iiNet disgruntled over BigPond price cuts

Mirroring the actions of Internode, the Perth-based ISP has launched a formal complaint against Telstra with the ACCC

Perth-based ISP, iiNet, has filed a formal complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC) after Telstra’s drastic price cuts on its BigPond ADSL2+ services.

The telco giant dropped the prices on three Elite plans and one Turbo plan. The 200GB Elite plan is now $89.95, down from $179.95.

With Telstra being its wholesaler and largest competitor, iiNet has branded the move “anti-competitive”.

“[Telstra] has an incentive to get in our way, to prevent us from competing with its retail business and that is the behaviour we are seeing,” iiNet chief regulatory officer, Steve Dalby, said. “We are seeing wholesale prices held artificially high and retail prices below the wholesale prices.”

“[Telstra] oblige us to buy some mandatory backhaul charges to the port prices. So we believe it’s anti-competitive and we believe it’s in breech of the Trade Practices Act so we have complained to the ACCC to ask them to take some action.”

The complaint mirrors that of South Australia-based ISP, Internode, which also submitted a letter of complaint to the ACCC. The ACCC has refused to comment on the matter.

“We’d be quite happy to have a joint action with Internode - and it may end up that way - but we’re independently complaining,” he said.

Based on past experience, Dalby has low expectations that the ACCC will intervene but he was still keen for the competition watchdog to take some action.

“I think that is what encourages Telstra to continue this anti-competitive behaviour,” he said.

Dalby is looking forward to Telstra’s separation of its retail and wholesale arms. But with an election around the corner, the telecommunications reforms bill forcing Telstra structural separation bill which was introduced to Parliament last year is now up in the air.

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Tags Telstra structural separation billAustralian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC)iiNetbroadbandbigpondTelstra

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20 Comments

Blu

1

Not a telstra shareholder or worker or fan but to be fair

I have put in a question to the accc , asking how can iinet who brought out wesnet,netscape say they are different competitors to each other, when reality they arent.

Isnt this unfair to other competing isps , and iinet must be making a fair profit to buy out competitors

YetAgain :(

2

Blu - that is a different issue and should not stop the ACCC investigating Telstra.

iiNet, Internode and others have a right to complain. If found guilty then Telstra should be heavily fined. Especially as Telstra has done this before, in about 2002. Unfortunately it took about 12 months to fix by which time Telstra had hurt its competitors and was a reason why some smaller ISPs left the industry.

All fines imposed by the court should have a loading to reflect the fact that Telstra is a repeat offender.

Some portion of fines should be given to the smaller players that are struggling and made to struggle even more by Telstra's illegal behaviour.

I need to declare I have a vested interest in this industry. Biased yes. But it is not fair if my own family can buy cheaper retail products than I can buy wholesale! Something is wrong and needs fixing.

Can I afford to take to Telstra to court? Not likely. Do they know this - yes.

Jonas

3

Good on them Telstra has been stifling competition way to long. I hope more ISP's send their complaints in as well

Justice-is-served

4

What goes around comes around, that company iinet has spat on it's consumers long enough, It cost me over $2000, due to them taking out more money then they should, deleting details when they shouldn't, not keeping notes to keep themselves on track with how they were tampering with my account, taking out money way before the due date, going against their direct word and mine (which is recorded) to stop, been to the telecommunications ombudsmen twice, this is simply what goes around comes around and I'm not the only one, they get what they deserve. I have a 3 page word document with enough bank statements and financial invoices to back this up of a financial horror story with them that iinet caused. This is only the beginning, they think this is just the only problem they are facing, mark m word, by the weeks end, over 3000 people of the community I'm apart of alone will know to avoid these bastards. Word of mouth spreads like wild fire in this technological age and they crossed the wrong person to ***** with and the reason I found about them crying wolf about Telstra is cause of the very fact as we speak, looking for a new internet service provider, thanks for the heads up, good to know they got what's coming to them and more so.

