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Australia's Largest ISP Ditches Linux Mirror

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the this-is-our-business-model dept.

Australia 173

An anonymous reader writes "Australia's largest ISP, BigPond, has decided to ditch its local mirrors of Linux and other open source operating systems, as well as various other open source software and Creative Commons media. BigPond posted a terse update on the service's website, citing reasons of low popularity and the existence of better services like download.com and Tucows. BigPond customers are not impressed by the move, given that the ISP is infamous in Australia for its high prices and relatively low monthly quotas of bandwidth (many users are on 10GB or 25GB per month plans) and all downloads from this service did not count towards their monthly limits."

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173 comments

TPG has the best plans (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32700974)

Those users should shop around, any switch that supports DSL or DSL 2+ can be used by any of the ISP. TPG has some of the best plans in AU, however they have really crap customer service, but you really don't need it once your up and running.

Re:TPG has the best plans (-1, Troll)

Enter the Shoggoth (1362079) | about 4 years ago | (#32701112)

Those users should shop around, any switch that supports DSL or DSL 2+ can be used by any of the ISP. TPG has some of the best plans in AU, however they have really crap customer service, but you really don't need it once your up and running.

TPG.... you've got to be joking! Their customer service makes Telstra's look good, the idea that you don't need it once setup is nonsense... you don't need it until it breaks then you're in deep shit.

As for users shopping around - many people simply do not have a choice: my parents live outside of the city and whilst there are a couple of other ISP's aside from Telstra they simply just re-sell the Telstra service and hence the price is still inflated.

I live in near the Ryde district of Sydney which is where all the major Tech companies are placed as well as the 2nd largest Telco Optus and I can't get ADSL2+ either (at least not without putting up with ADSL1 speeds as I'm about 5km from the phone exchange).

So please go and troll somewhere else!

Re:TPG has the best plans (4, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | about 4 years ago | (#32701202)

If you are stuck on a RIM or are otherwise only limited to ADSL1, you can still get ADSL from Internode or iiNet. Both ISPs have ADSL1 plans that are better value than matching ADSL1 plans from BigPond.

And both have a reputation for GOOD customer service. (I have seen people who say "I have used both BigPond and iiNet/Internode and I prefer iiNet/Internode")

If you want ADSL2+ and only Telstra has it in the exchange then assuming you are on a "zone 1" exchange (whatever that means) then you should be able to get "Internode Easy Broadband" which delivers 25 times the quota of the Telstra plan at the same price tag.

Only reasons to get Telstra BigPond are:
If you cant get ADSL but CAN get Telstra cable or Telstra Velocity fiber
If you cant get ADSL or cable and the only wireless provider with coverage is BigPond wireless
Or if you are getting some kind of special bundle (e.g. home phone, broadband, TV, mobile phones all on the one account) or really good special deal where it actually DOES beat others like iiNet and Internode on price.

Re:TPG has the best plans (2, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | about 4 years ago | (#32701288)

Another reason for BigPond: you can't get DSL connected by anyone else, but BigPond miraculously can. Go with them and churn after the first few months. I've seen it happen before.

Re:TPG has the best plans (4, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | about 4 years ago | (#32701336)

If you are in that situation, talk to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. I know someone who was in that situation where TPG said they couldn't give them ADSL but BigPond said they could. They talked to the TIO and ended up on the TPG plan they wanted without needing to pay anything to Telstra (i.e. contract exit fees).

I cant find a cite but thanks to the ACCC, Telstra are legally required to wholesale ADSL1 to any ISP that wants to buy a port from Telstra Wholesale.

Re:TPG has the best plans (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 4 years ago | (#32701540)

I cant find a cite but thanks to the ACCC, Telstra are legally required to wholesale ADSL1 to any ISP that wants to buy a port from Telstra Wholesale.

When Telstra started rolling out ADSL2+, they had it in a lot of exchanges pretty quickly, but wouldn't turn it on until a competitor had ADSL2+ equipment in the same exchange, to get around this ruling.

They've since changed their mind (i'm using a Telstra DSLAM wholesaled to another ISP right now), so I guess they figured that wholesale revenue is still revenue.

Re:TPG has the best plans (5, Informative)

Jelly2003 (1842534) | about 4 years ago | (#32701164)

I signed my dad up to TPG for his home and his office, thus far they seem to be pretty good, fast connection. They lack unmetered content, but make up for it with unmetered uploads and high download quotas. Their tech support is pretty good too but I called them a couple of times and they were closed.

My favourite ISP is Intenode, they're a little more expensive because they've kept their main focus on providing internet, rather than forcing landline / mobile phone packages down people's throats. Also, on most plans they don't meter uploads.

Also their unmetered content is great:
* HUGE FTP file mirror with tons of open source and Linux / BSD / Solaris distros
* MajorGeeks mirror
* SourceForge mirror
* Steam mirrors
* ABC IVIEW
* They repeat stacks of streaming radio streams
* TiVO update / content mirrors
* Games.on.net - game servers, file downloads, media downloads

Also, their tech support is really good, all of it seems to be based in Australia, so easy to communicate with.

Re:TPG has the best plans (-1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 4 years ago | (#32701680)

Dude the TFS is reporting that they (TPG aka The Big Pond) are no longer offering the "HUGE FTP file mirror with tons of open source and Linux / BSD / Solaris distros". It's a great idea though.

Here in the US, I have no bandwidth cap, but for my ISP to run a super fast Debian or Ubuntu mirror. I'd even be willing to pay a little more / month for a service like that.

Re:TPG has the best plans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701726)

Reading for comprehension FTW!

