Optus-HP partnership offers convenient Internet access

A partnership between Optus and Hewlett-Packard (HP) will provide home, small and medium business users with broadband-enabled notebooks.

Mobile computing packages including a HP notebook and an Optus broadband connection went on sale on Monday. The package will allow users to purchase and pay for a notebook and Internet connection in monthly instalments with no upfront charges.

The package is available with Optus's 3G service called Wireless Connect, or any of its cable or DSL options. Payment plans start at $79.90 per month for both the notebook and a cable connection of up to 9900Mbps/128Kbps in speed. After paying a $49 connection fee and $99 for a modem, consumers can expect to pay a minimum total cost of $2065 over a 24-month period. A similar plan is available on 256/64Kbps DSL, while users with Optus Wireless Connect can expect to pay a total of $1917.60 plus the cost of a wireless data card.

Users have their choice of six laptop models, chosen by HP on a Good, Better, Best scenario based on their demonstrated popularity with consumers. The notebooks on offer span HP's Consumer and SMB product ranges, including Compaq Presario and HP Compaq products. Notebooks range in price from $49.95 per month, totalling $1198.80 for a Compaq V2656AU to $109.95 per month for a HP nx6325, totalling $2638.80 over 24 months.

When purchased outright through HP, the V2656AU costs $999 and the nx6325, $1,599.

While the package is offered to current customers and strangers to Optus alike, users also subscribed to an Optus landline or mobile service will receive a $10 discount on their monthly bill.

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Liz Tay

PC World

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