Internode Blog

Inside Internode Easy Broadband Version 2

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 by

Internode has released a new version of Internode Easy Broadband (IEB) on April 28th 2010.

The (new) Internode Easy Broadband offer

  • A huge quota (50GB per month upload+download, plus unmetered downloads)
  • A fixed price ($49.95/month when bundled with Nodeline, or $59.95/month standalone)
  • Fast ADSL2+/ADSL1 speeds in more than 550 exchanges and high speed 1500/256 connections everywhere else

When you select this plan, Internode does all the hard stuff, and you get a great service.

The intention of this post is to provide the deeper details behind all of this, for those who find those things interesting. (There are a fair few acronyms in this post; so our industry acronym glossary may be of assistance)

About Internode Easy Broadband (IEB)

IEB was designed to be a single plan with wide applicability – offering excellent value without complicated choices.

This is in contrast to the usual plethora of choices in ADSL plans in the Australian market (including from Internode!) in conventional ‘plan tables’.

Our conventional plan tables are also available, of course, for anyone with specific needs that require them.

Easy Broadband Classic

In the previous version of IEB (which we’ll start calling “Easy Broadband Classic” at this point), we offered a great price ($49.95) for a great monthly quota (50 GB), available with very wide coverage (if anyone can, we can)… and with Internode choosing what sort of “DSLAM Port” gets used to connect you.

In practice, where we could connect customers with an ‘Internode Direct’ (often called an ‘Agile’ or ‘Extreme‘) ADSL2+ port, we did that (providing ADSL2+ speeds). Where we couldn’t do that, we connected customers at a speed of 1500/256.

What changed?

While Internode-direct ADSL2+ coverage is significant and continuing to grow, the new IEB features (as its main change), a massive increase in the number of new customers who will obtain fast ADSL2+/ADSL1 speeds when connecting to this plan.

In fact, while IEB Classic offered ADSL2+ speeds in around 150 DSLAM exchanges, the new version offers fast ADSL2+/ADSL1 speeds in over 550 exchanges around Australia.

As a result, high speed coverage for the new IEB spans more than 70% of the Australian population.

Anywhere that fast ADSL2+/ADSL1 cannot be provided on this plan, you still get a great connection at 1500/256 kbps with the same huge 50GB monthly quota.

Selecting the port provided with an Internode Easy Broadband plan

We deliver the best speed outcome that is economic to provide in your geographic location. This all happens automatically.

What we try to do, and the order in which we try it, is as follows:

  1. We try to connect you to an Internode-Direct (Agile) ADSL2+ port (up to 24M downstream and now including Annex M support), and if that doesn’t work out:
  2. We try to connect you to an Telstra Wholesale ADSL2+ port  if you are in “Zone 1”, and if that doesn’t work out:
  3. We try to connect you to a Telstra Wholesale full-rate ADSL1 port if in “Zone 1”, and if that doesn’t work out:
  4. We order a 1500/256 speed port connection (everywhere else, in all Zones)

Important Points

  • The core commitment of Internode Easy Broadband is to supply a service running at not less than 1500/256 speeds, with a 50GB monthly quota (total of uploads and downloads), at a fixed monthly price.
  • The table above shows the current port deployment sequence that we use for new connections at the time of writing.
  • This port selection order and the carrier types and ports that we use to deploy IEB, are subject to change over time.
  • Internode may migrate existing customers or connect new customers to other port types and speeds (including from other port suppliers) from time to time at its discretion, while continuing to meet the core commitment noted above.
  • The reason we don’t deliver speeds higher than 1500/256 on this plan, outside of Zone 1, is purely economic (i.e. it currently costs so much more outside of Zone 1 to access higher speed ports that the only tenable speed we can offer is 1500/256, or we’d lose money at this price on every single customer we connect).
  • Customers who require fast ADSL2+/ADSL1 speeds outside of Zone 1 should select an appropriate plan from the Internode ‘FAST’ plan table, which offers those speeds on a nationally consistent basis.

So what is “Zone 1”?

Some choices in the table above are connected to the national Internode network using Telstra Wholesale ADSL ports.

Telstra operate their ports within three geographic zones, called Zones 1, 2 and 3.

The relevant zone here is “Zone 1”, which currently includes more than 550 exchanges, covering more than 70% of the Australian population.

Importantly, “Zone 1” also includes customers on sub-exchanges or on DSLAM ports inside roadside multiplexer cabinets (such as “RIM Cabinets”) within a given exchange service area.

This means that fast ADSL2+/ADSL1 speeds are now available with IEB, not just to more than 550 primary exchanges, but also right down into sub-exchange and RIMs in those areas.

As a part of these changes, it has become more deterministic to determine ‘up front’ whether your specific location will be supplied with a 1500/256 service or with a faster ADSL2+ or ADSL1 connection.

To find out, you can simply enter your phone number into our coverage checker.

The coverage checker has been enhanced to tell you whether to expect fast ADSL2+/ADSL1 speeds or a 1500/256 speed connection on a new IEB service.

