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About Big Al

Somewhat Cynical Superannuated Software Scribbler

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  • Mar 2nd, 2017 @ 1:25pm

    How things change

    Here in Australia, I used to envy the broadband plans in the US. High data amounts and faster speeds where I was stuck with a 20GB cap and 3Mb on a good day.
    Now we seem to have reversed the situation. The caps started getting larger (at no extra cost) from 20 to 150 to 250 to 1TB and now, no limits. Similarly the speeds have grown dramatically - I am now on 100Mb with a VOIP line included for $100/month.
    Not only that, I can shop around from over 20 ISPs (all national players) who can give me extra things here, lower prices there etc. all due to the unbundling of the phone system.
    I also know that my bill is always $100 except for any calls I make (at a standard published rate). No hidden extras. This applies to all ISPs, who even publish on their wabsites the total cost of the contract (e.g. $2400 over 2 years).
    Similarly with my mobile phone plan. I pay a set monthly amount for the phone, including all national and local calls and messaging, again with a standard published rate for international or premium numbers and a specific data allowance - which, if I go over, merely means that the phone provider temporarily pushes me up to the next tier at a cost of $10 for that month. Having said that I get an SMS as soon as I reach 75%, so I can throttle myself back, or wear the (known) cost.
    This is all regulated to avoid 'bill-shock'.

  • Jun 11th, 2013 @ 9:11pm

    Re: How are those doing in no-cost ebook form on The Pirate Bay?

    Why should I go to the Pirate Bay when it's out of copyright?

    Oh - that's right. I live in Australia, not the US

  • Mar 23rd, 2013 @ 4:13pm


    Please explain this comment. Are you saying that no-one will have a local copy and everything will need to be connected to a host somewhere?
    I personally don't see that any time soon since it would remove a large part of the market (no access, download caps etc.)