TPG != bigpond
TPG != internode
internode != bigpond.

The GP was pointing out that internode has a large mirror which is unmetered on most plans.

(Note, in most areas you can sign up with internode using Telstra hardware)

Re:TPG has the best plans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701766)

TPG is one ISP.

BigPond is a completely different ISP.

Re:TPG has the best plans (2, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | about 4 years ago | (#32701784)

Mod parent down; TPG is not Big Pond, and neither is Internode. It's misinformation, not informative.

Re:TPG has the best plans (0)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 4 years ago | (#32701944)

Sorry, I thought TPG was short for TheBigPond. Things are confusing in Oz!

Re:TPG has the best plans (0)

Golddess (1361003) | about 4 years ago | (#32702452)

Not as confusing as how you thought P referred to Big and G referred to Pond.

Re:TPG has the best plans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32702566)

Are you dyslexic, or just fucking stupid?
TPG != TBP
And nobody calls it "The Big Pond" anyway, that's entirely something you just made up.

Re:TPG has the best plans (1)

strack (1051390) | about 4 years ago | (#32701434)

ive been on tpg, and am now on iinet. tpg sucks, iinet is awesome.

1st (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32700986)

First lambs

Re:1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701004)

owned

less for more (0, Troll)

boog3r (62427) | about 4 years ago | (#32700990)

capitalism is grand. king quarter. year over year increase or die at home crying.

Re:less for more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701008)

I would hardly call the Telstra company very capitalistic. We are talking about a socialism here and recently "privatized" which i'm sure means heavily subsidized and still controlled by the government, this isn't exactly a free market and apparently it's still expensive as hell. That said i haven't lived in Australia in a long while so what do i know other than it was extremely expensive back then.

Re:less for more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701458)

Privatized means the state takes most of the risks and the newly created monopoly takes all the benefits.

Re:less for more (1)

internewt (640704) | about 4 years ago | (#32701544)

capitalism is grand. king quarter. year over year increase or die at home crying.

Yeap, and even though it is clear that this service has been removed from paying customers for a few reasons, you have still been modded troll for pointing out the truth.

But that seems to be a philosophical underpinning of capitalism: bullshit people, because you can get more money off them if you get away with it. So those who point out the truth, no matter how abrasively, are attacked.

BigPond say they are cutting the service "due to low levels of general usage and limited appeal to a mainstream audience." But it boils down to money. They think they can get rid of that service because the number of people that use it aren't significant enough to kick up a fuss, or if they do, BigPond (now a bit SmallerPond) has decided that it can afford to lose those customers.

There is also their desire to profit off data transfers. Clearly the projected profits based on making people pay for data by selling services with stupidly low transfer limits, weren't the same as the real profits. People found a way to manage their limit, so BigPond are closing the loophole.

And the way they have gone about shutting it down also seems pretty shitty - announce the closure 5 days before hand, on a Friday. Many people won't find out until Monday, many will never even hear about the closure, and the site will just vanish.

But customers of BigPond, you have 4 days of being able to bring BigPond to their knees. This service doesn't count towards the pitiful downloads limit they provide:

wget -r http://files.bigpond.com/

(shame, it doesn't appear you can recursively do downloads if you save the output to /dev/null).

Move to another ISP? (3, Interesting)

Freaky Spook (811861) | about 4 years ago | (#32700996)

It's not as if people are forced to stay with BigPond or anything. I haven't had a BigPond internet account since Dial-Up internet days.

Re:Move to another ISP? (1, Informative)

goonerw (99408) | about 4 years ago | (#32701012)

It's not as if people are forced to stay with BigPond or anything.

It's not as if Bigpond let you get ADSL2+ with another ISP if you're on a RIM or an area that only has Telstra Cable.

Re:Move to another ISP? (2, Informative)

daBass (56811) | about 4 years ago | (#32701130)

Yes they do: Internode [on.net] offers Telstra wholesale ADSL2+ where available.

I do believe they are the only ISP to do so.

It's not cheap, but you do get the best ISP in the country. Linux mirrors included.

How do I know? I am on ADSL2+ (17mbit sync) on a RIM off a Telstra-only exchange using Internode as ISP.

Re:Move to another ISP? (1)

Barny (103770) | about 4 years ago | (#32701214)

Pretty sure they are, and they have telstra ports on their "easy broadband" thing.

Internode are the best ISP in the country, not the largest, or the cheapest, but the best :)

Re:Move to another ISP? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 4 years ago | (#32701220)

Uhh, best ISP in the country, not likely.

Telstra's speed and service are far from the best, maybe 10 years ago, but not now.

Technically, RIMs do NOT support ADSL, it's on street DSLAMs that support ADSL/ADSL2+. I might add that Telstra had their DSLAMs upgraded to ADSL2/2+ quite some time ago, long before it was offered by competitors. They refused to allow users access to the service until they saw fit, artificially limiting people's bandwidth claiming that they had no ADSL2+.

I say this as an ex-Telstra employee.

Re:Move to another ISP? (1)

daBass (56811) | about 4 years ago | (#32701254)

Internode is the best ISP in the country, not Telstra!

Having experience with both Agile ports and TWS ports, I can say there is no discernible difference in being on either of them with Internode. The only difference is price; I have to pay the Telstra tax; being on a Agile port would be $30/month less.

My particular RIM actually has no minimux, instead it is fed by a 100-pair from the exchange for ADSL.

Re:Move to another ISP? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 4 years ago | (#32701492)

I'm with iiNet myself, service quality, communication, and support are great. On naked DSL too, which is perfect for me.

