Australia's largest ISP, Telstra BigPond, has reduced the pricing of its consumer broadband services in the wake of increasing competition.
BigPond Turbo plans now begin at $9.95 per month and Elite plans begin at $19.95.
Turbo is classified as ADSL up to 1500kbps or cable up to 8Mbps and Elite speeds are 20Mbps ADSL2+, 8Mbps ADSL or cable up to 30Mbps.
At the high end of the scale, the BigPond Elite 50GB Liberty plan is now $49.95 per month and the BigPond Elite 200GB Liberty plan is $69.95 per month.
The changes effectively halve the cost of the most expensive plans and existing customers on comparable plans will automatically receive the new pricing from July 25, 2010.
All of the new plans are 24 month contracts and require customers to be part of the 'BigPond Multiple Product Benefit' which involves eligibility for the $10 'BigPond Member Benefit' and have one other eligible service on the same bill, with a combined monthly access fee of at least $89.
All plans have no peak or off-peak data restrictions and customers can move plans for free once per month or billing cycle and a reduction of 12 plans to four is aimed at simplifying the range of services.
If the download quota is reached there are no additional usage charges and speed is slowed to 64kbps. BigPond entertainment content does not count towards monthly download limits.
Executive director for Telstra’s consumer division, Rebekah O’Flaherty, said the company realises customers’ needs are changing, which is why the new BigPond broadband plans deliver higher data allowances at lower prices.
“The average Australian household has entered a new age of online connectivity,” O’Flaherty said. “Telstra’s research reveals more than half of all households now feature four or more types of internet enabled devices – from wireless laptops to smartphones, game consoles and internet TV PVRs.”
According to a July online survey of 1250 Australians aged over 18 conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of Telstra, half of Melbourne households have more than four types of Internet-enabled devices, one in five (23 per cent) Australian households regularly use more than four internet-enabled devices at the same time.
Almost a quarter of Australian men (24 per cent) would rather go without food, heating or their TV and mobile phone than give up their internet access, according to the survey and older Australians (above 65) report having the more home PCs than 18 to 24 year olds (88 versus 72 per cent). In comparison, younger Australians are more likely use a laptop in the home.