TelstraClear increased the pressure on the government to provide competitive access to local phone lines yesterday by announcing new high-speed internet plans, including a new 10Mbit/s option — but only for subscribers on the company’s residential networks in Christchurch, Wellington and Kapiti.
The LightSpeed 10G plan offers 10Mbit/s downloads, 1Mbit/s upstream, and up to 10GB of monthly traffic for $139.95 per month. Extra traffic is charged at $14.95 per 1,000MB block.
TelstraClear also announced two 2Mbit/s plans with 1GB and 5GB download limits, priced at $39.95 and $59.95 per month respectively. Both plans include 512kbit/s upstream speeds.
The fastest ADSL connection previously available was the 2Mbit/s JetStream Home 1000 plan, which allows 1000MB of traffic each month with a 20c per megabyte surcharge. Telecom has also announced new 256kbit/s plans that will come into effect next week.
TelstraClear spokesman Mathew Bolland says the company would like to offer the new plans to customers outside its residential network but is constrained by Telecom’s ownership of the local loop which connects customers with telephone exchanges.
The Telecommunications Commissioner, Douglas Webb, was widely expected to recommend that Telecom’s competitors be granted access to phone lines. However, in his report late last year Webb instead recommended that Telecom should only be required to provide limited bitstream access to its competitors. ADSL service would have to be at least 256kbit/s to the customer and no more than 128kbit/s upstream.
TelstraClear’s new plans demonstrate that higher-speed internet can be delivered over ADSL when access to the local lines is available, Bolland says. TelstraClear expects the new services to be profitable, he says: “We think our residential network is very successful.”
Bolland says TelstraClear will be able to offer a phone line, high-speed internet and digital television for a combined monthly cost of $91.90.
The new plans are available to subscribers from today.