When AusBBS launched its pay-as-you-go (PAYG) NBN plans earlier this year, we noted that it was an interesting idea in theory but terrible value in practice. The company has now updated its offering, making it more competitive.
The big shift is that rather than including just 1GB of built-in data, the plans now offer 10GB. Most other NBN providers also offer 10GB as a minimum inclusion on entry-level plans, so that makes the offering slightly more compelling. (In its announcement, AusBBS credits comments from Lifehacker readers as part of the reason for the change.)
The company has also ditched its low-speed 12/1 plan. A 25/1 plan costs $42.95 per month; a 50/20 plan is $52.95, and a 100/40 plan is $64.95. The 25/1 plan is cheaper than the previous offering. The 100/40 is more costly than before (it used to be $59.95), but does have the larger data allowance as compensation.
AusBBS has also adjusted its PAYG pricing for extra data above the 10GB provided. You’ll pay 85 cents per GB up to 25GB; 40 cents per GB between 25GB and 100GB; and 1 cent per GB for anything above that level.
If you only very occasionally use more than 10GB a month, those plans aren’t terrible value. But if you ever did use 100GB in a month, you’ll pay an extra $42.75, meaning you’ve paid $85.70 in that month on the 25/1 plan. Plenty of providers will give you far more data than that for less money. Exetel, for example, will sell a 25/5 plan with 100GB of data for $50.
I can see the PAYG feature appealing to people who travel often and want a permanent connection without always paying for data they don’t use, and it’s good to have options other than “take this connection and shape it”. Nonetheless, I suspect most people need more than 10GB a month. What do you think?