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
, 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
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).

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