Primus fires back at iiNet with 1.1TB plans

Last week, iiNet chief executive Michael Malone said his company didn’t see Primus as 'particularly relevant, from a competitive point of view'

Just hours after iiNet claimed to make history with Australia’s first terabyte broadband plans, rival Primus has launched a new 1.1 terabyte offering – upping iiNet’s new deal by 111GB per month.

Last week, iiNet chief executive Michael Malone said his company didn’t see Primus as “particularly relevant, from a competitive point of view”, compared with larger rivals such as Telstra, Optus and TPG.

But yesterday Primus chief Ravi Bhatia (pictured, above) claimed leadership in the battle to offer Australian consumers the best plans. “This is a step change in internet history in Australia,” he said, “and I’m glad Primus Telecom can lead the way into the new high-speed broadband age.”

The new Primus plan – dubbed the ‘QUAD-1′ – comes with 1,111GB of monthly quota, consisting of 511GB that can be used during the peak hours from 10AM to 2AM, and 600GB of off-peak data. It can be bought as a normal DSL plan for $99.95 per month, or as a Naked DSL plan for $119.95 per month. For a limited time, the ISP will waive installation charges on a 24 month plan length.

The plan is available now.

Bhatia said Australians were increasingly turning to the internet for entertainment and communication, and his company did not want them to have to worry about download limits. “These plans provide iPrimus customers with the opportunity to receive an internet experience of the future and search for richer media, high definition video, internet television (IPTV) and other advances services which iPrimus is preparing to deliver,” he said.

Other ISPs do offer plans which are closer to the ability for customers to truly download ‘unlimited’ amounts of data. For example, AAPT has several plans which allow for unlimited off-peak downloads, and Dodo offers an “unlimited” plan for just $39.90 per month – as does TPG, for $75 per month.

The news comes as the ISP market continues to consolidate further, with the primary driving force behind the mergers and acquisitions being iiNet.

Last week, iiNet’s Malone said there were only “four and a half” meaningful players left in the market – Telstra, iiNet, Optus and TPG – with Internode being the point five and smaller companies like Primus and EFTel not being relevant any more.

The comments drew immediate fire from Internode managing director Simon Hackett, who said his company was “big enough to deliver, small enough to care”.

“I also find resonance in a comment from a recent industry discussion about Apple, which said this about market share (in the context of Apple products and services): “Market share is not a user feature”,” he said.

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Renai LeMay

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