Primus releases pricing for first NBN plans

Telco Primus will offer 300GB of download per month at speeds of 100Mbps to Tasmanian customers when the National Broadband Network trial is switched on in July.

The announcement came yesterday as rival telcos iiNet and Exetel prepare to offer similar services but with varying prices, with the latter to provide bandwidth on a pay-per-gigabyte basis.

Standard NBN broadband plans will start at $39.95 per month for users with a phone plan on a 12 or 24 month contract, with a cap of 15GB. Telephone plans will start from $25.

Other plans include caps of 15GB and 40GB, with speeds shaped to a speed of just 128kbps when those limits are reached. However, industry analysts say most users download data well under those amounts.

Bundled plans are also available. The company will offer the iPrimus Max plan for $44.97 per month, offering 15GB of data at 25 megabytes per second, which will also include telephone line rental and unlimited local, national and mobile calls.

However, the price for this pack will double six months after the network is switch on in July to $89.94.

While the company did not provide too many details in a statement yesterday, CNET has reported the most expensive plan would see users pay $130 for 300GB per month at full network speeds, while 50mbps and 25mpbs options would be offered at prices of $119 and $109 respectively.

Additionally, that 300GB quota will be split into peak and off-peak limits, with off-peak to occur between 2am and 10am. Primus was contacted this morning for comment, but no reply was received before publication.

“We’re particularly excited that our customers will have access to a wide range of new capabilities and advanced services using this new generation high-speed fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. This is a key milestone in Australian communications history and we are proud to be part of it,” Primus chief executive Ravi Bhatia said in a statement.

But some aren’t impressed. Telsyte senior analyst Emilie Ditton says the pricing packages are fairly high and don’t necessarily provide the best value.

“Looking at the average price over the contract period, I don’t think this is particularly good value when compared to offers already in the marketplace. But, the prices will fall with time once the NBN is delivering services.”

The announcement of detailed plans comes after Exetel said it would offer retail services on a pay-per-use basis. The company announced it would charge nothing for monthly access, and would charge $1 per GB download on a 12-month service with speeds of 25Mpbs.

While Internode and iiNet have not released their own prices for the network, iiNet chief regulatory officer Steven Dalby told ITNews in March that prices would not be much different to its existing fibre prices.

Currently the company offers fibre plans to certain areas in Victoria, with prices beginning at $49.95 per month for a cap of 5GB and speeds of 25Mpbs. The faster plans of 100Mbps cost $129.95 per month for 60GB.

The Tasmanian NBN is being constructed by the NBN Co, Aurora Energy and the Tasmanian Government. It is set to be completed in four years, at which time the Government hopes to cover 90% of Tasmanian homes.

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