The proliferation of mass-market ADSL products in Australia is set to get a boost with the introduction of another retail broadband in a box offering for less than $20.
Following retailer Harvey Norman's decision in April to sell broadband bundles, rival retailer Dick Smith Electronics has announced a similar agreement with Flow Communications to sell all-in-one broadband products in its NSW, Victoria and ACT PowerHouse stores. Network equipment vendor D-Link will be supplying the ADSL modems and equipment. The new ADSL product is designed primarily for the SME and residential space.
The Flow/D-Link DSL product will be available in stores from 1 June. The product will be available in two types: the entry-level Flow DSLlite, which comes with a three-month fixed contract and one IP address, and the Flow DSL plan, which offers up to 32 multiple IP addresses and a 12-month fixed contract. Both types offer three network speeds, starting at 256Kbps download and 64Kbps upload, to 1.5Mbps download and 256Kbps upload.
Prices for the 256Kbps service on the Flow DSLlite plan range from $19.95 to $39.95 per month, after an initial $99 activation fee, with download usage charged at 18.5 cents per megabit for the first 500Mb (prices do not include modem). The Flow DSL product range starts at $99 per month and also offers users the choice of bulk traffic plans, starting at 1GB per month.
Flow Com channel manager Glen Young says the service provider's new ADSL product differs from other offerings because it is based on a Layer 2, Permanent Virtual Circuit connection direct to the customer. Unlike the point-to-point (PPP) radius-based service offered by other providers such as Telstra, which he says rely on an authentication process to deliver users a secure static IP address, this setup gives users static IP without the need to log in. This is achieved through the Flow/D-Link hardware, which can be preconfigured to the service provider's ADSL settings.