Unfortunately with the copper to the cabinet services it's a bit of a lose lose situation, your line is longer and you're with Telstra technically. On street DSLAMs are much better as it's fibre to the cabinet and copper from there.

I live in inner city Melbourne, not quite as lucky as Brunswick (they get NBN coverage). You might want to take a look at the NBN site and see if your area is part of the trial. If it is, you can get NBN fibre by iiNet (not sure if Internode offers it too).

Re:Move to another ISP? (1)

daBass (56811) | about 4 years ago | (#32701552)

No NBN trial for me, but with the RIM hell we have here I have good hopes of being hooked up early in the rollout!

When the NBN was going to be FTTN I used to joke that's what we already had: it's called a RIM, look how great those are!

Yeah, if we had an ADSL2+ minimux, I'd be laughing at 24mbit, but 17 ain't so bad... (I used to live 75m from here on the other side of the suburb's ring road. That was direct exchange at 21mbit.)

But there are also a lot of RIMs with severe backhaul problems, where people sync at 8mbit and get a whole mbit or two at peak times.

Re:Move to another ISP? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701020)

This only applies if you are willing to stay on dial up or you are in a heavily populated area. If you are in rural Australia your options tend to be limited to Telstra BigPond for broadband or you stay with narrowband services.

Re:Move to another ISP? (2, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 years ago | (#32701128)

Or satellite. For casual users, it isn't that bad.

Re:Move to another ISP? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701062)

Well that's right. Unless you have *absolutely* no other choice there is no reason to sign up with Bigpond and you are best off going with another provider with unmetered mirrors like Internode.

I grudgingly will say that in spite of it being Telstra owned and expensive their 850MHz HSDPA network is frickin' excellent. If you are on a bitumen road in Australia (and a lot of dirt roads), you will get snappy 3G with them.

Re:Move to another ISP? (1)

goatherder23 (1189859) | about 4 years ago | (#32701172)

Except when you live in the country and the only available broadband is via telstra. Monopolist bastards will be the first against the wall when the NBN arrives...

Re:Move to another ISP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701244)

Which part of the country? I live in a pretty rural area in Victoria (When drive out the driveway I gotta avoid the Kangaroos) and even I have choices other than Telstra. Even then, depending on your state, you can get a subsidy on satellite internet.

Re:Move to another ISP? (1)

Liam Pomfret (1737150) | about 4 years ago | (#32702062)

It's not only the countryside. The part of the Brisbane suburb I was living in until 6 months ago had Telstra cable as the only available service in the area . Impossible to get ADSL, couldn't even get wireless. It was a nightmare. Apparently there was an ADSL cabinet around, but Telstra had decided that there wasn't enough demand to justify putting in any more ports, since "everyone already had broadband". Through their cable. Bastards.

Re:Move to another ISP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701350)

I'm sorry that's not true I'm in an area where the only internet I can get is Telstra Wireless Broadband, Can't even get other types of Wireless broadband from other Providers. I used this service a lot for linux resources even though it was slow

News for nerds? (-1, Flamebait)

BhaKi (1316335) | about 4 years ago | (#32700998)

So a mirror is shutting down. What's big deal?

Re:News for nerds? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701018)

if you're on a multimux you're pretty much fucked. No ADSL2+ for you unless they've started reselling Telstra ADSL2+ services. Telstra are still the only ISP available in some areas. I live 4.1km from the exchange on horrible quality cabling, ADSL constantly drops out. I therefore use the coaxial cable tv network. Telstra are the ONLY Cable provider in my state. This move has essentially fucked me. I have 25gb per month both uploads/downloads and I'm paying $200/month for that service. That's with phones/net/cable tv bundled together

Re:News for nerds? (2, Insightful)

Jelly2003 (1842534) | about 4 years ago | (#32701100)

So a mirror is shutting down. What's big deal?

The problem is that people on Telstra Bigpond pay top dollar for an internet connection with a fairly low download allowance (in the order of 10GB per month), using this mirror means they can download a multi gigabyte Linux distro without subtracting from their pitifully low download allowance. These days they slow your internet speed when you exceed your allowance, but at one stage they used to change 17c per MB once you reached your allowance (counting both uploads and downloads) and unsuspecting people ended up with internet bills worth thousands.

Re:News for nerds? (2, Funny)

deniable (76198) | about 4 years ago | (#32701306)

17, I remember when it was 19.

Re:News for nerds? (2, Interesting)

Liam Pomfret (1737150) | about 4 years ago | (#32702096)

To say they "slow your internet speed" really doesn't do it justice. They throttle it. They choke it down to speeds that are just unbelievably low. So low, that you can't even log into your account on Telstra's own website to check your usage, and that checking your @bigpond email account takes minutes just to download a single short email without any attachments. I think until recently, they were quoting 64kbps as the shaping speed, but any test I did didn't even get about 12kbps. In comparison, I think the standard shaping speed on the lowest plans for any other decent ISP is now 256kbps. If all you were doing is browsing, and not making huge downloads, or trying to load up multiple streaming videos at once....you might honestly not even notice a shape at that speed.

