Optus caps cable

Optus on Monday confirmed it will overhaul its cable Internet offering, which will see the telco introduce download limits.

According to an Optus spokeswoman, from 1 July the current flat monthly fee of $74.95 (which allows unlimited downloads) will be split into four plans based on download usage per month. Optus has confirmed the plans will be split as follows:

550MB - $54.95 per month. 3GB - $69.95. 5GB - $134.95. 10GB - $265.95.

These prices are for the OptusNet cable Internet product bundled with another Optus product, such as telephone or cable television. Customers who do not have these Optus bundles will pay more.

According to Optus, the average monthly usage of its 55,000 cable Internet customers is 2.2GB per month. These folk will now sit in the $69.95 monthly plan. This means a price reduction of $5 a month for 75 per cent of customers, said the spokeswoman.

She said the change in plans "makes good business sense for us" and Optus expects it will increase its broadband customer base.

"The entry-level price will grow our user base. $54 is a little more palatable than $75 a month. And $54 a month isn't too much more than the cost of dial up so we anticipate customer growth and greater take up of broadband," said the spokesperson.

Telstra also caps the download limit of its broadband customers but unlike Telstra, Optus will not financially penalise customers who surpass their download limit, instead they will decrease the bandwidth. Optus also will not be charging for uploads.

Optus should be releasing in the next few weeks more details on plans and pricing for bundling services, such as Internet, telephone and cable television.

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