ISP Internode has set a $100-a-month minimum retail price to take up 100 Mbps broadband services on the national broadband network.
It unveiled its NBN plans late this afternoon that came bundled with its NodePhone VoIP telephony service.
The prices applied to Internode customers in the five mainland and three Tasmanian first-release sites. New customers would receive a free trial for three months.
The cheapest plan to get the full 100 Mbps down and 40 Mbps uplink was $99.95 a month and came with 30 GB of quota.
Other 100 Mbps services were a 200 GB quota for $119.95 a month, 300 GB for $139.95 a month or a terabyte of data for $189.95.
All plans counted uploads and were shaped once users hit their allowance quotas, though Internode did not reveal the shaping speed.
The cheapest terabyte plan was an entry-level 12/1 Mbps service at $149.95 a month.
For $99.95 a month, users could opt for a 12/1 Mbps service with 300 GB of data or a fatter 50/20 Mbps connection with 200 GB.
The cheapest option was a 12/1 Mbps service with 30 GB of quota for $59.95 a month. It was an increase in price from the $29.95 a month service with 25/1 Mbps speeds and 15 GB quota initially offered at Tasmanian sites.
iiNet chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby told iTnews that the competitor was unlikely to revise its current pricing soon.
"Very little has changed with the addition of mainline sites - the current sites are still trial only, we have restrictions on the number of customers we can connect," he said. "Everything is still quite manual as NBN Co have not deployed their core billing, ordering, fault reporting systems yet, so there’s not a lot of urgency."
Sign of things to come
Internode's announcement today was the first indication of how NBN prices might look once NBN Co began charging business-as-usual wholesale prices to retail service providers.
NBN Co was set to start charging service providers for access to the network from October. Wholesale prices start at $24 for a basic 12/1 Mbps service excluding additional charges for the connectivity virtual circuit required to access the points of interconnect.
Internode product manager Jim Kellett warned that the retail prices announced today were only "temporary", as they did not factor in access to the 121 permanent points of interconnect planned for long-term access to the network.
"At the moment, the NBN are kind enough to bring all the circuits all the way back to a reasonably accessible PoP, a temporary point of interconnect," he said.
"They're quite easy for us to access because we've got existing fibre tails in there, they're our major meeting points anyway," he said.
"When [NBN Co] start moving out the points of interconnect to Townsville or Kalgoorlie or other far-flung places, obviously we're providing up to a gigabit backhaul out through regional locations, that totally blows the whole pricing model apart."
Kellett said further price increases for NBN services was "inevitable" and that Internode was unlikely to cross-subsidise between regional and metropolitan areas, leading to a price discrepancy for areas where Internode could not easily provide backhaul.
Internode managing director Simon Hackett included a lengthy justification of the retail price schedule alongside its release today in an attempt to solidify how NBN Co had "failed to properly consider the full lifetime costs of participation" in the network.
Hackett, who has led increased criticism of NBN Co's wholesale prices, called on the network builder to include the first 200 megabits of access to the connectivity virtual circuit without charge to RSPs in order to bring down costs of access and retail prices.
Access to the virtual circuits will be charged at $20 a megabit a month with providers required to buy at least 200 megabits at a point of interconnect to provide a competent service.
"Unless NBN Co address this, they will have a massive financial windfall in theory, or the abandonment of participation by RSPs in practice, until there are thousands (not hundreds) of addressable premises connected downstream of each of these CVCs," Hackett wrote.
Should NBN Co refuse to provide the first 200 megabits virtual-circuit access without charge, Hackett proposed charging providers based on average real world service use by customers, with additional capacity tied in to provide leeway during periods of high use.
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