North Korea - Linux - Coincidence? You Decide! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701036)

The Korea Computer Centre (KCC), the leading IT R& D base of the DPRK, was founded on October 24, 1990 under the careful guidance of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il. It develops and supplies software and hardware products for various fields such as operating system, computer network, control & signal processing, biosignal processing and information security, and supports software development for important national projects. It controls eight specialized centres for development and production, development-supporting groups such as quality control centre and information service centre as well as 11 provincial information centres. It also runs the KCC Information Technology College and the Information Technology Institute to reinforce and replenish its technical force and to meet the demands from different sectors of the country. Its powerful research groups based in scientific research and educational institutions constitute another of its driving forces. KCC has branch offices, joint ventures and marketing offices in Germany, China, Syria, Arab Emirates and elsewhere, and promotes technical cooperation and exchange with blue-chip IT companies and high-profile scientific research institutions at home and abroad. Relying on its core stock of technology, it has set an immediate goal: to reach the world standards and clinch a place in the world market in the coming few years in the development of Linux-based operating system and appliocations, computer-aided high technology and services. To this end, it stresses the training of IT elites and the production, quality authentication and international standardization of main and new products based on appropriate market strategy and powerful software development groups, and accelerates custom-development projects and technical service.

They sucked. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701038)

The reason they weren't popular is because the mirrors sucked, they were often slow to get updates and they were slow generally. I can get better speeds from the Netherlands than I can from my local Bigpond Mirror.

DITCH? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701040)

How is this a ditch? It's a DUMP! as in a steaming pile of!

Bigpond is part of Telstra (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 years ago | (#32701050)

It's what you get when you partly privatise a government monopoly and then pretend the government has nothing to do with it anymore but make it difficult for anyone else to compete.

Re:Bigpond is part of Telstra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701180)

iinet, internode, tpg etc all have comparable plans for much cheaper pricing through wholesale dsl gear. How is bigpond exactly making it hard to compete, when they're the 2nd most expensive ISP in aus?

Re:Bigpond is part of Telstra (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 years ago | (#32701776)

Look up the whirlpool forums about all the people that couldn't get a working ADSL2+ connection until they signed up with Bigpond - then suddenly the Telstra line faults went away.

Re:Bigpond is part of Telstra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32702294)

Anecdotal... usually the result of lazy hack ISPs not wanting to cover the cost getting the local line workable for ADSL to obtain a single customer, this has been also been noted on Whirlpool. Bigpond on the other hand will usually cover the cost to win business, even though the user can churn away with no cost, during a cooling off period.

No conspiracy going on here, just business not wanting to spend money to win one single customer.

Also anecdotal, I've had services in iiNet, and Internode, in multiple urban and rural locations, which any sort of line or commissioning hitch what so ever.

Re:Bigpond is part of Telstra (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 years ago | (#32701786)

Actually, it's the exact opposoite of your claim in the case of Telstra. Prior to the recent NBN deal the government(s) (both left and right) had been engaged in a very long and public feud with Telstra over their anti-competive wholesale fuckery.

"low popularity" - yea right. (5, Interesting)

Narcocide (102829) | about 4 years ago | (#32701052)

Nobody shuts down a mirror that isn't soaking up any bandwidth. Nobody has a slow mirror that nobody uses. I'm putting my money on them having ditched it because it outgrew their initial provisioning and they couldn't afford to expand to keep up, not because it was "low popularity."

Re:"low popularity" - yea right. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#32701150)

Yes set up in the .com boom along with gaming, kept alive to spin the low data caps.
Now Telstra has value eg 25GB plans for A$79.95 ~ US$70 @8Mbps/128kbps or
25 GB A$89.95 ~US$77 @30000/1000kbps Over the cap and face $0.15/MB or 64kbps until your new billing cycle starts.
http://www.bigpond.com/internet/plans/cable/plans-and-offers/ [bigpond.com]

Re:"low popularity" - yea right. (1)

Barny (103770) | about 4 years ago | (#32701230)

Wow thats cheap, if you go with Internode easy broadband you only get 50GB a month for $59AU a month (cheaper if you bundle rental) on all the same lines as telstra (they provision both their own and telstra ADSL2+ ports).

And no charge if you go over...

Re:"low popularity" - yea right. (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#32701390)

Nobody shuts down a mirror that isn't soaking up any bandwidth

Yes they do. The point of a mirror is to act as a local cache. You grab stuff from outside the network periodically and give users the opportunity to fetch it locally. If people are not downloading much from it, you're still fetching stuff remotely so it's costing you external bandwidth and time / effort / hardware to maintain it but not actually saving you anything, so you shut it down.

This exact sequence happened with the mirrors that the university computer society ran when I was a student. They ran a mirror for a load of *NIX distributions and various other things that were useful to students. I maintained it for a bit, looked at the number of users and the bandwidth and time taken to keep it up to date, and decided it wasn't worth the effort. Deleting it and bumping up the disk space allowed for the web proxy's cache saved us more bandwidth.

perhaps do both (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701494)

keep the mirror, write some scripts to use rsync to keep it upto date, _and_ increase the cache size, and save even more bandwidth, and importantly, save more of your users time/energy.

Re:perhaps do both (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#32701546)

The problem for us was that no one was using the mirror. It's easier for users to use a search engine and find the download site than it is for them to check the mirror and the network was so fast that grabbing something from a local server wasn't much faster than getting it from the remote place. We were downloading a few tens of GBs of a particular version of a Linux distro, but if no one bothered getting the local copy then it was simply wasted bandwidth. And if someone only wanted CD1 of the x86 version, we were getting 10-20GB in order for them to have a slightly faster download of 650MB of stuff. Not really useful.

For an ISP, getting CDNs to install a big mirror on their network saves them a lot more external bandwidth than running their own mirror that users have to remember exists will.

Is Bigpond a Windows based ISP? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 4 years ago | (#32701500)

Could this be related too? Perhaps they will get a cheap upgrade to Windows Server they use?

http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_report?url=http://www.bigpond.com [netcraft.com]

Latest movie or Linus/RMS? Which would you choose? *g*

Besides jokes, I always, blindly stayed away from ISPs using "Windows Server" since it tells a lot about the quality of staff and management. Of course I understand it is not always possible.

