iiNet doesn't expect to enter a price war with Telstra and Optus over pricing for broadband plans on the National Broadband Network (NBN), iiNet chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby has said.
Telstra and Optus haven't released their pricing yet, but Dalby wasn't concerned that it would be undercut by their prices as Internode was by iiNet's, which was announced by the internet service provider (ISP) this morning and to start on 3 October.
"They're going to be on the same cost basis as us, I just can't see it. Especially those two players," Dalby told journalists this morning. "When was the last time they entered a price war?"
"I can expect to see those sorts of statements from the Dodos and the TPGs of the world, but, look, we don't expect that from Telstra."
Dalby said, however, that iiNet would always beat low-priced competitors like TPG on services offered.
"This is not just about price, it's about service, about innovation, it's bundled with hardware that is easy to use," he said. "The weapons in our armoury include service and products that those guys don't offer and that's how we would compete."
Along with its residential plans, iiNet also announced tentative business plans that are $30 more expensive than those for residential customers. Dalby said that these plans would be clarified in the next few weeks.
"We've got some exciting news probably in a couple of weeks on the business plans," he told journalists this morning. "What they're going to get with the NBN plans is a residential plan, if that's what they choose to run their business on, with much higher performance [such as a higher upload link] and probably more quota than they've got today."
Dalby wouldn't clarify if the company expects to announce these products before NBN Co unveils its own business wholesale product, which NBN Co said on Thursday that it was still working on.
Dalby said the residential plans weren't complete either, as a number of the products iiNet offers now are not yet finalised on the NBN, including its FetchTV video product, which will use NBN Co's multi-casting and voice services. For now customers can have voice services on the NBN for $9.95 extra per month using iiNet's voice over IP (VoIP) product. Dalby said that changes may possibly be made on the product over the next decade.
"Clearly this is a long road of 10 years and it may have a few deviations and bumps in it."
The executive refused to speculate whether iiNet would have had higher prices had NBN Co not waived initial connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) charges after months of criticism from ISPs such as Internode.
"There's been so many iterations of this pricing over the last few months. I don't think it's helpful to hypothesise what we might have charged," he said.