AAPT has become Australia’s first ISP to launch an ADSL 2+ plan with limitless downloads, no capping and no throttling, but at least one expert doubts its veracity.
“This is a milestone day for Australia as AAPT’s benchmark decision will force our major competitors to do the same thing,” AAPT chief executive, Paul Broad, said in a statement. “All Australians will benefit from AAPT leading the way with unlimited broadband.”
Although many other ISPs offer unlimited downloads as part of their broadband Internet plans, most slow down the speeds of users that go over a set limit while others charge fees for extra downloads.
AAPT's limitless downloads will be available with no service interruptions or peak/off-peak time constraints.
While telecommunications analyst, Paul Budde, said he hadn’t completely analysed the terms and conditions of the plan, he doubted both the completeness of the ISP’s claim and its sustainability as a business model.
“I’m a little bit reluctant to comment on this because I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s something in the contract that indicates there is some sort of limitation, be it ‘Fair Use’ or something else,” he said.
“A lot of our content comes from the US and the UK. These are far away and there are high international costs involved. This makes it difficult for ISPs to just give uncapped price plans.
“It’s often said with high-volume ISPs that it’s one or two per cent of the customers that account for 50 per cent of the traffic. Now there’s no business model that stacks up where you give this enormous amount of capacity away to these people.”
Budde was happy to see it as a positive move for consumers that may drive other telcos to provide similar offerings, but warned that a lack of limits could lead to AAPT attracting a wave of illegal filesharers and mass-downloaders.
“It’s definitely a win for customers. The more openness and the more freer services there are the better it is. It stimulates innovation,” he said. “If it’s a totally unfettered system, what you potentially do is allow the two percent of people misusing it and you attract more of them to your network.”
To coincide with the new ADSL2+ offering, telco has also formed a partnership with music label, EMI. It will provide customers with streaming and downloadable songs. According to Broad, this will help prevent illegal file sharing.
“As consumers, we all have a moral responsibility to ensure recording artists receive the royalties they rightly deserve and by offering our Entertainment Bundle we’re encouraging Australians to do the right thing,” he said.
Users with access to the music subscription will have unlimited song streaming with $50 of music downloads per week. The music comes as MP3 files that can be played in a variety of devices.
The 24/7 Unlimited Broadband plan costs $99.95 a month over 24 months with a minimum spend of $2398.80. The music pack costs an additional $17.99 a month over 12 months with a minimum cost of $215.88.