The Journal of an Xbox InfoPath Nut

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Australian broadband moving backwards

I recently received a letter from my ISP stating that the plan I was currently on is no longer offered and that I would need to update my plan details. At the time I was on a 1.5 ADSL connection with a 20gb limit before my connection was shaped (slowed down) all this for $50 a month.
The options I now had before me were as follows
  1. Slow my connection speed to 512 and maintain my 20gb limit for $50 a month
  2. Maintain my connection speed and reduce my limit to 10gb for $60 a month

Obviously I wasn't too happy with this as either option presented meant I was getting less but paying more. Of course I called the customer service line at my ISP and had some very stern words regarding their plan changes. To cut a long story short I opted to look for a new ISP, after much searching and comparing I eventually found Chariot a nice little ISP that offered a 1.5 mb connection and a 40gb limit for around $70, now I understand this is $20 more than what I was paying but as my limit has increased I'm ok with that. Also to Chariot's credit the churn was done within a couple of hours the fastest churn I have ever had done big thumbs up to them.

However this did get me thinking why is it that in a day when the rest of the world is experiencing free wireless and cheap broadband that Australia is going through a price inflation. I know that some ISP's are beginning to roll out ADSL2 and rightly so if you are using this service then you would expect to pay a premium for it. However for people who are still using the standard ADSL network the ISP should have already made back the money for any hardware roll out and should be offering much cheaper plans or at least unlimited downloads. It also seems that the bigger ISPs are the more expensive, with smaller ISP's doing all they can to stay competitive.

With those rhetorical questions out of the way my advice is this,

  • When looking for broadband look for the best deal you can.
  • Faster connection and greater download limit is better.
  • Don't be afraid to check out the smaller ISP's they are usually the ones with better customer service (e.g. not some guy sitting in a call centre in India trying to tell you how to set up your router)
  • Don't be afraid to change your ISP if your not happy, the more we let our ISP's walk over us by specifying what "We need" the more they are going to to.

Anyway I've had my rant now so it's time to finish up have a great week everyone.