Virgin succumbs to Optus blues

Last week I discussed some issues regarding the decline in quality of mobile broadband in Australia, despite the lower prices and increased competition. A large chunk of these issues relate to Optus, which has been blamed for increasingly poor network performance and mediocre speeds over the past few months.

It was somewhat interesting then to find out that Virgin Mobile has decided to stop selling its Broadband at Home service via general retail stores. Instead, it will only sell the product via direct channels, its own stores, and its Web site and call centre. Of course, this is interesting because Virgin’s mobile and broadband services are provided by Optus’ 3G network.

The official Virgin statement said the changes in sale are a result of Virgin being “committed to guaranteeing the best possible service”.

Or if you read between the lines, basically it is their way of saying the mediocre Optus network can’t cope with so many users, so they now have to pick and choose who is able to subscribe to the service.

This isn’t all bad news. I agree with Virgin in that these changes should be able to guarantee potential users at least a passable level of service. Previously, you could walk into a shop and purchase the Broadband at Home package, with no details required.

Now, Virgin is able to check your address details and coverage area before selling the service. If they can’t guarantee a passable quality of service, they won’t sell it to you.

It’s still a ridiculous situation, without a doubt. The fact that we are almost at the end of 2008 and people are being turned away from mobile broadband services due to poor coverage and network performance is a joke.

It’s sad that it has come to this. The current market continues to dip in price at a consumer and business level, while competition has never been fiercer — all which should result in better service.

But the greedy telcos, led by Optus, have put the dollars before their reputation by continuing to add new subscribers while failing to address their flagging network issues.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?