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Incremental Progress in Australia on Usage Limits: Pipe Networks’ New Fiber Link Goes Live This Week

Phillip Dampier October 5, 2009 Broadband Speed, Competition, Internet Overcharging, Internode (Australia) Comments Off on Incremental Progress in Australia on Usage Limits: Pipe Networks’ New Fiber Link Goes Live This Week
"PPC-1" - Pipe Network's new fiber link opens this week

"PPC-1" - Pipe Network's new fiber link opens this week

Ongoing connectivity issues and lack of competition continue to leave Australians with expensive, slow, and usage-limited broadband service.

This week, Pipe Networks will make a small dent in improving international connectivity when it activates its new PPC-1 fiber link between Sydney and the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific. The project, first envisioned in December 2006, took nearly three years to complete at a cost of more than $175 million U.S. dollars, and has a design capacity of 1.92Tb/s run over two fiber pairs.

Telecommunications analyst Paul Budde said Pipe Networks, along with others “would help to reduce this problem and will therefore provide ISPs with better prices,” which was supposed to result in a lifting of Internet Overcharging schemes like usage caps.

Not so fast.

Broadband providers in Australia have taken notice of Pipe Networks’ new pipeline, but many have not lowered prices or removed usage caps.  The lack of competition has kept a price war from taking place.  Ovum senior telecommunications analyst David Kennedy told Australian IT that without a price incentive, a lot of customers, particularly those served by Optus and Telstra, are unlikely to switch providers.

ADSL2+ Speeds drop dramatically the further away you live from the phone company's switching office

ADSL2+ Speeds drop dramatically the further away you live from the phone company's switching office

One DSL provider in Australia, Internode, has made some changes to its service offerings in response to the new fiber link.  The Adelaide-based company has simplified some of its service plans, cut the price of small office/home office pricing by about $9 per month, and increased the paltry usage cap on its Easy Broadband plan from 30GB per month to 50GB per month.  Internode’s Easy Broadband charges $44 a month for DSL service at 1.5Mbps/256kbps,  or in areas upgraded to ADSL2+ service, up to 24Mbps/1Mbps.  Actual speed on the latter service is highly dependent on how far away you live from the telephone company local switching office.

Internode chief executive Pat Tapper doesn’t think PPC-1 will make a huge difference for his company.

Internode sells "data blocks" for consumers intending to exceed their allowance.

Internode sells "data blocks" for consumers intending to exceed their allowance.

“In the whole scheme of things the PPC-1 circuit doesn’t represent a huge spend in terms of what it costs to run the network. It will change a little bit in terms of our overall cost but only a very small amount,” he said.

“What it does give us is the ability to deliver more capacity to customers in downloads.”

That means a larger usage cap, but not cheaper pricing.

Internode customers that exceed the cap can purchase additional usage blocks, at pricing starting at $2.20 per gigabyte.

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  • JD: CLEAR has without a doubt been the absolute BEST internet service I’ve ever (and I’ve used several ISP’s since 1991) used, PERIOD!!! Will Sprint ...
  • Jason: I agree, cap to limit congestion is a lie. So with capping everyone you have high congestion for the first two weeks of the billing cycle then it fal...
  • Jason: I work from home and I'll be damned if they are going to charge me any fees or cap my usage. Just wait until Google fiber comes to Phoenix and the ex...
  • chris: was just curious to what cox had to say about all this cash cow bussiness and heres what they told me Thank you for choosing Cox Communications....
  • Joe V: I hope the people of New Jersey are happy. They voted for Chris Christie and this is exactly what they got....
  • Susan: After diligently watching my credit score for over a year and how negative as well as positive postings affect it, I have a hard time believing that o...
  • David Therchik: An intense investigation needs to put into this! As soon as one starts I bet they'll stop charging/cheating people from over usage. Before they bought...
  • Charles Bingham: I did but customer no service was no help - said it did no good to have pass word with symbols, cap and small letters and #'s. IF only I had an alte...
  • Phillip Dampier: That assumes this customer had access to a working usage meter and notification messages and ignored them. Evidently it was big enough of a problem fo...
  • Are you kidding me...: "Over the years" people are using the internet differently. If your bill went up, you have usage. Responsible would be calling and talking to them ab...
  • Charles Bingham: Actually my usage has decreased over the years as I sold my business and only kept the internet for a few tax returns that I still do, no employees no...
  • Are you kidding me...: This entire article reeks of "poor me, I'm a victim and I can't be responsible about my own Internet usage, my own bills or my own actions." Grow up....

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