ISP Pacific Internet has entered the ongoing broadband price wars, announcing two residential plans which were moved forward in response to Telstra BigPond's controversial $29.95 access offer launched last week.
Pacific's new flagship Home DSL package costs $44.95 per month for six months with speeds of 256kb/s (downstream) and 64kb/s (upstream) with 1GB of downloads.
Under a Super off-peak plan, customers would pay $49.95 per month for 256/s (downstream) and 64Kb/s (upstream) speeds from 6pm to 8am Monday to Friday and all weekend. Speeds would then slow to 64kb/s (downstream and upstream) during business hours, the company said.
"This plan ensures that users don't experience unexpected traffic shaping unlike other unlimited offers which slow user's speed once data limits are reached,” it stated.
"The off-peak plan is a true unlimited offer -- customers can download as much as they like on our network without getting throttled and they'll never incur excess fees," said Dennis Muscat, managing director at Pacific Internet.
Muscat said the ISP wasn't deterred by BigPond's cut-price plan which would open up the broadband access market. But these prices were "not sustainable from the industry's point of view," he said.
According to Muscat, the market was heading toward unlimited download plans and most people would realise that 200MB of downloads per month was not enough.
He said that Pacific Internet's plans were based on how consumers realistically use broadband. "Lowest price plans are not necessarily the best value for money, as consumers may end up paying much more if they exceed the low levels of included MBs," he said. "If you're going to restrict downloads -- [at] 1GB there's some headroom there."
The company welcomed initiatives that make broadband more affordable and accessible, but Telstra [Retail] "didn't work in consultation with channel partners to deliver this major shift in residential broadband pricing", Muscat said.
"As long as we get a fair go in the wholesale market with Telstra, we're quite happy to mix it in that area."
He added that when selecting a broadband service, customers generally look beyond price.
The company would make further enhancements to its residential DSL range in April, it stated.