Internode blames ACCC for price rises

•    More data on the entry-level bundled plan
•    Standalone plan costs rise
•    Free VoIP on Naked broadband plans

Internode is offering greater incentives for customers to bundle but increasing the prices on some broadband plans, blaming inaction from the ACCC and rising operating costs.

Current customers can choose to stay put or switch to a new plan free of charge.

If you are a new customer and you are interested in signing up to any of these plans, give us a call on 1300 128 015.

Naked broadband

However, Naked DSL customers may want to consider staying put, as the Easy Naked S plan 150GB plan for $59.95 a month has been replaced with a 30GB plan for the same price.

Internode now offers just four Naked plans, all bundled with Internode's NodePhone VoIP service, starting at 30GB for $59.95. There are two new plans, a 200GB plan for $79.95 and a 300GB plan for $99.95.

The terabyte plan (1,000GB) remains at the same price of $149.95 a month.

However, all Naked plans now include a free VoIP service with $10 of included calls, which to some extent makes up for the loss of data. Previously, this service cost $5 a month.

Standalone broadband

The Naked plans now align with the Easy Broadband range, Internode's ADSL2+ plans on its own network. The entry plan has improved from 5GB to 30GB for the same price of $49.95, the $150GB plan for $59.95 has been replaced with a 200GB plan for $69.95 and the 350GB plan for $99.95 has been switched for a 300GB plan for $89.95.

The 600GB plan is no longer available and the terabyte plan has increased in price from $129.95 a month to $139.95.

As with the Naked plans, Internode is encouraging its new customers to opt for a bundled plan, with a $20 discount on these prices when customers sign up to Internode's landline service. NodeLine costs $29.95 a month.

Bundled plans

Customers can bundle any of the Easy Broadband plans with a Nodeline landline service. The bundling discount is $20, up from $10. Effectively this means customers can add on a phone service for an additional $10 a month.

While this will save customers money on the entry level 30GB plan, Internode appears to have raised the price for its biggest terabyte plan to compensate. So the overall bundled price for the 1,000GB plan remains the same at $149.95 a month.

However, the $29 downgrade fee has been scrapped, which is great news for customers who are looking to save money on their broadband plan.

Internode's Simon Hackett explained the reasons behind these changes in a blog post.

"The higher cost for un-bundled versions of ADSL2+ plans in general is a reflection of the realistic underlying costs of these un-bundled plans vs bundled service delivery.

"We are at a point in the evolution of the market where various market forces (significantly including the pricing models that are required for participation in the NBN as well as the existing underlying wholesale access models that we use) mean that the new world really is ‘all about bundling’."

Internode has raised the issue of Telstra Wholesale's monopoly in some areas of Australia on previous occasions. Mr Hackett added he hopes the deployment of the NBN will break the monopoly and end the price squeeze, but admitted that in the meantime, price rises are necessary.

Easy Reach

Internode's 'off net' Reach plans, which are offered over Telstra Wholesale's network instead of Internode's own network, have also changed. Unfortunately, the 30GB plan, which offered excellent value to customers without access to Internode's 'on net' plans, has been scrapped. It has been replaced by a 5GB plan for $39.95 when bundled with the $29.95 NodeLine, or $59.95 as a standalone plan.

Again, the discount for a bundle plan has been raised to $20; but this is at the expense of the standalone plans, which are now more expensive.

In other words, there is no difference to the bundled price of these plans, but price of the standalone plans has been raised.

The 200GB option is no longer available and has been replaced by a 250GB plan. Internode has also introduced a 100GB plan for the Reach range.

Mr Hackett admitted that the price increases "will lead to a reduced signup and participation rate for Internode" in these areas, but he said the price increases reflect rising costs for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating in Telstra Wholesale areas.

"Should the ACCC take appropriate enforcement action that drives improvement in our wholesale access costs then we will be very happy to develop and release appropriate new Easy Reach plans to reflect that improved access cost," Mr Hackett added.

Adelaide-based Internode was recently named Internet Service Provider (ISP) with the greatest proportion of satisfied customers in a Roy Morgan poll, suggesting Internode is doing a good job of keeping its current customers happy.

However, the price rises are in contrast to many of its rivals such as iPrimus, TPG and Dodo who have been cutting prices while simultaneously increasing the size of their plans over the last year.

Easy Naked Plans:
•    350GB and 600GB plans no longer available
•    150GB plan becomes 200GB
•    250GB plan becomes 300GB
•    New 30GB plan
•    VoIP included for free
Easy Bundles
•    $10 cheaper
•    150GB plan is now 200GB
•    250GB plan is now 300GB
Easy Broadband
•    350GB and 650GB plans no longer available
 Easy Reach Plans:
•    30GB Special and 200GB plans are no longer available
•    New 100 GB plan
•    New 250 GB plan
•    Bundling discount is now $20 from $10

Internode also makes a point of saying the bundling discounts are only available in certain areas.