Guest post: How unlimited is unlimited?

A few years ago some Australian ISPs got into a bit of hot water with their "unlimited" plans. The problem? They weren't actually unlimited. Thanks to careful wording and legal genius these plans offered limited (and often insufficient) download quotas with a speed cap placed on the user once the quota had been exceed. In the end, they were no different to the plans Australian broadband users are used to getting shafted by. Now, however, one Australian upstart hopes to bring the notion of "unlimited" back to the market.

MyKP is already doing something right — it isn't using the word "unlimited". Instead, its "Hero" service, patriotically planned for launch on Australia Day this year, simply involves "No Download Caps". Of course, with the right word play this could be the same thing as the supposed "unlimited" plans. However, if done right it could mean the start of something actually beneficial for Australian consumers.

Unfortunately, details are still scant. Until now the company has offered Wi-Fi access in rural towns and some local council areas in the Sydney area.

A single plan at $79.95, at the higher end of the pricing scale for home broadband, sounds about right for a service shunning download caps. Information on the speed is still sketchy, with myKP saying it will offer "a mixture of ADSL and ADSL2+" depending on location.

The minds of everyone and their dog immediately jump to those dastardly pirates and their P2P networks taking advantage of such a service. Granted, there are legitimate uses for large download quotas at home such as HD video streaming, but it will be interesting to how myKP handles the issue given that some ISPs are in hot water over the issue.

Without an Acceptable Use Policy from the new ISP it is a little hard to determine whether the plan will fulfil the dreams of broadband power users. Rest assured that once available we'll go over the policy with a fine-tooth comb.

The success of myKP relies on consumers having an open mind. Sure, it might tank horribly — and all the big boys in the broadband arena will laugh at myKP's attempt to actually do something beneficial for consumers — but it might work. Maybe.

Do you think myKP's plan will work?

Question or comment? Email james_hutchinson at idg.com.au or use the comment box below.

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James Hutchinson

PC World
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