Cheap Australian Broadband

26 05 2009

INTERNET costs could be halved thanks to a massive cable linking Australia’s eastern seaboard to the rest of the world.

Pipe Networks’ first international broadband cable, dubbed PPC-1, landed in Sydney last week.

The $200 million cable, stretching 4787km, runs from Collaroy on Sydney’s north shore to Guam and then branches off into other major countries.

The PPC-1 is the first international internet cable to be owned independently of the country’s big telcos.

Once completed, the pipe is set to increase the size of Australia’s international link by almost 50 per cent, and send internet prices tumbling.

Grahame Lynch, publisher of industry news site CommsDay, said that the prices paid by internet providers could be slashed in half.

“Prices will drop dramatically,” he said.

Mr Lynch said the savings would be passed on to users in larger download quotas and cheaper monthly rates.

“Once the cable was pretty much a certainly, some of the existing cable operators started reducing their costs, and quite significantly,” Mr Slattery said.

“This cable (is) actually about creating competition, reducing the cost of bandwidth to consumers and reinvigorating the Australian marketplace.”

John Lindsay, of internet provider Internode, backed up Mr Slattery’s claims.

“The key thing is that cheap international connectivity, one way or another, will mean cheaper broadband,” he said

Internode is one of two providers that have signed up to use the Pipe Networks cable, but has not yet restructured its pricing plans. iiNet will also use the cable.

iiNet managing director Michael Malone this week told The Australian the company would look to increase its download quotas by 15 per cent, however Mr Lynch said that figure was most likely an understatement.

“I think he’s deliberately being conservative,” he said.

“I think there will be a capacity there for a much greater increase in quotas.”

Threatening phone call

Mr Slattery said, he was threatened by one of Australia’s big four carriers over plans to build the cable.

“I think in about July or August of last year I received a disturbing phone call,” he said at the cable landing in Collaroy last week.

“I think I was personally threatened by a tier one, which was quite a remarkable stance.”

Current Australian tier one carriers include Telstra, Optus, AAPT and Verizon Business.

Read more about the phone call at The Australian »



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