BigPond price cuts anger Internode, iiNet

BigPond slashed the price on its top-speed 200GB plan by half from $179.95 per month down to just $89.95, dramatically undercutting the prices of similarly rated plans at Internode, iiNet and others

National broadband providers Internode and iiNet have cried foul with regards to a massive price cut unveiled yesterday by Telstra's BigPond internet service provider division on its broadband plans.

BigPond slashed the price on its top-speed 200GB plan by half from $179.95 per month down to just $89.95, dramatically undercutting the prices of similarly rated plans at Internode, iiNet and others.

A number of readers immediately questioned yesterday whether Telstra was planning to pass on the price cuts to its wholesale customers so that retail customers like Internode, iiNet, Optus and others would receive similar pricing from Telstra's wholesale division as BigPond did.

“We are in discussions with our wholesale customers regarding their pricing,” said a Telstra spokesperson this morning. “Lower broadband prices and increased value for money are great news for customers, with our new offers a direct response to the very high level of competition in the broadband market.”

But that answer was not good enough for Internode, with a spokesperson for the ISP saying this morning that it would amend its existing complaint on Telstra prices to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to include Telstra's latest pricing change.

Internode general manager of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs John Lindsay said BigPond's price cuts provided additional evidence of Telstra using its monopoly position to limit competition, and that Internode would now await a response from the ACCC.

"In the meantime, Internode continues to sell price-competitive services on its own broadband infrastructure,” he said.

iiNet's chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby told ARN today that BigPond's move was “uncompetitive” and that Telstra's wholesale prices were “artificially high”, with retail prices being below wholesale pricing.

It's not the first time a brouhaha has erupted in Australia's broadband market over Telstra wholesale prices. As far back as 2001 Telstra was wrangling with the ACCC and other telcos over the issue – and the problem has continued to plague the big T since that time.

Tags internodeiiNetTelstrabroadband

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Renai LeMay

Good Gear Guide

31 Comments

mike t

1

It is ridiculous, the pricing is enticing, but bigpond is notoriously bad at just about everything they do, and the bastards have locked up all their ADSL2 infrastructure to themselves in so many places, i cannot see how this isnt some sort of competition breach..

If Internode could supply me with ADSL2 i would take it, but i can't due to telstra.

It is ridiculous.

Sydney Lawrence

2

Yes mike t competition is a little ridiculous ask the competitors through the ages that have been knocked for six by opponents who have delivered products and services to consumers at better prices and quality. The free ride is over and best opponents of Telstra gear up to bite the bullet, look to their own qualities and prepare to compete in an open market.

Craig Adelaide

3

Sydney Laurance I think you miss the point. Telstra is selling retail services below its stated wholesale cost, whilst holding a monopoly in wholesale services at many exchanges.

This is another reason to split Telstra into separate wholesale and retail companies.

Bill

4

Craig adelaide
looking at the prices on agile network i see
Internode is undercutting their competitors on thier own agile network

dont you think its hypocritical of internodecomplaining yet they do the same to a smaller competitor on thier own network

so you want internode and agile split too

Dan

5

Theres bigger tears now then before LOL.
They were originally crying about 25gb at 69.95.
Now they are crying 50gb is at $69.95 when they are selling easy broadband for $59.95.
When will the tears stop? Don't bigpond customers deserve any value for money?

David

6

Well it is about time for the Bigpond customers to have a good broadband value with Telstra's stable internet connection. I for one find the latest pricing fantastic and yes Bigpond users do deserve value for money.

Warwick

7

Just goes to show how much Telstra have been ripping off people. Why couldn't they have offered priced like this years ago

Syd

8

Warwick it not the case of ripping off its the competition who complain about the cheaper pricing.

Every time bigpond tried to do competitive pricing the competition complain and the accc is more for the competition isps then it is for the consumer

Jason

9

Still not changing I dont like the idea of being locked into a 12 month contract

Frank

10

It must be remembered it wasn't that long ago that Internode was smug about its Kombi Van billboards. In hindsight, it would seem they were a little smug!

The worst thing Telstra/Bigpond ever did was wholesale ADSL2 ports. They could have priced them more competitively to begin with and they would have been snapped up by willing customers. Instead, they priced them so high, very few retail customers wanted the service, which kind of forced Telstra to wholesale the ports.

