RealTime IT News

Telstra Seeks Business with Price Cuts

Still recovering from losing in its quest to gain national ISP OzEmail's consumer division, Telstra is courting customers by cutting prices for its dial up and broadband Big Pond services.

From Saturday, Telstra will drop prices for Big Pond Home by 20 percent and will also offer a flat rate plan. It will also introduce loyalty bonuses of five percent discounts for customers of three months or longer.

The telco will also cut its Business and Home Rural access prices by 40 percent each. All of the new rates will apply to dial up including PSTN and ISDN services, as well as broadband access.

These reduced rates come on the heels of Telstra's declaration that it had other plans for growth, when its attempt to purchase OzEmail was outbid by smaller ISP eisa on Monday.

"These prices are great news for existing Big Pond Advance broadband users and will encourage many more people to take advantage of high speed access to the Internet," said managing director of Telstra's Online Services John Rolland.

Although eisa's offer to purchase OzEmail is yet to be approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, if it succeeds its subscriber numbers will edge out Telstra's by about 50,000.

Even with the prospect of the purchase though, OzEmail has already begun restructuring its business. Current parent company UUNet plans to reduce its stake in Queensland ISP PowerUp and its Web hosting business Web Central.

OzEmail acquired a 55 percent stake in PowerUp in 1998.

eisa has also benefited from a trading price rise when it reopened trading on the Australian Stock Exchange today after the merger announcement. Trading opened at AUD$2.25 (US$1.42) per share and closed at AUD$2.75 (US$1.73), after reaching a high of AUD$2.95 (US$1.86).