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Australia Continues March to Abolish Usage Caps As Terabyte Usage Allowances Debut

Phillip Dampier December 6, 2010 Competition, Data Caps, Optus (Australia), Video 2 Comments

While some American broadband providers continue to dream of Internet Overcharging schemes for American customers, one of the world’s most usage-capped countries continues its march forward to abolish them.  Australia’s Optus, a major broadband provider, today announced it was dramatically increasing usage allowances on customers, effective immediately.

The Fusion 99 plan, which bundles telephone and broadband service, sees its data allowance increased from just 15GB of usage per month to 500GB (twice that of American cable giant Comcast).  Ditto for the Fusion 109 plan, which originally doubled the 15GB limit to 30.  Now it offers a 500GB allowance of usage.

If 500GB isn’t enough, Optus has announced its Fusion 129 plan includes 1000GB — a terabyte — of usage per month, which includes unlimited long distance calling and calls to Australia’s mobile phone customers (most countries outside of North America require the calling party to pay mobile rates when calling a mobile customer).  Even customers on Optus’ budget-minded standard and “naked” (standalone) broadband plans will benefit from new 500GB allowances.  Those who manage to exceed their allowance will find broadband speeds reduced to 250kbps until the end of the billing cycle.

Some Australian ISP’s take all limits off during off-peak usage hours.  The country has traditionally suffered from usage caps because of international undersea cable capacity problems which restrict how much traffic can be sent and received between the South Pacific and North America and Europe.  Increased undersea fiber capacity is tempering those traffic restrictions, and momentum towards unlimited use plans (or those with ridiculously high allowances) is the result.

Lifehacker produced a broadband plan breakdown showing the dramatically increasing usage allowances for Australian broadband customers. Traffic shaping continues to be an issue, however. Such speed control measures traditionally target peer-to-peer traffic. Total cost is the total price of the service over the length of the term contract. This chart represents high end plans, typically offering the highest speed tiers. All dollar amounts are in Australian dollars.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘The Gruen Transfer’ takes a humorous look at how phone companies Down Under advertise their services, including a reference about how “capped” services represent revenue gold to service providers.  (15 minutes)

Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. Gav says:

    Just for reference, there is a even cheaper ISP in Australia – http://www.tpg.com.au – they offer unlimited ADSL2+ from $29.

    I’m with them, they are pretty good.

    Just mentioning this as other than Dodo your more or less referring to some of the most expensive providers in your post 😉

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