The problem with Internode and iiNet is they want to undercut Telstra/Bigpond in the densely populated areas, but want Telstra to give them access to a product on the cheap when the population density is poor. When ADSL/2/+ come to market, Telstra/Bigpond was on an equal footing with other ISPs, as all of them began with 0 ports at the same time.

Frank

11

It must be remembered it wasn't that long ago that Internode was smug about its Kombi Van billboards. In hindsight, it would seem they were a little too smug!

The worst thing Telstra/Bigpond ever did was wholesale ADSL2 ports. They could have priced them more competitively to begin with and they would have been snapped up by willing customers. Instead, they priced them so high, very few retail customers wanted the service, which kind of forced Telstra to wholesale the ports.

The problem with Internode and iiNet is they want to undercut Telstra/Bigpond in the densely populated areas, but want Telstra to give them access to a product on the cheap when the population density is poor. When ADSL/2/+ come to market, Telstra/Bigpond was on an equal footing with other ISPs, as all of them began with 0 ports at the same time.

Ranta Steve

12

This is an outrage! When will the ACCC finally stop companies from delivery quality and value to their customers?
All this discounting is un-Australian!

Asmodai

13

I'm on a Node ADSL1 (Telstra resold) service for 89 bucks a month with 40 gig and am seriously considering jumping ship for this offer.

Easy BB is not for me (I don't like metered uploads which, with my wife's torrenting, will cut my quota in half) and with 200 gig up my sleeve, Telstra could charge me double for upload and I'd still be ahead...

Many have complained mercilessly about Telstra's 'premium' pricing (I am one of them). Now they are being competitive on non-declared ADSL2 ports NATIONWIDE (as opposed to cherry picked DSLAM rollouts limited to the richest and easiest targets) and people are still complaining...

What's it to be, they have crappy high pricing or anticompetitive low pricing? Oh right, they are supposed to drop their wholesale price to let everyone else have a bite at the national market...

How about Optus, TPG, iiNet, Node etc put more DSLAMs out there for those of us not 5 mins from a CBD of a capital city and give us the choice to take advantage of plans often 30% cheaper than their resold services? Because it doesn't make good financial sense to them. Telstra is finally getting in to the market against competitor DSLAM pricing. Any time the 'competition' feel they are being hard done by, roll out a new DSLAM as it's obviously miles cheaper for you (assuming you get customers) than reselling Telstra's product...

nutjob

14

How can idiots here say this is a competitive market when Telstra own all the infrastructure? And how can it be competitive if Telstra can sell the product at retail below what competitors can buy at wholesale?

You'd have to be brain damaged to think that is a competitive environment. Bring on the NBN and destroy the Telstra monopoly.

Chris

15

Internode and iiNet can't whinge about this when many ISP's are still undercutting Telstra's new prices, and TPG is offering unlimited for only $75 per month.

The era of us getting ripped off for low monthly quotas is coming to an end with the likes of new international links such as PIPE coming online. Yes Telstra is a monopoly, and yes this needs to be fixed. But this has nothing to do with Telstra's monopoly and everything to do with Telstra needing to introduce price competitive services. Compete or die.

BigPondTheBest

16

Im very happy about this news, as a BIgpond user for over 8 years, the price of my 100GB allowance has dropped to $79 from $130 and im not even on contract - that expired about 7 years ago. I dont care about the other ISP's whinging - too bad for them. They should build their own infrastructure and network and if they cannot afford to do so quit. We are not here to provide other ISP's an opportunity to piggyback of Telstra's own network which we the taxpayers paid to establish over 100 years ago. We never asked other ISP's to start in Australia - they chose to do so of their own free will.

I dont agree with competition forcing prices down, its a falacy to say the least and only Telstra should be the primary ISP for Telephone / Internet in Australia with pricing caps enforced by the Commonwealth Government. Therefore, no other companies would be required. As for Optus, they are a Singapore Government Owned Entity and should not be allowed in Australia.

Gringo

17

@BigPondTheBest

Obvious troll is obvious.

KD

18

I completely agree @BigPondTheBest is a troll.

If you go by this argument then Telstra would be the only phone company. Primus, AT&T and all the others would have to go as well.

oh boy

19

@BigPondTheBest

quick get your tinfoil hats on Singapore owned Optus is coming to take over Australia (too bad they were aussat at the start in 1994), what a crok imagine what prices we would be paying is TLS were the only provider, Optus provide Wholesale DSL to many other providers at the same prices, the process for any provider to install new DSLAMS in TLS exchanges is rediculous, in some instances they even have to upgrade airconditioning and power systems before TLS will allow a 900 X 900 spot to install a rack.

