Primus Telecom will offer the first fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services starting at $39.95 per month, as part of the stage 1 Tasmania's National Broadband Network (NBN) trial sites in Tasmania.
Although it is unclear whether negotiations over wholesale pricing have been finalised between the service provider and NBN Co's subsidiary, Tasmanian NBN Co (TNBN Co), Primus has already begun taking sign-ups for the FTTH services in Smithton, Scottsdale and Midway Point.
Primus broadband plans will start at $39.95 per month when bundled with a phone plan from the provider, and go to $89.95 per month. Customers will get the services for half-price for the first six months, with line rental included on 24-month plans.
All plans include 15GB of data, separated into peak (10am to 2am) and off-peak (2am to 10am) time periods.
Primus will sign up customers on a first-come-first-serve basis once the network becomes operational in July.
"Our plans are what we feel customers would bear in terms of fibre services and what we believe are fair in terms of the market." iPrimus general manager of marking and products, Andrew Sims, said. "Negotiations will continue over time with NBN Tasmania and NBN Co. and we will adjust our pricing accordingly."
Although Primus made a claim that "the provision of high speed services to Tasmania will lead to the development of new high tech service industries and highly skilled and well paid technology related jobs in Tasmania", the company does not have any plans to contribute to this supposed job boom. Sims said that, while the telco has discussed the possibility of expansion to the Tasmanian markets, it has not made any commitments to opening a business office on the island.
Primus is one of three companies offering internet on the NBN, with Internode and iiNet also planning to offer FTTH services beginning July.
Internode spokesperson, John Harris, told Computerworld Australia that the service provider was still in negotiations with TNBN Co over wholesale pricing. Harris said that Internode would not be rushing the negotiations because its "priority is aiming for the best outcome for customers".
While in the midst of discussions, the company will continue to roll out its ADSL2+ services for Tasmanian customers.
iiNet spokesperson, Tim Grau, said that the company's FTTH prices were published months before Primus' big announcement and are expected to be identical to their offerings in Victoria. Grau said that it was "a bit cute of Primus to claim they are first to announce NBN pricing plans."
NBN Co. has yet to determine its national wholesale pricing, but is expected to have a figure for its wholesale fibre prices by June.