Internode first with NBN pricing, have your wallets on standby

Australia’s lightning fast internet access is coming, and Internode is the first to release retail pricing for the government’s hyper-speed NBN (National Broadband Network)  project.

The new plans start at $59.95 per month for a 30GB data quota, with a 12Mbps downlink and 1Mbps uplink. These speeds are comparable to what many current ADSL2 subscribers experience.

To take best advantage of the  NBN’s optic fibre infrastucture, however, you’ll need to spend at least $80 per month. This plan promises  50Mbps downlink and 20Mbps uplink speeds and a  30GB limit, with both downloads and uploads counted towards this. Internode’s plans top out at $189.95, where a customer can grab what is effectively a 10 megabytes per second connection with 1000GB of data, also called 1 terabyte (TB) This is more than even the most bandwidth hungry residence could use in a month, and equivalent to around 250 HD movies.

Most current ADSL2 subscribers experience connection speeds between 5Mbps and 18Mbps, with factors such as distance from the exchange, line quality, and modem used all playing a part in overall speed. At the 50Mbps mark on the NBN, your internet speed is at least twice as fast as someone on ADSL2 sitting right next to the exchange, where 24Mbps is a theoretical maximum.

To put it into perspective, 50Mbps roughly translates to 5MB per second which  – to use a common example –  means you could download a full MP3 album in under 30 seconds or a full HD movie in roughly eight minutes.

Internode's NBN plans bundle broadband and voice services.

Internode offers a strata of pricing, with price tracking higher download quotas. It would be fairly easy to blow 30GB, especially if uploads (VoIP, sending photos and home movies via email, regular web surfing, etc) are included, but breaking a 200GB quota with legitimate downloading practices would require serious dedication, even with the amount of new internet radio and HD streaming services coming online.

Right now, Internode is the only provider with prices for accessing the National Broadband Network, meaning it can effectively charge what ever it wants. The company is likely to come under fire for it pricing, however, as costs for accessing the network – which is funded by the same taxpayers now  being asked to pay for it – were expected to be lower.

Coverage for the National Broadband Network is limited to Tasmania right now, but plans will be rolled out to Armidale and Kiama Downs in NSW, Brunswick in Victoria, parts of Townsville in Queensland, and Willunga in South Australia, with Internode’s services offered to these places later in the year.