Exetel latest ISP to sign on with NBN

Fourth service provider signed, following Internode, Primus and iiNet

Despite its well publicised criticism of the National Broadband Network (NBN), Exetel has become the fourth Internet Service provider (ISP) to announce it is on board to supply fibre services for the stage one Tasmanian trial sites.

Detailing the news in an Exetel customer newsletter and recent blog entry, Exetel chief executive officer (CEO), John Linton, said the new services would target the "non-heavy downloader" demographic, starting with a zero dollar monthly connection fee for its 25 megabits per second (mbps) service and an additional fee of $2 per gigabyte downloaded.

Hgher access speed plans, 50 mbps and 100 mbps, will incur monthly access fees of $25 and $50 respectively, and charge a rate of $1 per gigabyte (50 mbps) and $0.75 per gigabyte (100mbps) downloaded.

Speaking to Computerworld Australia, Linton said despite the likely high popularity of the new no-access fee plan, Exetel would not be making a loss on the plan as it had managed to secure its desired access pricing for the Tasmanian run of fibre.

In his blog post Linton claimed that Exetel was pioneering a new user access model by moving toward a more of a pay-for-what-you-use model, compared to fixed monthly fees and download limits; a model he claims has reached the end of its ‘usable life.’

Exetel's decision to offer services over the NBN may come as a surprise to some in the industry. Computerworld Australia understands that the ISP does not offer any ADSL services in the state, and CEO, Linton, has in recent months been critical of the NBN.

"I think it's a load of crap," he said in March. "Does anyone want a $43 billion surprise? It's had absolutely no thought behind it whatsoever..."

As previously reported by Computerworld Australia, Several ISPs committed to the trial back in March, including Primus, iiNet and Internode, all of which outlined access pricing over the past two months.

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