Telstra BigPond has taken the plunge and placed itself amongst the ranks of unlimited broadband providers, launching new 'unlimited' download plans across a selection of its ADSL and cable broadband services.
Unlimited download plans, which are available now, start at $69.95 for either an ADSL service based on a 256Kbps/64Kbps access speed, or for a cable broadband service. Users can also choose to go unlimited on a 512Kbps/128Kbps speed ADSL service for just under $100.
Although there are no excess usage fees for either upload or downloading data, there is effectively a limit of 10GB a month before speed limits are imposed.
Under the new service, users who download more than 10GB of data in any given month will have their download access speed slowed to 64Kbps for the remainder of that month, regardless of their service plan.
To access the plans, users must sign up to the BigPond services on a 24-month contract.
Those users who sign up to a new unlimited BigPond broadband plan before January 31, 2004, will also get the first two months worth of access free.
Telstra will continue to also offer a range of capped ADSL plans.
The announcement of the unlimited download service follows a weekend of free downloads to all of its existing broadband customers as the result of a "major network infrastructure upgrade".
Customer usage meters were left unupdated from Friday, December 5, at 5pm until midnight on Sunday, December 7.
BigPond ADSL customers will note this is not the first time Telstra has offered such a service. In the early ADSL days, BigPond offered an unlimited plan to its BigPond Advance customers. However, this unlimited plan was reduced to 3GB in October 2001 - much to users displeasure.
More information on the unlimited download service is available at: http://www.bigpond.com/offer/unlimitedplans/default.asp