news SkyMesh has launched a set of broadband plans with symmetric speeds of 100/100Mbps over the National Broadband Network’s Fibre to the Premises infrastructure, banking that customers will take up plans offering higher upload speeds.
Previously, the company only offered the standard 100Mbps plans with 40Mbps upload speeds. However, a SkyMesh representative noted on the Whirlpool forums on Friday that the company now offered the symmetric 100Mbps plans in most locations. The company is waiting for nbn itself to upgrade its network in some areas until it can launch the plans in every location that the NBN’s fibre network exists.
The company’s plans — as first reported by the jxeeno blog — start at $99.95 per month for a 100/100Mbps plan featuring 30GB of on-peak and 60GB of off-peak data (between midnight and 7AM) and range up to a maximum of $199.95 for 2.4 terabytes of on-peak and 16 terabytes of off-peak data.
The company said on Whirlpool that it had been able to construct the plans by using wholesale NBN plans supplied by nbn which actually featured much higher download speeds which have been ratcheted down by SkyMesh for the purpose of creating the symmetric plans, along with the 100Mbps upload speeds.
SkyMesh expects a “few” customers to take up the plans. “$200 per month is quite affordable for small and medium businesses, such as graphic artists and film production companies, that need more upload speed,” the company said. “DropBox and backups to the Cloud benefit from that extra speed. I’m not sure we’ll sell too many to residential customers given the extra $40 per month, but maybe we will.”
Theoretically the NBN’s fibre is capable of speeds up to 1Gbps downstream and 400Mbps upstream, however only a small handful of customers are believed to have signed up to these higher speeds so far. nbn chairman Ziggy Switkowsku has even questioned the need for ordinary Australian households to have access to 100Mbps broadband speeds, telling a Senate Estimates session in November 2013 that a “whole lot of assumptions” needed to be pushed to their limits to demonstrate how such speeds would be used.
A number of technical commentators have consistently highlighted the future need for symmetric broadband speeds as being one of the reasons why the NBN should feature a full-fibre network architecture rather than a Fibre to the Node or HFC cable design as is featured in the Coalition’s Multi-Technology Mix version of the NBN. Neither of these platforms are as capable as fibre of offering full symmetric broadband services.
Like SkyMesh, I don’t expect many customers to take up these plans — they’re too costly for the ordinary Australian household. However, I do expect anyone working from home with large files to take them up — these are precisely the kind of plans which many small businesses want and need. Good to see that the NBN marketplace has started to offer them.
On another note — 16 terabytes of off-peak data??? Now we’re cooking! :D