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Review of Open Cloud Communications

It’s safe to say that the National Broadband Network (NBN) has been copping a lot of heat recently, with wide reports of it being slower than ADSL, huge installation delays, people being overcharged and so on. While the NBN rolls out across the country, much of it goes on smoothly without a hiccup. It’s usually just the worst case scenarios that get the most airtime. However, if you’re feeling uneasy about the NBN coming to your home, or you’re already unsatisfied with your service, there are some providers building their own networks that offer low-contention plans, high speeds and personalised customer service. One such provider is Open Cloud Communications and it services Bundaberg in Queensland. Find out what it has to offer, and how it offers NBN alternatives at Canstar Blue.

Open Cloud Communications: What is it & what does it offer?

Open Cloud Communications is a new broadband provider with its own private network – it doesn’t rely on NBN, Telstra or Optus infrastructure. It uses the ‘Pier Alpha Connect’ wholesaler, which boasts over 70,000 of its own access end points scattered around the Bundaberg region and currently has around 300 customers with more being connected all the time. At time of writing the average access download speed was 75Mbps – can you say your NBN connection is that fast?

  • As a wholesaler, Pier Alpha Connect is currently building its own FTTB (fibre to the basement) network to service metro areas, and uses fixed wireless networks in regional areas.
  • Open Cloud Communications currently uses the Pier Alpha Connect Express network. It’s important to reiterate this is a totally independent network from NBN or Telstra.

Open Cloud Communications delivers plans under the ‘Ezi Web’ moniker, so let’s see what it has to offer below.

Speed (Down/Up in Mbps) Data Limit Price Per Month
12/5 Unlimited $69
30/10 $79
50/20 500GB $89
100/40 $125
200/100 $179

Source: Open Cloud Communications

Open Cloud Communications is Bundaberg-centric at the moment, with customer service and tech support based in the regional Queensland town. Most noteworthy is its 200/100 plan, which is currently faster than any residential plan that the NBN has to offer. This type of speed is only usually available to mid-size businesses in metro areas.

“The Ezi-Web service will make you the envy of all your friends,” so says Open Cloud Communications. But how fast is 200Mbps really?

How fast is 100 or 200Mbps?

On the assumption that your internet connection is regularly seeing these speeds in the first place, 100 and 200Mbps speeds are simply outstanding.

  • There are eight ‘bits’ in a ‘byte’
  • Using this metric, a 100Mbps could download 12.5 megabytes in a second and double that rate for a 200Mbps speed (25 megabytes)

A typical HD movie has a file size of about 3GB, which would take about two minutes to download on a 200Mbps broadband plan – very fast. If you max out your plan speed with Ezi Web, you very well might be the envy of your friends, or at the very least be the go-to source when it comes to movie night.

How does Open Cloud Communications compare to other providers?

Open Cloud Communications’ ‘Ezi Web’ service is a little more expensive than your run-of-the-mill NBN plan, but you may find having a totally separated network worth it. Plans also attract a $350 set up fee, which may be a significant upfront cost for some. Availability is also an issue; currently Ezi Web is only available in the Bundaberg region, but we imagine if successful there it will slowly expand across Queensland and hopefully the whole of Australia.

If you’re after a ‘cheap’ internet experience this may not be the provider to you. However if you want a potentially faster experience, moving to a private network may be worth considering. In the NBN space, cheap providers are Amaysim, Flip TV, Tangerine Telecom and SpinTel.

Evidently, Ezi Web isn’t a cheap solution, but keep in mind these providers above are on the most basic NBN speed tier, whereas Open Cloud Communications is on its own network and with fewer people, so the potential speed boost may be worth it.

Is Open Cloud Communications ‘Ezi Web’ an easy broadband solution?

Open Cloud Communications along with Pier Alpha Connect is building an exciting new broadband solution for Bundaberg residents with the ‘Ezi Web’ namesake. It’s by no means the cheapest internet out there, but do you really want the ‘cheapest’? Often there are catches, like having lots of subscribers causing contention, or providers not buying enough bandwidth – as is the case with NBN. If you can budget a minimum price of about $70 a month with Ezi Web, and if you’re a Bundaberg resident you may find the extra costs to be thoroughly worth it, to have access to a network that only around 300 other people are using at present. In any case, it never hurts looking at the bigger picture and comparing other providers, but keep in mind many providers will be on the NBN or Telstra networks.

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