Westnet braces for customer price backlash

Westnet braces for customer price backlash

Summary: ISP Westnet has experienced a barrage of online criticism over planned price increases for its broadband plans, but the company says that it has no choice if it wishes to maintain a viable service.Details of the price rises -- which see as much as AU$20 added to the price of some broadband plans -- leaked onto the Whirlpool forum last week, and led to some current customers threatening to shift from the Perth-based ISP.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Telcos
1

ISP Westnet has experienced a barrage of online criticism over planned price increases for its broadband plans, but the company says that it has no choice if it wishes to maintain a viable service.

Details of the price rises -- which see as much as AU$20 added to the price of some broadband plans -- leaked onto the Whirlpool forum last week, and led to some current customers threatening to shift from the Perth-based ISP. The price changes -- which see most broadband plans rise by AU$5 or AU$10 a month, but offer a AU$10 discount to customers who also bundle Westnet's telephone service -- were confirmed on the company's site today.

Chris Thomas, who founded Westnet in 1994 and currently serves as research and development manager, said that while the company always anticipated some counter-reaction to the new pricing and anticipated that some customers would leave, it was a commercial necessity to alter the plans to maintain viability.

"We realised once we did this that people were going to assume that we put the prices up simply to move people onto bundles, but it wasn't like that," Thomas told ZDNet Australia. Margins on broadband are slim compared to PSTN services, he said, and the latter could help offset the increased costs of providing ADSL.

Despite having officially been on holiday, Thomas said that he had spent much of last week responding to Whirlpool posts discussing the price changes.

Thomas also confirmed that the company has no plans to build its own ADSL2 network, despite having installed one experimental DSLAM to assess the technology. Westnet is, however, in active negotiation with several other providers to purchase wholesale access to ADSL2 and ADSL2+ services.

"Everyone wants to wholesale this stuff, but someone's going to have to be the customer," Thomas said. Some form of ADSL2 service should be available by year's end, he said.

Topic: Telcos

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Another Price hike

    Don't blame Westnet or any of the independant ISP's. The real problem is everyones arch enemy... TELSTRA.....

    Telstra exec's will do anything to try to control the Broadband & Phone market. They don't get it. Thick heads never do!

    TW is supposed to provide access to all their facilities without favour.

    IF ONLY!

    TR gets special favours, to ensure other ISP's and Independant Telcos can't compete on the level playing field which should apply to all in accordance with government policy. Does it?

    It most certainly does not!

    The result it ever increasing costs to all because the Mad Hatters in the Telstra board room are all incompetent fools.

    Australia is fast becoming a back water in the International arena of IT and Communications innovation due to the idiotic behavour of senior management in Telstra.

    Will they never learn?
    Huntsman.ks