Re:"low popularity" - yea right. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 years ago | (#32702550)

They are obviously shutting down the public file library (they still will be caching in the background, same diff to them) so they can run up user downloads to increase profit margins in light of the future wholesale fibre broadband network. So the marketing lie, no demand with the reality a chance to up download charges http://www.bigpond.com/internet/plans/adsl/plans-and-offers/ [bigpond.com] especially considering the lowest usage cap is 2 GB.

2GB is wildly low but it all came about when Telstra were using the incumbent telco position and the support of right wing politics in order to try to establish a content distribution monopoly (low downloads limits force you to buy through their uncapped service others download charges would exceed content charges especially at 15 cents a MB say $12 per dvd no content and no media).

They have alwasy be a really bad company, years back I signed an eighteen month contact, after one month the raised the price $10 a month and introduced a cap of 3GB on a previously uncapped service, then claimed they only raised the price $10 (in reality more like a 1000% or more increase considering those additional usage charges), the ACCC http://www.accc.gov.au/ [accc.gov.au] had to force them to allow users to drop the one way contracts, which I naturally enough did.

Doesn't surprise me (4, Interesting)

Jelly2003 (1842534) | about 4 years ago | (#32701076)

Back in 2004 the Bigpond file mirror used to be a good service (I used it a lot while at work) but recently I tried it use it and noticed that it wasn't very well maintained anymore, of course they should have gone the other way and fixed the service.

Re:Doesn't surprise me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701678)

1. Run it down intentionally

2. People stop using it because it's rubbish

3. Claim that you're shutting it down because no-one wants it

4. Profit!

5. ?????

(Number 5 in there for contractual obligation reasons ;-))

Many users are on 10 or 25gig? (4, Informative)

Slurpee (4012) | about 4 years ago | (#32701082)

10 gig or 25 gig a month? They're the luck users!

Seriously - their most popular plan has a 2gig limit for "only" $40 a month - with excess usage charged at 15c a meg. That's over $2,000 a gig! Both up and down are counted.

People who use bigpond are seriously deluded. Considering rivals offer 130gig a month for $40, no excess usage charges, and only downloads count...

no linux user users bigpond.

Friends don't let friends use bigpond.

Re:Many users are on 10 or 25gig? (1)

RabbitWho (1805112) | about 4 years ago | (#32701148)

I can't believe those prices! My mom lives in Turkey and has to pay 20 dollars a month for a 4gb limit, with hefty fines if she goes over. I thought that was bad! Choice is such a wonderful thing!

Re:Many users are on 10 or 25gig? (1)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | about 4 years ago | (#32702178)

with hefty fines if she goes over.

I would never use a provider which fined me for going over some bandwidth limit, they are only doing that to cheat her out of her money. I have unlimited bandwidth and 40/20 Mbit and I am happy with it, but if I forget to pay the bill they instantly drop it to 128 Kbit. That's what they should do if you go over your limit as well, fines and/or high charges per megabyte is just dishonest, bordering on fraud. If your mother has no alternative I feel sorry for her.

Re:Many users are on 10 or 25gig? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701160)

Don't be an idiot.

Bigpond is the only provider who will give me reasonable speed. I can't get ADSL2. I can get ADSL, but I'm almost 4.5k from an exchange. There are no other cable providers aside from Bigpond, for my area.

So my options are: Bigpond cable, Dialup, satellite, ADSL. And of those, only bigpond give me semi-reliable, semi-fast net. The cap is crap (25 gig). and it's expensive. But it's the only real option.

"No linux user uses bigpond, Friends don't let friends use bigpond" seriously, don't be a douche. Some people don't really have much of a choice.

The mirror was slow to get the files you wanted, but once it was up there I could download it as fast or faster then from the 'official' mirrors. (Ubuntu, fedora, CentOS). And it was especially good because I could download several ISO files totalling well over 25 gig and not get capped by Bigpond for it.

Taking the mirror offline will be a pain.

Re:Many users are on 10 or 25gig? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701256)

As another bigpond cable user I'd like to point out parent is NOT a troll, their cable service is relatively fast and reliable if a little overpriced, compared to any other option apart from ADSL2 it is a decent service. And yes, I used to use their mirror and am seriously thinking about Internode now I can get ADSL2 thanks to this dick move by Telstra.

Re:Many users are on 10 or 25gig? (3, Informative)

AndreR (814444) | about 4 years ago | (#32701260)

$2,000?

15 cents/MB ~= $154 per GB

Still ridiculously expensive anyway.

Re:Many users are on 10 or 25gig? (1)

Slurpee (4012) | about 4 years ago | (#32701470)

oops - yep, my Maths was way off - not sure where I got that number from. But as you said - $154 a gig is still silly.

And appologies to those who have no other choice. Sucks to be stuck on Bigpond - my heartfelt sympathy.

Re:Many users are on 10 or 25gig? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701328)

People still have download limits?

Re:Many users are on 10 or 25gig? (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 4 years ago | (#32701372)

I'd love to ditch bigpond, but where I live the only broadband is ADSL (not even ADSL2+) and the maximum plan is 50GB @ $99 per month. I could move to other providers e.g. TPG, but their prices are exactly the same for the same caps. We only got ADSL in 2006, before that the best available was a pair of ISDN lines. The irony is that my area is one chosen for the pre-roll out of Kevinnet (or should that now be Julianet?) so people I know just a few blocks away can get 19GB lines while I'm stuck with this stupid 8M/384K ADSL "service".

