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Apparently responding to frequent complains about the price of broadband Internet access in Australia, the Internet Industry Association claims that – au contraire – we’re getting more bang for our Internet bucks.

“ustralian Net users are getting more Internet use for the same money,” the IIA claims, quoting research conducted on its behalf for its quarterly Spectrum / IIA Broadband Index.

The average cost per gigabyte has dropped as plans have become more competitive, the association claims. It says average cost of data was $80 a gigabyte at the start of 2007, but fell to $52 per gig by Q4 2007.

“Competition is driving data caps up. This allows Australian households to access higher bandwidth applications (especially those with high video or audio content) without worrying about going over their monthly limit,” said Peter Coroneos, IIA’s chief executive.

Competition at the top end of the market meant that many customers on low speed plans would actually save money if they upgraded. For example, according to Coroneos, a user with “medium” data requirements would be better off selecting an ADSL2+ 17Mbps plan (if available) than with a lower speed cable or ADSL plan.

 

Applause for Pipe

The survey found the sizes of data caps have continued to increase, while average cost of data continued to decrease. The average data cap per standalone plan of ISPs surveyed is put at 8GB a month compared to 6GB a month at the beginning of the year.

Noting that the costs of importing data from the US are high and must be passed on to end users, Coroneos applauded the move by Pipe Networks to build a new overseas cable from Australia to Guam (CDN, Tuesday).

The Spectrum / IIA Broadband Index compares more than 150 plans from five major Australian ISPs: Telstra, Optus, Primus, iiNet and Unwired. It can be downloaded from www.iia.net.au.

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