Ihug launches faster broadband plans

New plans to compete with Telecom's retail offerings

Ihug has launched its new broadband plans following its successful 11th hour negotiation with Telecom late last year.

Ihug had called on the Commerce Commission to investigate Telecom’s unwillingness to wholesale its 1Mbit/s and 2MBit/s services under the “unbundled bitstream service” plan, however on Christmas Eve Telecom and Ihug announced they had reached a commercial agreement.

Telecom had said it was unable to offer the faster plans as a wholesale UBS service until March, however both Ihug and TelstraClear challenged that. Telecom was offering its own retail service, and letting ISPs resell that service but Ihug and TelstraClear both wanted more control over the product set. TelstraClear's request to the Commerce Commission, which includes several other additional services, is still being investigated and the Commission is likely to release its draft determination in the next few weeks.

Ihug will offer two plans - the slower plan, Bliink Lite 1Mbit/s, will cost $49.95 a month for 1GB of traffic while the Bliink Lite 2Mbit/s will cost $69.95 a month for 10GB. Excess usage will result in connect speeds being throttled back to 64kbit/s. Users can receive a $10 a month discount by bundling Ihug's toll call service with the broadband plans.

Ihug was to have launched the plans in mid-January according to a press release issued by the ISP at the time, however delays over the holiday period meant the services are only now being made available.

Other ISPs will also be able to offer wholesale plans at these download speeds. Ihug remains concerned about the state-imposed upload speed limit of 128kbit/s, however. The Commerce Commission decided to limit the upload speed of all UBS services to 128kbit/s to protect Telecom's investment in the next-generation network, its billion dollar network upgrade.

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