Internode debuts new fibre plans

Following trials on a fibre network with Telstra, Internode is now offering plans on fibre broadband for new housing estates

Internode has announced non-NBN fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband plans for more than 125 housing estates in Australia.

The ISP's Reach Fibre Access Broadband (FAB) plans follow an agreement between Internode and Telstra Wholesale to offer services in greenfield estates via Telstra’s Velocity fibre network, which offers speeds of up to 8Mbps/384kbps, 30/1Mbps and 100/5Mbps.

As a result of trials Internode undertook with Telstra on the fibre-optic broadband network, Internode already has customers on the fibre-served network in Point Cook in Victoria.

“These are new broadband and telephony options to customers who previously could only buy Telstra [services],” Jim Kellett, Internode product manager, told Computerworld Australia.

Due to the new nature of the company's offering, Kellett said the company has not set any take-up rate targets for the new plans.

"It’s not an area of broadband we’ve ever been able to sell services into before, so we’ve just put it out there and we’re optimistic," he said. "I don’t even have an exact figure on how many houses there currently are in all those housing estates – only an estimate – so I’m not working to an exact figure there."

Internode is offering fibre plans to housing estates in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

"These are all existing housing estates that have tens of thousands of houses already in there that have only ever been able to buy Telstra services. In those places, we’re looking at a big initial up-take," Kellett said.

One of the larger housing estates, such as Rouse Hill in NSW, has a population of nearly 7500.

Reach FAB plans are being offered at two speeds – 30/1Mbps and 100/5 Mbps – with 30GB, 75GB or 250GB of data per month.

Starting prices for plans begin at $39.95 for bundled plans on 30/1Mbps speeds and 30GB of data.

The most expensive plan on Reach FAB is $109.95 for broadband only at 100/5Mbps and 250GB of data.

Customers will also be subject to a $99 start-up fee, which will be waived for customers signing up for a 24-month contract.

Kellett said iiNet, Internode's parent company, also has plans to release new fibre plans "reasonably soon".

Internode previously announced FTTH plans at 20 new housing estate developments around Australia, partnering with OptiComm and OPENetworks.

While Kellett wouldn't reveal specific take-up rates, he said take-up has been "really good" as OptiComm and OPENetworks are not retail service providers.

"It’s a pure wholesale-only model, so we do find quite good take-up in those estates. As a percentage it’s going well, [but] in terms of raw numbers it’s not that dramatic because it’s limited by how quickly houses are being built," he said.

"We have what appears to be a pretty healthy marketshare. If you’ve got a development that’s completing four houses a month and we get one house a month out of the development, that’s a healthy 25 per cent share, but it’s not an earth shattering number."

Internode's NBN fibre plans start at $49.95 at 12/1Mbps for 30GB of data and go up to $164.95 at 100/40Mbps for 1TB of data.

"The retail plans that we sell are all predicated to a huge extent on the wholesale access cost, so at the moment these Reach FAB [plans] are using a wholesale access cost that we get from Telstra that’s higher than the wholesale access costs that we get from NBN," Kellett said.

"It’s a little bit out of our hands as to who actually operates the wholesale network in those areas. We just base our retail prices on the wholesale access."

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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