One thing to note is that Telstra occasionally alter the caps on different plans but don't tell you - if you keep an eye on it you can quickly change plans to a better deal (same price, higher cap), but if you don't notice they'll happily continue to overcharge you until you do.

The Final Straw (3, Interesting)

Tim99 (984437) | about 4 years ago | (#32701134)

After suffering poor service from Telstra since I "upgraded" to one of their ADSL2+ plans, this was the final straw.
My new service with iiNet starts on Wednesday. Telstra have left me with no phone and Internet service on three occasions over a couple of weeks in the last 7 months. When I did (after many complaints) finally get the 14Mbs/sec service I was paying for, rather than the 5Mbps provided, Telstra still drop the connection for a few seconds at a time every few minutes, and only about 80% of packets get to their DNS. Web pages stop downloading halfway through, and we are only 1400m from the exchange.
Their billing has been appalling over the last 5 years. If they did not have a near monopoly on infrastructure, they would go broke. The new agreement with the government to supply much of the proposed NBN probably will not encourage them to raise their game.

Re:The Final Straw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701406)

I know you're on Slashdot but do you have line filters/ADSL splitters on each phone jack? As this sounds like your line is dropping from the phone or fax interfering.

Re:The Final Straw (1)

Tim99 (984437) | about 4 years ago | (#32701504)

Yep, we even had a Telstra engineer check it out - This is not as altruistic as you might think, they were hoping desperately that it was our fault, so they could charge us $290 to fix it...

Re:The Final Straw (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about 4 years ago | (#32701800)

The agreement is for Telstra to allow the NBN to use their pits and conduits - not their actual telco infrastructure. The deal is awesome for end users - its essentially doing what people have recommended for ages: splitting Telstra into government-controlled infrastructure which is wholesaled to all comers without prejudice, and into a private retail arm which competes equally with all other ISPs.

I have no idea why Telstra's shares are rising on the news - monopoly of the infrastructure was the only thing they had going for them.

Users Ditch Australia's Largest ISP (0, Redundant)

cthart (163073) | about 4 years ago | (#32701154)

"Users of Australia's largest ISP, BigPond, have decided to ditch it. The users posted a terse update on the service's website, citing reasons of low popularity and the existence of better services. BigPond customers were not impressed, given that the ISP is infamous in Australia for its high prices and relatively low monthly quotas of bandwidth (many users are on 10gb or 25gb per month plans) and for canceling a download service, downloads from which did not count towards their monthly limits."

Why is this news? (1, Flamebait)

Zubby (514088) | about 4 years ago | (#32701170)

So the company took away a service that they were offering for free. They were in no way obligated to continue this hosting. Why is this news to anyone?

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701236)

Here try this viewpoint...
The company was offering a service that their paying customers valued and possibly factored into the decision to continue paying them. Now they've discontinued the service. They're not obligated to do anything, but their customers aren't obligated to stay with them either.

Re:Why is this news? (1)

Barny (103770) | about 4 years ago | (#32701248)

Because while it was "free for all to access" it didn't count towards their own customers downloads for the month, in effect it was a service to their customers, that they are now dropping.

Re:Why is this news? (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | about 4 years ago | (#32701272)

Because every single other ISP offers it and more.

For at least 2 reasons (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 4 years ago | (#32701512)

I think people are amazed at how brain dead they are and what a big lie "bandwidth cap" is. If they really required bandwidth caps, not just keeping the mirrors up (even 10 users matter), they would also cache OSX/Windows updates with squid.

So, they are either stupid or malicious or even both.

While on it, they are a Windows based ISP. I really wonder what will their "windows server 2008" upgrade cost will be after this action?

Telstra is so pitiful that it's actually funny (3, Interesting)

enter to exit (1049190) | about 4 years ago | (#32701412)

seriously iinet is currently the best residential aussie isp in terms of price and service (btw they have some linux mirrors - a lot of linux iso images and fedora and ubuntu update/package mirrors + others) .

Telstra is really just running on it's own momentum at this stage. It's a mammoth uncompetitive organization that relies on it's own size and slowly eroding monopoly as a substitute for quality services. It's lack of vision and fear of progress is a huge weight on Australia's internet services.

It's mind-boggling just how much telstra steals from their customers, they don't even pretend to have a good service anymore. Even bigpond customers know they are getting fucked. They have to resort to stupid animal cartoons to sell anything.

BTW the telstra ad at the top of the page is hilariously ironic

Re:Telstra is so pitiful that it's actually funny (1)

strack (1051390) | about 4 years ago | (#32701452)

um. the animal cartoons are optus dude. and yes. iinet is fucking awesome.

No surprise here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701416)

Everyone knows Telstra are greedy arseholes. Their only customers are people who aren't aware of any alternatives or who live outside metro areas.

I honestly can't recall EVER having heard a word in their favor.

The sad history of Australian Telecommunications (5, Informative)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 4 years ago | (#32701440)

Telstra is a sad case of a company. The ex-government telephone monopoly, it was privatized and the profits of that went into the "Future Fund." Sounds nice, but it's just a fancy name of for the public service pension fund. (You can almost imagine the delight on the faces of the public servants and politicians who thought this idea up - it's their pension fund!)

Telstra was run into the ground by a American CEO Solomon Trujillo. He was hired at a time that anyone with an American accent could get a CEO job in Australia. Aussies were that parochial. But Trujillo did a really crap job. He only installed ADSL2 at exchanges where competitors installed ADSL2. He didn't kiss the butt of the government of the day, which is the custom in Australia. Combine all that and the share price sagged. Telstra continued to offer the most overpriced and poorly serviced offerings, relying on ill-informed consumers who believed "You can't go wrong with Telstra." Hell. I've got two service complaints over a year old they still haven't fixed.

