Bigpond boosts 1000GB bundle in fight to lock-in customers before NBN arrives
Aussie telcos are sweetening their broadband deals as they jostle for position before the National Broadband Network rolls down your street.
Regardless of your opinion of the new-look Multi-Technology Mix the primary goal of the NBN was never to use specific technologies or offer specific speeds. It was to break Telstra’s stranglehold on Australia’s telecommunications infrastructure which let it hold the country to ransom for so long.
As the NBN ramps up its fibre-to-the-node and HFC cable rollouts it’s finally delivering the one thing which Telstra has always feared most; a level playing field.
It’s important to understand that the NBN is only a broadband wholesaler. It doesn’t compete for retail customers, instead it offers equal network access to Telstra’s Bigpond and all the other retail Internet Service Providers. Without the ability to abuse control of the network infrastructure and wholesale access, Telstra’s Bigpond retail arm now needs to compete on value for money and customer service – two phrases which typically don’t spring to mind when you think of Telstra.
So how does Telstra compete when it’s about to become easier than ever for other ISPs to lure away customers? The smart move is for Bigpond to lock in its customers before the NBN arrives on their doorstep.
Bigpond has doubled the data allowances on its Medium and Large bundles to 400MB and 1000GB respectively, as well as bumping up the Extra Large plan to 1500GB. It’s spruiking the new $99 1000GB plan as its “best value home bundle ever”, throwing in a home phone line, the Telstra TV streaming video box with a Presto subscription and Telstra Air access when you’re out and about.
For Bigpond that is a pretty good deal, but the sting in the tail is the 24-month contract – something you might regret if the NBN is due to reach your home in the next year or two. That $99 per month jumps to $119 if you want a month-by-month deal. Also keep in mind that the unmetered streaming on the Telstra TV box only applies if you’re a Bigpond customer, a limitation designed to make potential defectors think twice.
To be fair Telstra’s Bigpond isn’t the only ISP which bundles devices and services in order to make it harder to leave. It’s also not the only ISP to strategically improve its broadband deals in recent times. Internode doubled download limits for many existing customers last year, on the condition that they don’t change plans, although you could argue this is a defensive move to stop customers defecting to deals like this new offer from Telstra.
Whether or not Bigpond’s latest offer seems like a good deal for your home, the moral of the story is don’t sign up for any long-term broadband deal until you’ve checked the latest three-year rollout plan to see when the NBN is coming to your suburb.