If you’re one of the very lucky people with the best fibre or one of the luckiest folk in a HFC area, today is a very good day indeed.
Today marks the rollout of some new plans across the national broadband network: 250/25Mbps, and more importantly, a 1000/50Mbps offering. The two plans, along with the discounted 100/20Mbps offering that was launched last year, was announced in NBN Co’s wholesale price review.
Of course, naturally not everyone can get access to the new plans. ITNews reported this morning that only 7 percent of NBN HFC users will be able to access the 1000/50Mbps plan, but all users on fibre to the premises (FTTP) can order the plan.
So far, Aussie Broadband is the first out of the gate with the product. The company’s 1000/50 offering will be available for $149 a month with unlimited data, although the service is being sold as a “best effort” plan for now.
“We think that the plan should achieve off-peak speeds of up to 80-90%, depending on the technology type,” Aussie Broadband managing director Phillip Britt said.
Aussie Broadband also dropped the pricing on some of their other plans this week, with their 250/100 unlimited offering dropping to $209/month from $219, while their NBN 250/25 plan is now $129/month, down from $169. Aussie Broadband said the price drop on the 250/100 plan was specifically targeted at gamers as well. “We understand that some gamers are seeking higher upload speeds, so we have reduced the price of our 250/100 unlimited plan from $219 to $209 to meet the needs of those customers,” Britt told Kotaku Australia.
“We think [the 250/100 and 1000/50 plans] will appeal to gamers, any households with high numbers of people streaming and early adopters,” Britt said.
Those stuck on fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) connections, however, might be able to get higher tier plans soon. In comments to CommsDay this week, NBN Co’s Brad Whitcomb said the company was trialling G.fast upgrades on their FTTC lines.
“As we are in the throes of continuing to add capacity to accommodate this big surge through COVID, we don’t want to be in a situation where somebody is getting their 250, and that’s somehow compromising the experience with somebody else in that shared bandwidth pool that might be on a lower speed plan,” Whitcomb was quoted as saying.
Whitcomb added that NBN Co expected gamers to flock to the 250 and 1000 plans the most, citing Call of Duty‘s enormous patch sizes as a reason why.
“We see these patches come out consistently. Last week Call of Duty came out with their patch that was a 32 gig file and, being a gamer myself, when you get home and you sit on the couch and break out your beverage of choice, and you go to play the game, and then it packed up and says, ‘Well, no, you’ve got to upgrade.’ You can’t play. You’ve got to wait until you’ve downloaded the new patch. Even on a 50Mbps service, that would take about an hour and 45 minutes to get that game downloaded. If you’re Ultrafast, that’s somewhere between five and 10 minutes – and that’s a completely different experience.”
The Aussie Broadband plans are expected to go live later this afternoon here. We’ll also update this story with some comparative widgets as they become available.