Internode today announces the first major restructure of its residential broadband plans in more than two years, designed to give customers more choice in the rapidly maturing market for broadband services.
With these changes, Internode launches 13 new broadband plans and revises prices and download quotas on existing plans. One effect of the changes is to increase the cost for plans that offer large data download allowances, in order to maintain commercially viable services to all customers. Internode has also announced the planned introduction of a system that enables customers to buy extra download ‘data blocks’ if they exceed their monthly quotas.
Although it launched eight megabit-per-second broadband plans in January, this month's announcement is the first major restructure of plans since Internode introduced super-fast ADSL2+ broadband to Australia in April 2005. The revisions relate only to Home and SOHO plan customers. They do not affect Internode customers on Business plans or signed up on Broadband Connect or Broadband for Health schemes.
From June 4, a range of broadband plans will rise in price from $5 to $40 per month. Only one plan, the $39.95 Home-512-Starter plan, has its download quota reduced, from eight gigabytes to five gigabytes per month. Full details of the changes are available online at www.internode.on.net/planchanges.
All Home and SOHO customers are being notified about the changes, with adequate time to exercise an option to move to another plan on the same broadband speed, or cancel their account, at no charge.
Internode managing director Simon Hackett said the revised plans reflected the maturing nature of the market for broadband Internet access. "Since our last major plan changes, we have seen a boom in data-intensive online services such as BitTorrent and YouTube," he said.
"As a result, average download volumes are increasing across all plans due to customers using these data-rich services. At the same time, the cost of delivering IP traffic has ceased to decline."
"In order to continue delivering the highest quality broadband to our customers, Internode has revised its services to let customers choose a plan that best meets their needs and budgets. Customers who download a lot can choose an appropriate plan, although this will cost them more than previously."
"We're making these changes to ensure a fairer service for all Internode customers as usage patterns become clearer in the maturing broadband market. Internode is committed to providing a range of commercially viable services that allows our customers to choose a plan that best suits their needs."
Internode is one of Australia's very large Internet service providers, with more than 100,000 broadband customers. Many of its competitors have already revised services to manage download demand.
Mr. Hackett said it was important to note that no Internode customer needed to incur a price rise. "We are providing specific notice to Home and SOHO customers, so they can review the new plans and change their plan if they wish to do so," he said.
"We also plan to revise our 'shaping' policy (which slows downloads once the monthly quota is exceeded) in order to discourage the abuse of our excess traffic policies by a small minority of customers. If a customer consumes their entire monthly quota and then downloads more than three gigabytes while ‘shaped’, their account may be subject to additional access constraints."
"These changes are for the long-term benefit of all our customers by ensuring that the fees charged by Internode are properly aligned with the underlying costs of providing these services to our customers. We are confident that Internode continues to provide the best in high performance broadband Internet access, with a quality level that is second to none."