Telstra caps "unlimited" cable and ADSL

Telstra customers are taking their caps off to the telco. The industry giant has infuriated users again, this time introducing caps to its previously unlimited data accounts on cable and ADSL.

SYDNEY (ZDNet Australia)--Telstra customers are taking their caps off to the telco. The industry giant has infuriated users again, this time introducing caps to its previously unlimited data accounts on cable and ADSL.

As of 5 July 2001, BigPond clients on the Freedom Plan will have imposed limits of 3 gigs per month of data.

Clients wishing to go over that amount will be charged at a rate of 35 cents per additional megabyte--basically AU$350 (US$180.39) per additional gigabyte of data.

In mail sent out quietly to users late yesterday, Telstra said it was addressing the issue of what was considered to be acceptable usage.

"This email is to notify you of a modification to the Acceptable Use Policy for the Telstra BigPond broadband Internet Freedom Plan," it said.

"This is because around five percent of users take up 35 percent of total bandwidth at any one time. This group places a severe burden on the network, which greatly reduces performance for most customers.

"The three GB allowance per month represents something like 600 MP3 songs (average 5Mb per song) or 300 two to three minute MPEG videos a month. If you use the Net mainly for email or surfing and reasonable music and video downloads, you should not be affected at all. Gamers should be able to enjoy up to 300 hours a month of broadband multi-user gaming," Telstra said.

The change only relates to Freedom Plan customers, not to customers on volume based plans, according to Telstra.

ZDNet has been inundated with emails from furious users on the back of Telstra's announcement.