Toliman writes: "The former national Telecommunications company in Australia, Telstra, announced changes to their flat-rate cable and ADSL Freedom plan yesterday. The following email was sent to all users on the cable and ADSL residential plans -- restricting data download to three gigabytes per month with additional downloading attracting a hefty 35-cent fee per megabyte ($AU). Usage after that 3 gigabyte allowance is limited to the internal network if the customer does not choose to pay the fees for excess traffic." Read on for more.
"Slashdot readers in Australia will remember that Telstra's last pricing plan change was to charge per megabyte of traffic, including email and local network traffic, including paying the costs of receiving spam or unwanted data. During the rollout of optus @home's cable network, telstra implemented a flat-rate 'freedom' plan, offering a capped speed of 512kbit/128kbit with unlimited downloads suject to a flexible AUP, in order to compete with Optus's Network. Now the AUP has been changed to limit usage down to 3GB per month, reducing ADSL and cable users to the speed of a 28.8k modem.
Since the contract includes a reference to the AUP, the new limit is enforceable without express consent, and takes effect next month for all telstra 'Freedom' users. ZDNET australia, broadband.org.au, whirlpool.net.au, ausforums all have links to various stories, even a petition for Telstra to change their minds on this. As of this article, there are 4,300 users on the petition already quite angry, and more who are fed up with Telstra exploiting their monopoly of the internet bandwidth in Australia.
While some are calling this a purge of network 'abusers,' more rational users are asking for reasonable limits to be set up, if the old 'Freedom' plan cannot be reinstated."