Psychaotix

5

@Justice-is-served

You'll note that the ISP "Internode" is also lodging a complaint on the same information from Telstra. So this has NOTHING to do with your issues.

I also agree with the action, as this sort of thing needs to be halted. It's literally a case of retail can do it, but wholesale won't, so retail will get the customers looking for a good deal.

Syd

6

those who claiming internode has a case , are calling the kettle black here

have a look at the isps on the agile network and look at the internode prices.
some isps are higher then the network owner's retail arm

Jim

7

Not hard to spot the Telstra fanbois and shareholders in these comments

dasmo

8

This is dodgy. Telstra rapes the consumer, people complain. Telstra comes into line with industry pricing, people complain. Give it a break. Five years from now they won't own most of the network. Let's just let them do what they like for the meantime.

Luke

9

Syd...the difference being everywhere there is an Agile DSLAM there is a Telstra DSLAM. The reverse cannot be said.

Daniel

10

what about the smaller ISP's? it's not just about iiNet and Internode.

syd

11

Luke

Is it still showing internode calling the kettle black though , it claims it plays fair but when reality it is doing the same thing on internode/agile

have cheaper prices then its competitors

Yue

12

As long as BigPond has the same wholesale price as other ISPs from Telstra, it is fair and should be encouraged.

Brett

13

Oh my god. Are Bigpond customers not allowed decent pricing as well. FFS everybody else can slash prices and compete but telstra can't compete back just a little? I agree they should drop the cost of wholesale ports if it's impossible to make money reselling a 200GB plan for $89.95 + $21.90 for a preselected home phone. The price of the 200GB plan is $99.95 by the way not $89.95. You have to preselect with Telstra to get $89.95.

Ben

14

As an ex Bigpond user I wouldn't even think about going back to Bigpond.

iinet service craps on bigpond

Craig

15

About time Testra is the same price or better then the other ISP's. I was with iinet for 7 years and I have just changed back to Telstra and the service is so much better.

If iiNet wants to make more money then build your own network.

By the way Im not a share holder in Telstra.

Paul Cahill @ iinet

16

iinet employee here so not much more to be said other than it will be a mater for ACCC to decide.

To justice_is_served, a little dissapointing reading your "death to iinet" type remarks and would love to be able to clear this up for you. Not pretending that you'll love us for life but hoping to at least right an apparent wrong.

Jake

17

Nice marketing trick Telstra, make people forget about you are going censor the internet by using new flashy plans to rake in the people and then censor their internet connections.

Telstra is running scared of losing customers with their internet filter.

Mike

18

I am with iiNet and Internode, I live in Regional QLD and the only DLSAM out my way is Telstra, and telstra are that slack that I can only get ADSL1 at my address, but my next door neighbours can get naked ADSL. I have been putting up with Telstra's crappy network infrastructure and they still have the nerve to charge extremley high wholesale prices. And when I do try and change to a cheaper ISP they get falsified line reports back from Telstra just so that they can try and keep my business. It is a JOKE!!!. COME ON TELSTRA, wake up and get with the times, yes you may currently own the exchanges and a majority of the infastructure, but sop the wholesale price rise and then undercutting your own retail pricings.

yeebok

19

@Justice-is-served You must really have had a bad day to have a bad experience with them. This is based on my 22 months experience with them. My only complaint is that I can't get ADSL2 via any ISP other than Telstra so I am stuck on a pathetic 1500/ plan. I definitely agree with Ben, iiNet are the best. The reason I can't get ADSL2 is as advised by iiNet in an email Telstra won't let them near the exchange. I note with some interest a story I read earlier today about Telstra copping an 18.5m fine, I am not sure if that's the same issue as I doubt it'd be settled in a week.
I suspect Telstra are hoping in a year or two the internet will be unusable at less than ADSL2 speeds and people will switch to them.

VH

20

It wouldnt matter how cheap Telstra prices were, there custore service is horrendous. I'm more than happy to pay extra and stay with Iinet, who understand what customer service actually is.

Comments are now closed

 

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