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Telstra cuts upload speeds during lockdown but charges same price

It follows the introduction of the 100/20Mbps service by NBN last year, which costs retailers like Telstra $7, or 11 per cent, less than the 100/40Mbps service.

Alex Forward is sitting his HSC exams this year and relying on high internet speeds.

Alex Forward is sitting his HSC exams this year and relying on high internet speeds.

NBN said its research showed residential users tended not to use the 40Mbps upload speed. However, this research was conducted before widespread lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.

NBN was also under pressure from retailers to address high wholesale prices.

A Telstra spokeswoman said moving customers to the 100/20Mbps plan was in line with NBN’s changes and part of its efforts to simplify its offerings.

“Importantly we’ve found the majority of our consumer customers do not need the additional upload bandwidth,” she said.

She said customers on a standard 50/20Mbps plan paying an extra $30/month for a speed boost to 100/40Mbps, which would total $120/month, would end up paying $10 less for the new 100/20Mbps plan.

Mr Forward is among the customers who had $10 monthly discount and was paying $110/month.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network’s (ACCAN) deputy CEO, Andrew Williams, said Telstra’s actions were “disappointing”.

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“While we understand telcos change their product offerings quite regularly, consumers shouldn’t be paying the same amount and getting a lesser service,” Mr Williams said.

“Telcos are bringing out new offers all the time, and there are some very competitive plans from lesser-known providers.”

A price analysis by the Herald and The Age found Aussie Broadband, Exetel, MyRepublic and Superloop offered both the 100/40Mbps and 100/20Mbps at two different price points.

On average, the 100/20Mbps plan is $95/month, while the 100/40Mbps plan is $105/month.

Optus charges $99/month for the 100/20Mbps plan and offers a speed pack to enable 100/40Mbps for an additional $30/month.

Telstra will continue to offer 100/40Mbps for business customers for a total of $140/month.

Mr Forward said he has been a Telstra Bigpond customer since the mid-90s but if Telstra did not reconsider its decision he would look for a new internet provider.

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