Exetel has followed Internode's lead, releasing plans for commercial National Broadband Network (NBN) services.
Customers in trial NBN areas in NSW (Armidale and Kiama) and South Australia (Willunga) have been offered free trial services from Exetel until September 2011, according to a post on CEO John Linton's blog, first seen by Delimiter, allowing those users to have both a fibre and ADSL connection running so that they can be compared. The idea is that the customer then chooses which service they would like to keep after 30 September.
Broadband prices for those wishing to access the NBN speeds via Exetel past that date will face charges the telco has now published on its website.
The pricing (on a 12-month contract) starts at $34.50 a month for 20GB at 12Mbps/1Mbps. For 200GB at that same speed will cost $74.50.
Exetel has provided two sets of 25Mbps download speed plans, one with 5Mbps upload speed and one with 10Mbps.
For 20GB and 200GB, the 5Mbps uplink speed will cost $37.50 and $79.50 respectively, and the 10Mbps uplink speed will cost $39.50 and $84.50 respectively.
20GB at 50Mbops/20Mbps will cost $44.50, with 200GB costing $89.50.
20GB at 100Mbps/40Mbps will cost $49.50 and 200GB will cost $99.50.
Uploads don't count towards the monthly data quota. Once the quota is reached, speeds are throttled to 512Kbps/128Kbps.
Linton said on his blog that users shouldn't expect to pay the same prices for broadband over NBN fibre as they do for ADSL.
"At 'NBN2's' wholesale pricing today that simply isn't going to happen ... at least not from Exetel. Why? Because the monthly port cost of the lowest speed fibre service and the 'backhaul/CVC' cost is higher than even Telstra Wholesale charge for an ADSL2 service ... and is almost double the cost of an Optus ADSL2 service ... and that the fibre cost is going to get much higher once the 'trial phases' end and the [points of interconnect] move to their planned 121 locations instead of, as they now are, in CBD major datacentres," he said.
Linton said that he would have liked to have continued to offer plans similar to those he introduced for the Tasmanian trial, which saw users charged a monthly port charge plus a certain amount per gigabyte downloaded.
However, he felt that it was a "'common sense too far' for the current hysterical fibre environment".
He also said that the company had sent emails to customers involved in the NBN trials telling them how to test VoIP over their fibre connection if they had compatible hardware.
He said that if the NBN goes ahead as planned, it would enable participating retail service providers to increase the number of customers using their VoIP services. He also believed that stand-alone VoIP companies would "almost certainly see their businesses wiped out" since he couldn't see any reason the end user wouldn't use the VoIP service that service providers would provide.