Aussie Broadband goes flexible
NBN RSP Aussie Broadband has announced new plans that allow customers to pick the data allowance they need rather than being locked into preset plans. “We believe this is a first among Australian telcos,” said Aussie Broadband managing director Phillip Britt. “Our new system will give our customers unprecedented flexibility in choosing an NBN plan that is perfect for their needs, and not force them to pay for more data than they really need.
“As an example, a customer might choose a plan with 600, 700 or 800GB, rather than being forced to always pay at the next tier of 1000 GB even when they never use that much.”
While the 100, 500 and 1000GB options still appear on the company’s signup page, they have been joined with a custom option. Depending on the speed selected, data allowances can be varied from 10GB to 3000GB.”
The step sizes are 10GB up to 100GB, then 50GB up to 500GB, and then 200GB up to 3000GB For example, 50GB a month at 50/20 costs £60, just £5 less than the ‘medium’ 100GB plan.
Perhaps the big advantage accrues to people who use large amounts of data every month, as the new plans save them from having to purchase add-on ‘data blocks’ (which aren’t available on the new plans). The new slider plans include a new 150Mbps speed tier, which is only available to FTTP customers on points of interconnect where Aussie Broadband has more than 500Mbps of CVC. It joins the 250Mbps tier, which is available to FTTP customers on points of interconnect where the company has more than 1000Mbps of CVC.
Unlike some RSPs, Aussie Broadband does not offer unlimited plans. “In our view, unlimited currently means congestion becomes virtually unavoidable, and we have a commitment to manage our network to avoid congestion wherever possible,” said Britt. In related news, Aussie Broadband has announced “a small discount” on its 50/20Mbps plans for the next 12 months.
For example, the 1000GB plan has been reduced from £95 to £85 for fixed-line connections. This is a result of NBN Co’s Focus on 50 program, which “provides a small rebate on the costs of 50/20 speed tiers which allows us to order 50% extra CVC for no additional cost,” said Britt. “This isn’t particularly useful as we have already been providing the correct amount of CVC to our customers, so there is little benefit in increasing it further.
And the structure of the rebate means that we can’t reduce our current CVC costs instead. However, we have been able to incorporate a small discount for some of our 50/20 plans.” Unfortunately for those on fixed wireless connections, “the cost of larger data allowances for these services has increased significantly… [and] we have had to pass on the increased costs associated with this,” he added, noting that some RSPs have chosen not to offer the 50/20 tier to wireless customers.
“As a regional-based ISP, we’ll continue to advocate for fixed wireless pricing to be equal to fixed line pricing and if we’re successful, we’ll pass those savings immediately back to customers,” said Britt.