Wireless ISPs criticise broadband pricing model

Telstra's broadband pricing remains a "sting in the tale" for Australia's SME and residential users, and will continue to be so unless the telco reduces its wholesale charges, industry representatives claim.

Speaking at an 802.11 Planet.com wireless conference in Sydney last week, representatives from up-and-coming providers BigAir and Unwired, as well as the CSIRO and Gartner, agreed that pricing continued to be the main inhibitor stifling mainstream SME broadband uptake.

At present, SMEs fear broadband because of the unknown charges and costs incurred during the month, said BigAir CEO Jason Ashton.

"SMEs and business users want certainty in the price of their usage bill every month," he said.

In addition, many SMEs are doing a like-for-like comparison between dial-up and broadband costs, said Unwired representative and former MCI-Worldcom boss Suzanne Campbell. Such comparisons don't take into account other incidental charges, such as disruption costs, for example.

"They (SMEs) need to know it's not just dial-up charges versus an always-on connection," she said.

There to discuss the role wireless will play in delivering last mile access solutions, the panel inevitably turned to the influence Telstra exerts on broadband through its wholesale pricing structure.

Ashton lashed out against the usage model used in current broadband billing systems, blaming Telstra's underlying monopolistic control of infrastructure for the high and unpredictable costs of accessing broadband services.

In response to questions on whether Telstra's wholesale charges were indicative of the costs of establishing content and infrastructure or inflated, Ashton said Telstra charged "what the market will bear".

"Getting content is not that expensive," he said. "But until we have a clear separation between retail and wholesale, these high prices will continue."

The comments against Telstra's wholesale strategy follow the ACCC's recent decision to release a discussion paper on accessing pricing for wholesale telco services in Australia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Nadia Cameron

Nadia Cameron

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?