Telstra + Bigpond costs compared to an alternative

I decided that having people signing to Bigpond in the presence of cheaper or more value added alternatives was something best tackled with a display of dollar values.

Instead of simply explaining what each got, repeatedly, and having information lost between individual translations, I decided it was time to put something in place which demonstrates the differences.

I set out to show the difference between a Bigpond customer, on the 256k “Beg For Liberty” plan, and an alternative mix of products using cheap line rental, a 512/128k 12GB connection from AAPT, as well as highlight the savings in line rental, and costs of getting on to VoIP.

I thought I made it simple enough. You spend X in calls, Y in data, Z in line rental and come to the conclusion you save $26.00 a month, when you factor in average calls, ignoring the cheaper on net calls, and assume 12GB is plenty of data for someone taking the 12GB (with uploads charged) plan from Australia’s leading bend you over, make you their… ex-customer, Bigpond.

The cost comparisons were quiet surprising actually.

With Bigpond and Telstra, using the following products and pricing:

$29.95 for their HomeLine Plus(or is it minus?) package.
$56.50 for 50 Local, 10 STD, and 5 mobile calls. STD uses the $2.00 cap, and mobiles assume the 37c rate for 15 minutes of calling time each.
$29.95 for 12 months, plus 59.95 for an additional 12 months thereafter, taking advantage of the bundle offer with 50% off for 12 months.

We reach a total price of $116.40 per month, for the initial 12 months.

We reach a total cost over the time of the contract of a huge: $3153.00.

I set about doing a difference comparison:

Phone – $19.95 – HomeLine Budget (or should it now be called “VoIP user”)
Internet – $49.00 – AAPT 512k plus no contract, no setup fee plan.
VoIP – $20.25, using the same calls, same timeframes, STD at 10c untimed, Local at 10c untimed, mobiles for 15 minutes each at price of $2.85.

Anyway, based on the above, the monthly cost comes down to $89.20, saving $27.20 (nearly 30.00 a month) for doing the little bit of work of setting it all up.

Compared to Bigpond, the alternative plan saves the user $1012.20, over 2 years, and if they aren’t satisfied, can pull the plug as soon as they like, no exit fees.

That comparison is attempting to compare like with like, of course, we could have added VoIP to Bigpond, but that adds another element, flaky calls over the 256/64 connection. There’s no telling how many problem calls they will have, and therefore, making the calls via Telstra ending up cheaper.

The beauty of the chart is that we can now change the few call volume numbers, and rates if necessary and come to the same conclusion.

In a related, and interesting note, the G9 FTTN network seems to enable a new provider into the PSTN market. I’m not 100% on all the details yet, but it really does seem like the G9 FTTN network really brings new elements to fixed line (phone and broadband) competition, with competitors able to join products to bring cheap prices to consumers.

At the end of it all, you get some serious competition, and none of the price squeeze that is happening with Telstra Wholesale and the retail areas.

Just imagine what you could do with an extra $30 a month. Nearly get Foxtel, or an 8Mbit connection, or .. well, more than what you’d get giving them to the greedy pigs at Bigpond.

I do hope the chart will sink into a few minds, and keep them away from Bigpond. People seem attracted by the cheap prices, I’ve gone and shown just how CHEAP they really are.

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