brisbane exchange area.
Telstra has chosen to replace the copper connections to about 20,000 premises in the region as its South Brisbane telephone exchange — where the copper cables terminate — is being closed in order to make way for the new Queensland Children’s Hospital in the area. The region is one of the first in Australia to receive fibre services to the home — but is not part of the Federal Government’s flagship National Broadband Network project, although the long-term plan is for the infrastructure to become part of the NBN. The first customers recently went live on the network — including customers of ISPs who had gained wholesale access to the network.
On its web site, TPG revealed this week it would offer just two plans in the area. Although the fibre is technically capable of offerings speeds up to 100Mbps, TPG will only offer two speeds — one with 8Mbps downlink and 384kbps uplink speeds, and a second plan offering 30Mbps/1Mbps speeds.
The plans will come with 200GB and 300GB of quota respectively, consisting of 100GB/100GB and 150GB/150GB on-peak/off-peak quota, and will cost $59.98 and $69.98 respectively. Both plans include $29.99 worth of line rental costs for a normal home telephone. A free Netcomm router is included in the plans. TPG will shape customers to speeds of just 256kbps/256kps after they have exhausted their quota.
The plans offer dramatically less value for similar prices compared with TPG’s existing ADSL2+ plans. For example, the company offers a $59.99 bundled plan that comes with line rental and unlimited downloads, or a 500GB plan for the same price. The 500GB plan is shaped to speeds of 1Mbps/1Mbps once the quota is exhausted. The company offers similarly priced naked DSL plans.
Fellow ISPs iiNet and Internode have bitterly complained about Telstra’s South Brisbane plans over the past few months.
In early September iiNet claimed Telstra was being heavy-handed with its treatment of wholesale customers in South Brisbane, virtually forcing them into signing up to agreements with its terms or facing the prospect of having their customers in the region cut off from broadband.
iiNet and Internode have also filed a joint submission with the national competition regulator, demanding Telstra’s South Brisbane wholesale services be subject to regulation, as the previous copper broadband services were.
At the time, Telstra reacted by stating that the prices it was offering to wholesale customers allowed them to be competitive, and that it had offered transitional assistance to ease the migration of wholesale services onto the network. Telstra had at that stage signed up 18 wholesale customers onto the South Brisbane network, it said.
Looks like iiNet and Internode’s complaints were valid. I can’t imagine TPG charging prices this poor unless it was forced to by Telstra. It appears as if the ACCC has some decisions to make. And Telstra … seriously? I thought you were supposed to be all warm and cuddly these days ;)