Optus broadband to stimulate competition: Budde

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Optus broadband to stimulate competition: Budde

Optus’ new $150 million broadband network was what the market needed to stimulate competition, a telco analyst claimed.

Optus’ new $150 million broadband network was what the market needed to stimulate competition, a telco analyst claimed.

Independent telecommunications expert Paul Budde said Optus’ move came at an appropriate time.

“For a long time, Optus has had to follow Telstra. Now that Telstra is navel-gazing, Optus has the opportunity to catch Telstra off-guard,” he said.

Budde said Optus and iiNet’s large scale broadband services are the types of high-speed broadband products the public have been demanding from Telstra.

“Telstra did a good job at bringing broadband to the market but failed to push it through, citing regulatory issues. Customers using VoIP and such services won't be hampered by speed issues” said Budde.

Optus has unveiled DSL Direct (broadband services with download speeds of up to 20Mb/s) and Optus Local Direct (home telephony services).

These services would be available via Telstra’s wholesale DSL network, said acting managing director Optus consumer, Warren Hardy.

Optus also planned to cut down its local call costs from 20 cents to 22 cents under Optus Local Direct. Customers could expect to a $4 monthly line rental discount, depending on their current plan.

Hardy said Optus would not back down from Telstra’s complaints to the government about unconditional use of its Local Loop Service.

Budde said as long as the government isn’t bullied by Telstra and doesn’t hamper Optus’ services then "we will see a real level of competition in Australia."

"That’s what the market needs, healthy competition,” he said.

Hardy also said Optus’ offerings to the business market relied less on “Telstra for access and focusing more on delivering a full suite of voice, data and IP products to a greater number of Australian corporate and government organisations”.

Optus would also offer wholesale residential services including Optus residential telephony and broadband and services to other telecommunications providers.

“Sadly Telstra is so desperate to protect its fat profit margins that it has gone whining to government – asking for last minute changes to the ULL rules. But we will not be deterred,” he said.

Budde believed Telstra’s delay tactics are meant to frustrate and obstruct competition, however timely government regulations favouring Optus may get the telco started in offering better services to customers.

Optus customers that bundle their Optus telephony and mobile plans with the Easy Start broadband plan would recieve a 20Mb/s link with 100MB of data usage and 200MB of data during off-peak periods until May 31.


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