Some14,000 residents and business owners in Australia now are able to buy broadband access from retailers using Australia’s new National Broadband Network, a nationwide wholesale provider of high-speed Internet access and voice services.
Subscribers in Kiama Downs and Minnamurra, NSW, Brunswick, Victoria, Willunga, South Australia and Townsville, Queensland will be able to select packages from retail service providers including iiNet and Internode.
So how long does it take for price competition to develop? Not long, apparently. iiNet's NBN plan starts at $49.95 for 40 gigabytes of data, at download speeds of 12 megabits per second and upload speeds of 1Mbps.
Premium iiNet users will pay $100 a month for a 1000 GByte quota at 100Mbps download speeds and 40 Mbps upload speeds.
Internode has an entry-level price of $49.95 per month for a 12 Mbps, 30 GByte service, which is $10 a month less than Internode initially planned on charging, obviously a reaction to iiNet pricing for a roughly equivalent service.
Internode reduced the price of all its plans (relative to those announced in July 2011) as well. Reduction for the fastest tier of service was reset at $25 a month lower.
Internode also increased the previous 200 GByte data cap to 300 GBytes and doubled the 300 GByte data quota tier to 600 GBytes at the high end.
New Internode Plan Prices and Features
Lower broadband prices
Original Internode Plan Prices and Features
Inc Phone **
* Port speeds noted here are the nominal NBN access port speed only, and are not necessarily indicative of the Internet data transfer speeds the services will achieve in practice.** All plan prices are for a bundle of phone service and broadband.
Separately, Telstra shareholders still must vote on that firm’s plan to participate in the NBN, which requires divesting Telstra’s wired network, so that the assets are part of the NBN. Telstra role still a bit unclear Though it is assumed the plan will be approved, there remain some unresolved issues.
What remains to be seen, long term, is how much competition in the access market will be driven by pricing for “speeds and feeds,” and how much might ultimately be driven by other features.
To the extent that robust competition was among the envisioned benefits of the NBN plan, the quick price changes by Internode suggest the plan is working.
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