Sadly when the previous government sold off Telstra, they let them take all the wiring with them which means any ISP who sells an ADSL service must house it in Telstra's exchanges and over their wires. Telstra doesn't need to be competitive, which is why broadband in Oz is still so expensive. There is one competitor - Optus - who has their own cable, but they gave up before they wired half the country and being appointed as a duopoly (yes, the government before last actually did that!) they don't have to be competitive either: all they have to do is match Telstra, to the point Telstra and Optus offer the worst deals in the country.

A few days ago the government paid Telstra $11B for access to their wires and infrastructure and (believe it or not) to compensate them for the future loss of customers. That's right. I hate Telstra and can't wait to leave them, but the government is actually using my tax dollars to compensate a company for losing my business through their own sheer ineptitude.

Don't expect changes. After the disaster of the Telstra privatisation the Rudd ^H^H^H^H Gillard government are creating a new national broadband network... which is what that $11B is for. But they've also announced an intention to privatize it making exactly the same mistake as last time. One of the heads of this effort is Michael Kaiser, an Labour party politician (kicked out for electoral fraud) who is now earning $450K a year appointed without so much as a job interview.

And this, my friends, is why telecommunications in Australia is such a mess.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/how-to-get-a-450000-job-no-ads-required--just-a-nice-word-from-the-minister-20100209-no66.html [smh.com.au]
http://www.smh.com.au/business/sol-trujillo-was-worse-than-he-looked-20100211-nv22.html [smh.com.au]
http://www.moneymorning.com.au/20091202/kris-sayce-scam-telstra.html [moneymorning.com.au]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duopoly [wikipedia.org]

Re:The sad history of Australian Telecommunication (2, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#32701582)

He was hired at a time that anyone with an American accent could get a CEO job in Australia.

Any particular American accent?

Southern: "Hi y'all! I rek'on I cane I run this company reaaall good! Bless your hearts!"

Black: "Yo homes. I'll get this bitch going on the slick, man."

Surfer: "Duuuuuuuude! I'd run this company, like, so, like, knarly, dude! Duuuuuuuuuuuuude!"

New York: "I'm hear to help uze gize. What the fuck are uze look'in at! You wanna piece of me!?"

Fargo: "Ya! I kan Run dis kompany. Ya - sur kan."

I'm only asking because I need a job and who knows, there may be still some Australian companies that haven't learned their lesson yet.

Re:The sad history of Australian Telecommunication (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 years ago | (#32702454)

The New York attitude comes the closest, he was born in the US but thanks to political cartoonists most Aussies think he's from Mexico [crikey.com.au]

Re:The sad history of Australian Telecommunication (1)

Cinnaman (954100) | about 4 years ago | (#32701902)

Speaking of duopolies don't forget Labor and Liberal, their cosy arrangement doesn't help.

Re:The sad history of Australian Telecommunication (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 years ago | (#32702384)

"all [Optus} have to do is match Telstra, to the point Telstra and Optus offer the worst deals in the country."

Optus actually have much better deals (and customer service) than Telstra...

Optus.....20mbps/512kbps, 170GB cap, $70/mth
Telstra...10mbps/512kbps, 50GB cap, $90mth.
iiNet......24mbps/1024kbps, 120GB cap, $60/mth.

On the very few occasion I have had to ring Optus customer service over the last 10yrs they have fixed the problem within 30 minutes (a responsive hope desk is important to me since I work 2 days a week from home). Recently they have started ringing me every 3 months or so just to ask if I'm satisfied with their service. OTHOH I cannot in good faith recommend Optus telephony services to anyone.

Disclaimer: I worked as a contractor on Telstra's "mission critical" systems during the 90's but would not recommend them, even to my worst enemy!

Re:The sad history of Australian Telecommunication (4, Interesting)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 4 years ago | (#32702484)

Telstra was run into the ground by a American CEO Solomon Trujillo. He was hired at a time that anyone with an American accent could get a CEO job in Australia. Aussies were that parochial. But Trujillo did a really crap job.

Yeah he was a shocker, but realistically when he took over Telstra was already in shambles. The ACCC had at that point already firmly put its foot down on Telstra charging it's wholesale customers more than their retail customers, and once they were forced to charge a sane price the only think keeping them in business was the abysmal range and poor coverage of ADSL compared to Telstra's cable network.

But no what really drove the company into the ground was their previous CEO Dr Ziggy Switzkowski. A guy who's history in management was a Bachelor of Science, a PhD in Nuclear Physics, 6 years of post doc research, followed by an idiots guide to management course at Harvard. A short stint at Optus and then the top job of Australia's biggest monopoly. This is like letting a fat kid with ADHD loose in a candy store. He completely ignored most of Telstra's core competencies and spent as much money as possible on media deals and overseas investments trying to buy Australia's way into the Asian telecom market.

But then came the genius bit. While haemorrhaging money from every corner, with the ACCC beating down on Telstra's ass for screwing customers with a pineapple their master stroke was to introduce the worst fucking capped limits on their previously unlimited customers the world has ever heard of. Bad enough they are trying to run the company into the ground but then he made Australia the laughing stock of the world by changing their previous unlimited 10mbps cable to an "acceptable use policy" (actually 10GB download limit), and then down to 3 (YES THREE) GB per month with both downloads and uploads metered.


