As promised, Telstra has made major changes to the prices of its BigPond ADSL broadband services. One welcome change is the elimination of 200MB monthly download limits on its cheapest plans and a shift to shaping on some services, but not all the news is so good.
The 200MB limit on el cheapo plans (which would get eaten up by iTunes updates most months, let alone when major security patches are needed) has long been the biggest flaw in Telstra's services. (Many other ISPs also sell similar plans wholesaled from Telstra, but as the owner of the copper and the biggest provider in the market, it deserves the biggest kicking.)
So the shift from 200MB to 2GB -- probably enough for occasional email and Net users who aren't addicted to Channel BT -- is good news. The $29.95 a month price for that assumes a 24-month contract and an existing Telstra home line, but that tends to be the case in the target market for cheap plans anyway.
Most of the other changes announced today apply when bundling multiple services (such as phone, mobile, Internet and Foxtel). Some of those plans include shaping options or unlimited local calls, a sign VOIP providers are biting into the Big T's revenues.
It will be interesting to see how other providers respond to the changes. Telstra says the new plans will become available on December 1 and existing customers will be switched onto the new plans over time, though it's lamentably hazy on dates for anyone who doesn't make the switch themselves online. And the plans still require long-term sign-up, which is a bad idea in the rapidly evolving ISP marketplace.
Would those plans make you think twice about Telstra? Share your ISP wisdom in the comments.