John

20

I'm rapt, for an extra $5 per month I'm off crappy netspace @ 1.5meg and onto telstra adls2+ with an extra 35gig of downloads.

Way to go Telstra!

Competition alive and well.

Casper

21

I'm really pleased with the price reduction & I nearly fell off my chair when I saw how much I'd be paying for my Elite Liberty 100gb plan, I live in a rural area & when ADSL2+ dose come to my exchange Telstra will be the only provider that can offer me what I want. People in rural areas can only get Telstra because other ISP's won't put their own equipment into these exchanges as it comes down to customer demand so Internode & Iinet can't complain it's called competition so suck it up.

Glennw

22

I cant wait for the ACCC to finally do something about Telstra, but also dont forget about the companies that say unlimited internet. It might be unlimited download but its not at the same speed. Your speed is reduced after a certain amount of downloads. How about doing something about that.

J

23

Im surprised Bogpuddle (bigpond) are still active, Rip off merchants at one point, Now they're trying to be all so friendly with their prices? Pfft.
Internode is #1. Accept it!

Volt

24

We all knew it had to happen soon. they even announced it back in feb.

about fkn time. But yeh its a good deal lets see the rest follow suit.

Australian Bandwidth was some of the most expensive in the world and it is actually a deterrent for some companies to set up servers and infrastructure in this country due to the amazingly high cost of bandwidth compared to some of our neighbours. this is a welcome move not just for the consumer but for Australia as a whole.

soon we may see actual truly "unlimited" plans come into effect like our overseas cousins who constantly ask " you have quota over there?"

Nicholas

25

What a surprise that people who are silly enough to be Telstra customers in the first place don’t understand this article.

Mic

26

@Volt:

The price of "Australian Bandwidth" has pretty much nothing at all to do with Telstra, and everything to do with the combination of our own browsing habits and US providers. We want content from the US, no-one in the US wants content from Australia. When it comes to interconnects, we have nothing they want, so we pretty much have to pay whatever they ask.

In summary: we're all demand and no supply.

Mark

27

When is IINET and internode going to wholesale their ADSL ports to everyone.... I bet they would be the first ones to cry if they were forced in to the same position Telstra has.

At the end of the day they have to step up further and take a loss in the regional area's to balance out the gain in the metro/CBD and suck it up.

Either that or band together and do it so on ISAM in region is for them and telstra can have it's own. No wholesale.

Jamie

28

So all these new bigpond customers on their 200 gig plans are not going to be screwed with the same backhaul congestion that Telstra uses as an excuse to the other isps that use their wholesale ports. I would hate to sign up for a 200 gig plan and then be told i can only get 1500/256 due to congestion or being on a RIM

Internodefan

29

Internode have been taunting bigpond for a while, saying bigpond will not dare to have cheap prices , and internode will always be the value isp.

Internode has seen what this taunting done and didnt like it one bit, Internode has themseles to blame now they are complaining.

As an internode customer i want to know what did you taught bigpond to do it for , and you knwo you got the hide to complain

Duncan

30

Whilst Simon & co bang on about how unfair it is, I live not 20 mins from the 2nd biggest city in australia, and all I can get is telstra adsl2.. I wish simon would put his money where his big mouth is and provide Adsl2+ services for the laverton exchange, rather than cherry pick exchanges he deems as profitable.

I've signed up to a 200gb plan, as I don't see anyone else offering adsl2 in my area for some time to come. Go have a cry somewhere else Simon and move on. I've had to.

Kim

31

@Mic

Your right Mic, the distance factor and where we go.

But... think about this, Game servers are used by Australians, online games, especially some game that require the best speeds possible, have very little overseas connection needs.

Most of the data transferred is local, not only local but normally with the users city limits, it almost a local LAN.
Why then is that data charged at "international" rates?
This needs fixing, it is a total rip off and worth $3 per player. $0.40 overseas.

It's complex, if someone did a study on just what data is worth we would all get a bit of a shock, our networks are screaming out for a fair go with data transfer.
High data transfer costs = local industries suffer, buy space and bandwidth from overseas and you pay 1/10th the costs.

A local Aussie Business is better off getting a .com not a .com.au domain and host the files, and get the business webbie made...overseas. Now we have just added to the "problem" of Aussies going overseas.

The artificially high data transfer rates keep all aspects of Australian communications too expensive. A greedy few are holding us to ransom and crippling growth.

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