Broadband costs among world's highest

A timely article after my comments in the Steam thread which shows Australian Internet users really are getting shafted :

Broadband costs among world’s highest
Sep 18
David Crowe

Australian consumers are paying far more for high-speed internet services than those in other developed countries, according to a report by the International Telecommunications Union.

The survey also confirms the relatively low rate of broadband use in Australia, ranking the country 29th on a table of 30 countries in terms of broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

The findings, released on Tuesday in Geneva, are certain to provide new ammunition for critics of Australia’s major broadband providers and the federal government.

Labor communications spokesman Lindsay Tanner has attacked the government on the issue, citing the country’s low broadband use as a reason for reviewing the level of competition in the telecommunications market.

But Telstra has insisted Australian broadband prices are fair. Federal Communications Minister Richard Alston has argued the government is promoting broadband use through several spending initiatives.

Australia is ranked as the seventh most expensive country in the world on the ITU’s table of broadband services in 30 countries.

Those with the most affordable broadband services were Japan, Korea, Belgium, Hong Kong, Singapore and the US.

The ITU found that Australian broadband subscribers paid about 0.44 per cent of their monthly income to download 100 kilobits of data compared with 0.12 per cent in the US and 0.14 per cent in Canada.

Korean consumers paid 0.02 per cent of their monthly incomes, a figure that may reflect the heavy government subsidies for broadband in that country.

New Zealanders paid 0.16 per cent of their monthly income to download 100 kilobits.

“Successful broadband economies are characterised by low prices, typically as a result of flourishing competition and innovative pricing schemes that attract a wide variety of customers,” the ITU report said.

That conclusion accords with a survey issued by AT Kearney and reported in The Australian Financial Review on Tuesday, which found that Australia’s broadband market lacked entry-level prices that would spur demand.

The ITU report, called Birth of Broadband, found that Australia had only 1.4 broadband subscribers for every 100 inhabitants, placing it just above New Zealand, which has 1.1 subscribers for every 100 inhabitants.

The Australian figure may not reflect recent growth, however, given that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found there were 423,600 broadband services in March - about 2.1 connections for every 100 inhabitants. The ratios are far higher in other countries. Korea leads with 21.3 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

What this article doesn’t mention is that broadband takeup in Australia is also hobbled by a lack of decent cable and ADSL infrastructure.

Tell me about it, brother.
$80 a month lets me download 10Gb on a 512 DSL. Nice if it were cheaper.

But Telstra has insisted Australian broadband prices are fair. Federal Communications Minister Richard Alston has argued the government is promoting broadband use through several spending initiatives.

Yeah, ok, I may be a bleeding heart liberal, but even I wonder why the government is promoting broadband with spending initiatives.

I suppose, as someone said earlier here, most all state-owned telecomm companies all have this problem. In the US, we blew Bell away just in time. Yeah, so the parts are reforming like a T-1000, but Bell would have done shit for broadband, based on horror stories from the Old Guys in the office.

We’re one of the most broadband-connected peoples on the planet, and the government did most of that for us :P

Yeah, but how big is your country? Couldn’t most of you talk through two cans attached with string? :P

Hey, nobody forced you to claim an entire continent of deserts for a country, so don’t come complaining now that you’ve found out it’s made communications troublesome. :)

Hey, nobody forced you to claim an entire continent of deserts for a country, so don’t come complaining now that you’ve found out it’s made communications troublesome. :)[/quote]
Some people just didn’t pay attention when it was their turn to pick a country.

Here in Ireland, the situation is that Eircom is essentially a monopoly. There is no outside competition coming in and that keeps prices high. Furthermore, while the government has instigated a regulatory commission to keep Eircom in line, Eircom basically just appeals every decision against them, making the end effect for consumers virtually nil.

I just signed up for Eircom’s DSL service, which includes a free modem and a free-setup with the first month free. €54.45 a month, which isn’t too bad from my perspective, but that is already more expensive than some of the Australians here are citing. However, if I’d signed up three months ago, I would have paid about 600 euros worth of set-up fees which I basically would never have gotten back.

Furthermore, I currently use a 56k modem to connect to the Internet, and I pay per minute. This ends up amounting to a hundred euros a month for me. Yet I just discovered today that Eircom has released a flat rate: 30 euros for 150 hours per month. Did they volunteer the information to me that I could be saving 70 euros a month on my internet fees? No, they just continue to rip you off until you catch them at it.

Banks here are the same way: my company did an internal study for Bank of Ireland that suggested that 95% of their profit was coming from cheating little old ladies on their savings interest rate (current interest rate is something like 6% and BOI was giving them .5-1%). This entire country’s business practice is scummy.

Oh, like the Australians “picked” their country. More like they were loaded onto boats and sent there. :)

Oh, like the Australians “picked” their country. More like they were loaded onto boats and sent there. :)[/quote]

So, that just shows that you shouldn’t let others pick your country for you. :P

Oh, like the Australians “picked” their country. More like they were loaded onto boats and sent there. :)[/quote]

The number of Aussies descended from convicts is probably les than the number of Americans descended from the Pilgrim Fathers, most are descended from later immigrants. a lot from as recent as the 1950’s. Still it gves the Aussies a sort of street cred that they like the rest of the world to believe.

And we only used Australia as a penal colony because the previous one declared independence :D .

$95 / mth for 2 Gig’s through Internode ISDN. I could go to unlimited ISDN at TSN but TSN kicks off ISDN users in the evenings after an hour online because they are short of ISDN ports. At least with Internode I can stay connected 24/7 if I wanted to.

But Internode is revising their plans soon so I am hoping to get as much as 4-6 Gig’s per month. Internode also has the countries best games servers and high quality admins which is a plus.

Hey, nobody forced you to claim an entire continent of deserts for a country, so don’t come complaining now that you’ve found out it’s made communications troublesome. :)[/quote]
Some people just didn’t pay attention when it was their turn to pick a country.[/quote]

Pick a country for its beaches and then all you find is friggin sand from coast to coast. :roll:

Anyone know what the broadband situation is like in the South of France? After just getting back from a holiday there, I am seriously thinking of moving.

The trick is not to give Eircom even the steam off your piss. Eircom’s offer has already been matched by another reseller (IOL), and for 5 yoyos less per month. UTV Internet will probably follow suit (due to the wholesale connection charge being reduced to 20 Euro) and, when they do, I’ll go with them. Their ADSL offering is already 10 Euro pm cheaper, and has a larger cap.

As for the pseudo-FRIACO offer from Eircom, UTV had a similar scheme in place three months before Eircom released theirs. At the moment, they offer 180 hours for 25 Euro pm, which is better than Eircom’s 150 hours for 30 Euro. As for Eircom not notifying you of their FRIACO offer in the bill, I believe there are regulations covering the self-advertising they can have in their bill.