Optus launches A$29.95 broadband plan

Across the Tasman, SingTel Optus has succumbed to market pressure across the broadband space and released a new 256k bps (bits per second) ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) plan.

SingTel Optus has succumbed to market pressure across the broadband space and released a new 256k bps (bits per second) ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) plan.

In May, Optus told IDG it would not drop its broadband plans to under A$30 to match competitors, and would, instead, stand by its A$39.95 price point.

However, from Monday, Optus will offer a 256k bps plan, bundled with a 200M byte monthly data allowance, for a flat rate of A$29.95 per month.

To complement its lower-priced ADSL plan, Optus has also introduced a A$29.95 offering across its cable service. Customers on either plan who exceed their data limit will have their access speed shaped to 28.8k bps.

Both plans are only available bundled with an Optus phone service. Optus will offer its A$29.95 ADSL plans as a self-install kit through Optus World stores nationally.

Optus had previously offered ADSL with a minimum download speed of 512k bps, including 300M byte of downloads per month, for A$39.95 per month. Its cable plans also started from A$39.95 a month.

Those currently subscribed to either of these products will now have their data allowance increased from 300M bytes to 400M bytes each month.

Optus is one of many ISPs to have launched a A$29.95 broadband plan as a result of Telstra's commitment to a A$29.95 retail broadband product in February.

Optus spokesperson, Melissa Favero, said the decision to launch a A$29.95 offering was based on strong broadband customer growth both at Optus as well as across the Australian broadband market.

While denying Optus' decision was the result of market pressure, Favero said the availability of several entry level plans from its rivals around the A$29.95 price point had compelled Optus to launch the new products.

"There are a number of plans around that price point," she said. "We felt another plan from us around this price would be sensible."

Favero said Optus was confident its A$39.95 and 1G byte plans would continue to prove the most popular across its broadband product range, despite the availability of the cheaper cable and ADSL services.

She pointed to the latest customer subscriber figures released by Optus as proof of the popularity of the telco’s existing DSL plans. According to these figures, 23,000 users had signed up to the OptusNet residential DSL service since its launch on March 1. The telco also boasts of 162,000 users across its cable broadband service.

Favero declined to comment on the telco's wholesale ADSL arrangements with Telstra or the impact the A$29.95 retail price point would have on its margins.

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