Wireless, fixed-line broadband providers tackle Telstra

The pressure on Telstra's broadband business has ratcheted up a notch, with Sydney wireless provider Unwired today launching new 'high-speed Internet' plans targeting dial-up users and slashing its current broadband plan prices. The move comes after Internode launched what it clamed to be the first so-called 'ADSL2' broadband service in Australia, delivering speeds of up to 12 Mbps to customers in Melbourne, Adelaide and rural areas of South Australia.

The pressure on Telstra's broadband business has ratcheted up a notch, with Sydney wireless provider Unwired today launching new 'high-speed Internet' plans targeting dial-up users and slashing its current broadband plan prices.

The move comes after Internode launched what it clamed to be the first so-called 'ADSL2' broadband service in Australia, delivering speeds of up to 12 Mbps to customers in Melbourne, Adelaide and rural areas of South Australia.

Unwired said its high-speed Internet service -- offering speeds ranging up to 128kbps, approximately twice the highest rate of dial-up -- sought to bridge the gap between dial-up and broadband products. The company claimed the new plan allowed it to deliver a staged migration path to the 73 percent of Sydney users who are on dial-up.

The company also boosted features and reduced the costs of its existing plans, while adding a new entry-level broadband plan.

Meanwhile, Internode said its service -- available to customers in Melbourne, Adelaide and rural areas of South Australia -- is being delivered from today via the company's own equipment installed at Telstra's exchanges. The services are likely to be around five times the speed of currently available broadband.

"Ironically," Internode said in a statement, "this service ... costs AU$10 less a month when compared to 1.5Mbps services, which Internode resells from Telstra.

Internode said it planned to deploy its own ADSL2 equipment to another six exchanges in Adelaide during March before starting off rollouts to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane during the next few months.

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