Broadband Now – Listing “quality” – “metro comparable” providers

With the launch of, a site that nearly runs in competition with Whirlpool Broadband Multimedia’s Broadband Choice, the government owned community website takes a different look at helping consumers choose a broadband plan.

The Broadband Choice plan search is more targetted towards the users who know what an “upload” is for example.

The BroadbandNOW site is targetted for the population who does not have a clue what they are looking for, and just want a broadband connection.

I admire the initiative they have taken, they list all plans that are available from various ISPs for users that are metro comparable.

Doing this requires some data tweaking, such as what is currently average among metro plans, and what is available with comparable value in regional areas, at the same comparable price.

The biggest kicker for this site (and perhaps the most admired) is the fact that they won’t list (yet) any plans that have a speed of less that 512/128k, and have a price that exceeds $2500 over 3 years.

I currently spend $79.95 for my connection, over 3 years this comes to $2878.20, and as you can see, this isn’t considered metro comparable, thanks Telstra Wholesale for putting Netspace on the highly priced list.

Of course, that’s not reality, in reality I get 1.5Mbit down (3 times faster than the 512k) and I also get a puny 256k up (2 times faster than the 128k) – interesting point, why is the downstream 3 times fast, and the upload only 2 times fast? Never mind, Telstra at its finest again. I also get (and use in excess of) 40GB of data. The Broadband Now initiatve seems to list 512/128, with a minimum of 1GB (that’s right Bigpond, 1GB, you know, GB, not MB, get with the times).

This is now officially (government) labelling Bigpond’s retail plans as expensive, and not metro comparable.

The next favour they can do for us all stuck with Telstra’s rubbish, is get this site out there, a nice mailout to everyone. Not just a boring old government mailout, but one that users will actually read, and not use for toilet paper. Get some attention to just how poor value Bigpond’s plans are, insult them, just not directly.

With the customers informed and understanding just how not metro comparable the service offered is, and just how better off they’ll be with any other ISP except Bigpond, they will eventually speak volumes to Bigpond’s marketing area, and make some noise.

The noise that currently came from Bigpond’s Craig Middleton, furiously screaming that DCITA has been lazy and sloppy, mis-using a database that was put together for another program entirely.

He then happily claimed that most broadband users enter via a 256kbps plan, as they find their feet in the online world, and move up.

He claims that 256kbps is metro comparable as half the population is using it.

Well, Craig, perhaps you need to revisit why they are using that. Many can’t afford much better based on Telstra’s greed. Do you think that if you offered 256kbps as 9.95, 512kbps for — 14.97 –, 1.5Mbps for — 30.00, and 8Mbit for 50.00, where do you expect most customers to be? I imagine they’ll go for the 14.97 scam (it’s got the right three numbers, a 4, a 1, and a 9).

In the later news surrounding this, the plans from Bigpond, will not be forgotten (dang), instead, they will be listed, with hopefully a prominent “non -metro – comparable” tag next to it, to alert users that this plan is very expensive by general standards, and such prices should only be considered in third world countries.

I think the demand for faster broadband will continue to grow, more and more technology will demand it, and prices will drop enough that every user will want it.

In fact, I get several users asking not for 256, but 512. However, I generally sell most users 256, as this is the “cheaper” entry level that most are prepared to pay for Internet access, this echos the same results in dial up, where many want unlimited for around 30.00, and have come to expect unlimited to be much less than 30.00.


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