Is BigPond Responsible For Slow Overpriced Broadband?

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Telstra’s broadband service BigPond loves to brag about their operation. “We are the biggest, we are the best” they claim. So it is logical to assume that they are the biggest culprits singled out by a new US report which found Australians are paying up to nine times more for broadband than other western nations, and download speeds are 35 times slower than the leader Japan.

The report ranked Australia as 26th out of 30 countries for its transfer speeds. The report does not surprise me. Last week I installed the new Bigpond Extreme broadband service after listening to BigPond Managing director Justin Milne. He told me it was “Sensational.”

The real facts are that it is intermittent and slow. Even the install was difficult. For example the Motorola cable modem, came with a CD and full install kit. I followed the instructions and at the end inserted my username and password. After five attempts and five failures I discovered that one does not need an install kit and that the software should never have been shipped with the modem. The service is also expensive when compared with the same type of service in the UK or the USA.

Federal Labor says its plan for Australia’s broadband network will produce speeds 40 times faster than the current standards.

 

The Opposition’s Stephen Conroy says the Federal Government has let Australia’s broadband network slip to Third World standards.

He had pledged that Labor will build a high-speed national fibre network that would lower prices and deliver 40-times faster broadband as part of its “education revolution” if it wins office.

“Labor has a vision for what this country needs,” he said.

“We believe that our e-health, our e-education application, the chances for our children, our small businesses, will all be improved if we build this technology.

“We’ve got to get a more competitive, open network than we’ve currently got,” he said.

“That’s why Labor’s committed to a high speed national network which is 40 times faster but has competition introduced because everybody, all the providers can use it.

“This will drive down prices.”

 

But the Federal Government has rejected the claim that Australia’s broadband speeds are comparable to those in the Third World.

Minister for Communications Helen Coonan says the Government is rolling out a national network that will improve speeds and deliver broadband to 99 per cent of the nation over the next two years.

And she says Labor is not offering Australians a credible alternative.

“Labor offers nothing other than a pie in the sky plan,” she said.

“It won’t be delivered till 2013, a quarter of the population will be missed out and their proposal will have prices upwards of $100 a month.

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