We weren't really expecting an outcry from readers when we published our article on Optus' new 'unlimited' naked ADSL2+ plans A harsh email from Optus' corporate communications team, or a horses head perhaps, but certainly not a dictionary.
In response to the article, in which we mentioned unlimited broadband plans without quotas from the likes of AAPT, TPG and Exetel, we received a nice little package, bow and all. Upon opening, we discovered a Little Oxford English Dictionary and Thesaurus with a pink note book-marking and highlighting the definition for "unlimited". Alongside lay a curt note:
Unlimited: adj - not limited; very great in number. Unrestricted, unconstrained, unrestrained, unchecked, untrammelled.
Just a reminder that we're still the only telco offering a truly unlimited 24/7 super-fast broadband product: no throttling, no shaping, no excess charges.
The response from Tahn Shannon, head of corporate communications at AAPT, was a timely response in an escalating battle for consumer's broadband modems and, ultimately, their wallets.
Apart from its obvious relevance to Optus' latest plans, the response also comes the same day that Internode introduced its latest spate of ADSL2+ plans, which expands the service provider's coverage to exchanges that don't currently house its own DSLAM equipment. Internode doesn't yet offer unlimited broadband plans, but with Optus yet again reinstating the often mis-used term and smaller ISPs keen to offer the capability to users, it's only a matter of time.
Until then, we'll call this one of the more innovative public relations stunts. We'll even forgive the use of a UK dictionary rather than the more authoritative Australian equivalents (the Macquarie).
We just have one question for AAPT: Could you define 'excessive use' (or 'fair use') on an 'unlimited' plan?