The gist, however, is easy – anywhere that there are ‘competitive’ DSLAM installations (and lot of other places as well!), its very likely that the new IEB plan offers fast ADSL2+/ADSL1 speeds to customers that move to this new plan.

Here’s link to a table showing all Telstra Wholesale based DSLAM deployments country the country, and the speed band expectation for Internode Easy Broadband in each of those exchanges:

https://secure.internode.on.net/webtools/dsl-coverage-table?carrier=Telstra

You can also access the source data behind that display here:

http://www.telstrawholesale.com/products/docs/access_broadband_adsl_en_ex.xls

Note that the list of exchanges in Zone 1 changes from time to time – the file above is the definitive specification, and it is updated regularly.

There are some further benefits in the new version of IEB compared to the Classic version, and we’ll look at those now:

Annex M mode on Internode-Direct (Extreme) ADSL2+ Ports

For customers who are connected on an Internode-direct ADSL2+ port, IEB now offers the option of turning on ‘ADSL2+ Annex M’ mode, at no extra cost. This can be done by using the Internode “ADSL2+ Profile Changer” in “My Internode” to select a new profile online.

This allows for higher speeds in the ‘upstream’ direction – up to a massive 2.5 Megabits per second, depending on distance from your local exchange and providing that you have an Annex M capable router installed at your premises.

Where an Internode-direct ADSL2+ port is not available at the time that you connect, but one becomes available later, Internode may migrate you to one of these ports later, at its discretion. For various reasons, migrations of services within IEB may take a considerable period to arrange.

Higher “Over-Quota” Shaping Speeds

For all new IEB customers, regardless of port or geographic location, the shaped speed if you exceed your monthly quota has been doubled to be 128 kilobits per second (in the upload and download directions).

This helps to provide a more pleasant experience for routine web surfing and email access if you have managed to exceed your 50GB monthly transfer quota. Naturally, if you would like to return to full speed before the commencement of your next billing period, simply purchase an on-demand data block of an appropriate size and you’ll be back at full speed in minutes.

Bundling with NodeLine

With all of these benefits, as with most things in life, there has to be a trade-off to make the economics tenable.

As part of bringing in this version of IEB, featuring a huge increase in ‘high speed’ coverage areas and other new features, the new Internode Easy Broadband service is available for $49.95/month if bundled with NodeLine (the Internode dial-tone voice service offering). This also provides the benefit of a single bill from one provider for both broadband and phone line services.

The new IEB service is also available for $59.95/month if customers elect to obtain their dial-tone voice service from another voice provider.

Bundling is initiated simply by signing up online for NodeLine on the same line that you are using for Internode Easy Broadband. The monthly price charged for IEB is automatically adjusted to suit.

Bringing it all together

This is a table-form summary of the new Internode Easy Broadband vs the Classic version:

Changed Item IEB Classic New IEB
Price $49.95/mth $49.95/mth Bundled
$59.95/mth Standalone
Speed – Internode-direct ADSL2+ ports ADSL2+ Annex A ADSL2+ Annex A or Annex M (high speed upstream)
Speed – Zone 1 1500/256 kbps ADSL2+ (or Fast ADSL1)
Speed – Zones 2/3 1500/256 kbps 1500/256 kbps
Over Quota Shaped Speed 64/64 kbps 128/128 kbps
High Speed Coverage Around 150 exchanges
Around 25% of population
Not in RIMs
More than 550 exchanges
Around 70% of population
Includes RIMs in Zone 1
Will a new service be at 1500/256 or at faster speeds? Best effort; Not certain until after service is connected Deterministic; Can be checked before ordering using online coverage checker

Existing (Internode Easy Broadband Classic) customers

Existing Internode Easy Broadband services have been renamed to Internode Easy Broadband Classic.

If no action is taken by existing customers, their plan and their outcomes will remain exactly as they were when they signed up to that plan, in accordance with the ‘IEB Classic’ column of the table above.

This is consistent with the general Internode practice of not changing existing plan conditions for customers unless they decide to take advantage of new plan offerings and conditions (more details about this policy and the reasons for it are explained in this post).

Accordingly, existing customers may simply remain on their ‘Classic’ plan, or they can elect to move to the new version by submitting an online plan change via My Internode on the Internode website.

For customers who move to the new Internode Easy Broadband, the Bundled price of $49.95 per month or the Standalone price of $59.95 per month is charged automatically, depending on whether customers are using NodeLine on the same line as the broadband service.

All new signups to Internode Easy Broadband will be provisioned with the new version of the plan.

Alternatives to Internode Easy Broadband

Customers who are outside of “Zone 1” (or who have different quota requirements) and who require fast ADSL2+/ADSL1 speeds, should take a look at the Internode FAST broadband plans. These offer a range of quota choices and they deliver FAST speeds on all services delivered.

Customers who have specific requirements for monthly spend, speed, or port type not accommodated by IEB or our FAST plans, or who wish to take up a ‘Naked DSL’ plan instead, should review our full range of Internode plans on the Internode web site, where it is very likely that you’ll find a service that meets your needs.