AAPT gets chatty with broadband

AAPT has extended its smartchat brand into the broadband market with the launch of a new national ADSL service for metropolitan users.

Until 31 December 2003, existing AAPT telephony customers will be able to access ADSL services with AAPT for $49.95 per month, based on a 256Kbps/64Kbps plan. The plan includes 300MB of downloads.

Entry-level plans for those without an AAPT telephony account start at $59.95 per month for a 256Kbps/64Kbps speed service including 500MB of downloads. The ISP is also offering plans based on 512Kbps/128Mbps and 1500Kbps/256Kbps access speeds, starting from $74.95 with a 1GB download usage allowance per month.

AAPT’s heavy user “smart power” plan, which is based on 1500Kbps/256Kbps download and upload access speeds, is available for $179.95 per month and comes with a monthly download limit of 10GB.

All plans feature six e-mail addresses and 20MB of Web space, as well as free data upload. Additional data usage across all AAPT smartchat broadband plans will be charged at 14.3 cents per megabyte.

The AAPT ADSL service is initially available to metropolitan areas, with coverage to outer-metropolitan and regional areas scheduled to become available in late November.

A self-install starter kit for new AAPT broadband customers will cost $199 regardless of the length of the customer’s contract. Those who opt for a 24-month contract will not be charged a connection fee, but customers wishing to sign up for a 12-month or three-month contract will pay an additional $99 or $169, respectively. Professional installation of a smartchat ADSL service regardless of contract terms will incur a one-off $160 fee.

AAPT Australian media relations manager Andrew Bristol said the self-install kits are currently only available through AAPT direct.

“[But] we are aiming to broaden our distribution reach to our retail channels,” he said.

Although AAPT states its smartchat broadband service is being provided by AOL|7, a joint venture between AAPT, Channel 7 and America Online (AOL), there are no plans to share online content between the AOL|7 Australian broadband service and AAPT’s new smartchat broadband service, Bristol said.

Despite its introductory discount for existing AAPT telephony customers, AAPT’s plans are more expensive than those offered by many of its competitors. For example, OzEmail’s ADSL broadband offerings start from $48.95 for a 256Kbps/64Kbps plan and feature a 500MB monthly download limit, while South Australia-based ISP iiNet’s 256Kbps/64Kbps ADSL service is available for $49.95 with a 1000MB download allowance per month during both on and off-peak times.

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Nadia Cameron

Nadia Cameron

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