We moved house, and Telstra offered us a $180 loyalty bonus when we called them to cancel our service, followed shortly by a $50 relocation fee where we relocated to a house completely wired up and didn't need to do so much as call a service tech. We just took their biggest, fastest and most expensive plan ran with it for one month, and have been happy, richer, and less restricted TPG customers ever since.

I mean seriously Telstra business plans charge extra for fixed IPs, where as most other providers give them away with consumer plans. They can't even price their business plans right.

More political than rational (3, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | about 4 years ago | (#32701484)

This really makes no sense:

1) The primary reason is that an ISP wants more than anything to avert large traffic to and from THE INTERNET to their network. Internal traffic doesn't bother them as much, since that incurs much less cost. By having a local mirror to such huge files, they can avert a lot of traffic.

2) It was obviously a benefit to their customers, not to the rest of the world, since it didn't count against their user's download quotas.

3) It costs almost nothing to add such a service. A simple machine (or re-purposed older machine), running Linux/BSD, with a $50 hard drive stuck on their network would have more than enough horsepower and disk space to offer the service. Throw an hour a month of maintenance on it. They probably spend 100 times that on toilet paper.

4) If it were costing them external bandwidth, they could just block it to the rest of the Internet, keeping it for their customers.

5) I doubt their demographic is THAT much different from the rest of the world, so there is no doubt there would be a demand for such files by their users.

6) If usage were "low", it would probably only be because it was mis-managed, poorly setup, or their users simply didn't know it existed.

To me, this sounds more political than rational.

Re:More political than rational (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 4 years ago | (#32701590)

Bigpond no doubt charge more for bandwidth than they pay. They make a profit on downloads so there is no advantage in reducing them. Like all ISPs bigpond will use transparent mirroring, in addition to normal http proxies.

An engineer working for a different large ISP showed me how their mirroring system worked. Any time they saw a big peak in demand for a site (an example would be ubuntu downloads) they mirrored it and redirected traffic to the mirror.

Re:More political than rational (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 4 years ago | (#32702502)

They probably spend 100 times that on toilet paper.

Don't under-estimate the cost of toilet paper. After all, Telstra is the single largest provider of bullshit in the country.

Bigpond users == AOL users (0, Troll)

EreIamJH (180023) | about 4 years ago | (#32701496)

so why trouble their poor little minds with actually even knowing they have a choice of ISP or OS.

Re:Bigpond users == AOL users (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 4 years ago | (#32701568)

Parent is not really a troll. BigSwamp users are divided between people who don't know any better, and people who don't have a choice.

Re:Bigpond users == AOL users (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 years ago | (#32702494)

I'll second that, OP is not a troll just an uncomfortable truth.

Re:Bigpond users == AOL users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32702282)

It's your poor little mind you should worry about. Outside of the server room Linux is shit. Only freaks bother with it anymore on the desktop. It's a fail and you suckers who have latched onto it will wear it as your albatross around your neck.

Re:Bigpond users == AOL users (1)

chilvence (1210312) | about 4 years ago | (#32702686)

Is that jealousy I hear? Its good on this side of the fence mate, nobody tries to cheat me out of anything :)

Fair enough! (1)

MavEtJu (241979) | about 4 years ago | (#32701564)

Fair enough. Linux users all probably don't use telstra anymore for years :)

Re:Fair enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32701748)

>Fair enough. Linux users all probably don't use telstra anymore for years :)

As a Linux user in Australia, let me say from first-hand experience ... you are absolutely correct!

Internode has an excellent Linux mirror, it plans are far better value, and they run Linux themselves.

http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/

What is even better, Internode have absolutely no problems supporting you if you as their customer want to use Linux yourself:

http://www.internode.on.net/support/faq/broadband_adsl/getting_connected/#So_you_undoubtedly_support_Windo

"Internode prides itself on being highly supportive of the use of the Internet on any computer system that you have which runs TCP/IP.

We are pleased to support most flavours of Windows. But we also strongly and explicitly support Mac OS. And we also support the use of Linux and FreeBSD to access the Internet using ADSL.

If you have another operating system entirely, and it runs TCP/IP, we'll do our very best to support it with our ADSL service."

In contrast, a major Bigpond content site in Australia invites you to "Install Microsoft Silverlight" on their front page. Enough said.
http://www.afl.com.au/

Why would anyone using Linux possibly want to be a Bigpond sucker^w err, customer.

Another ISP run by accountants... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32702152)

Usually, an ISP mirror of Linux (RH etc) is setup by enthusiastic sysadmins. They want it for their own servers and it is not much h/w expense to extend the mirror to the public.

When the Ferengi (accountants, marketing) that run the ISP become aware of the mirrors and realize it may impact revenue or cost in some way... they get shut down. Not all ISPs are like this... just the ones that are accounting firms masquerading as technology/telecommunications companies.

More revenue (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 years ago | (#32702482)

Well of course they are dropping it, they can charge their users more this way. Sounds like every other 'data provider' out there.

But when the golden goose is long since dead and cooked, they will wonder where all their customers went and why no one gets online anymore.

Why such low quotas? (1)

Torino (1813872) | about 4 years ago | (#32702932)

I understand Australia is quite far away from the rest of the world and may not have as many cables and such, but why such lwo download limits? It seems like there would be a natural limit that would be the capacity divided by consumer and business needs, and that ISPs are artificially lowering this limit to increase profit. Australia only has a few big ISPs right, with the rest buying their internet from the few large ISPs, so they inherrit these limits? Is this not akin to pricefixing or so? Why is this not illegal? Why are ISPs allowed to hold back the communication technology of a country like this?
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