Clear Net has announced a $99 monthly flat rate for Internet access - but ISDN service itself seems as far away from flat-rate as ever.
Clear Net's $99 rate (including GST) allows all-you-can-eat Internet access, but users will still pay 3.5 cents a minute with Clear for basic rate 64Kbit/s ISDN, and standard business rates for Telecom ISDN service.
Nontheless, Clear's ISDN product marketing manager Richard Bright says he expects the new pricing to significantly increase demand for the service, which he says is well suited to small to medium sized businesses with growing Internet access demands.
"Businesses are using the Internet more and more each day with an increasing need for speed," says Bright. "With ISDN, businesses get a service that meets their growing access needs and offers considerable time and cost efficiencies.
ISDN's speed advantage has been nudged in recent times by 56Kbit/s modems and left well behind by the high-speed offerings of Telecom and Ihug - JetStream (ADSL) and SatNet respectively. But both of those are asymmetrical - most of the bandwidth is available in only one direction, - downstream. ISDN still suits business users who need to move data both ways, or to upload to remote servers.
The new flat rate and a new, lower basic ISDN Internet access rate of $3.49 per hour are limited to metro numbers, excluding 0800 numbers and Connect and Global Roaming services. They exclude line rental and per minute user charges.