Smaller ISPs Are A Dying Breed In Australia

Smaller ISPs Are A Dying Breed In Australia

When the Internet first emerged as a consumer option in Australia, small Internet service providers (ISPs) were often the best choice, offering timely customer service and free local call connections. But in the broadband era, the consolidation process means that we’re rapidly approaching the point where they may disappear altogether.

At AustralianIT, Andrew Colley reports on research by iiNet which found that the number of smaller ISPs in Australia has fallen from 450 to 250 over the last year. A handful of large providers — with Telstra, Optus, iiNet and TPG the most prominent — dominate the market, having enough scale to actually install their own equipment in exchanges. Most other ISPs operate as resellers, which limits their ability to control pricing and to launch new products.

The article even speculates about a possible takeover of Internode by iiNet, something which might not go down so well with those Lifehacker readers who voted Internode the best ISP of 2010. Then again, iiNet did run a very close second in that poll.

Still with a smaller ISP and hoping they’re not looking for a takeover? Tell us about them in the comments.

Small internet service providers make a dash for the door [AustralianIT]


  • I worked at what was the largest local ISP in Canberra at the time. My boss always thought that telcos would rule (this was his thinking back in early 2000 way before current times). We always knew the telcos had one up simply due to economies of scale / bulk buying power that they had. It would be hard to argue that Internode and iiNet are not telcos. You just have to look at the millions they are investing in infrastructure and the huge networks they have nowadays. My boss sold in 2003 and in my opinion is was the best time. BTW, it went to iiNet which where and still are creating their growth through many acquisitions. At the time of selling the ISP, the right local ISP was the way to go (better service and good value) but now I would never pick one based on performance and value. Well especially in Canberra.

  • 1. Online Infomation Highway – bought by iiNet
    2. Omen – bought by iiNet
    3. Wantree – bought by iiNet
    4. WestNet – bought by iiNet

    Maybe iiNet are picking on me?

  • Just to inject some facts in amongst the speculation:

    No, Internode isn’t about to be taken over by iiNet.

    Yes, we’re happily being our usual independent selves.

    No, we don’t feel that the world is ending.

    Yes, we’re happy to keep being the exception that proves the rule.

      • Angus,

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        That’ll be in addition to Billion, but if your aim is to buy something even better from ‘Not Billion’, I’d strongly recommend the Fritz!Box.

        It rocks in so many ways.

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