An interesting development...
A recent ZDNet Australia poll was conducted, with the question "Does Telstra's BigPond Internet service provide value for money?" At one stage 25 people said "no" and one person said "yes". After just half an hour, 287 people had answered "yes". This was very strange, since Telstra is viewed as poor value for money almost universally.
ZDNet had a trick up their sleeves. Their logs showed a "bot" was set to answer "yes" once a second. The IP address was 126.96.36.199, which belongs to Telstra's Internet Managed Services section. When confronted with this, Telstra's official response was to admit responsibility, adding "It's not a Telstra endorsed initiative".
Sure, like people will believe that. Just to back this up, ZDNet replaced the poll the next day with one asking "Should Telstra compensate its customers for regular service interruptions?" Once again, this "bot" swung into action again, racking up a huge vote in Telstra's favour. Personally, for a majority government owned organisation, I find this appalling. Governments and their associated bodies should be publicly accountable in my opinion, and this just further erodes public confidence in Telstra.
I hope this article has revealed the dark side of Australian broadband. It was intended to present the facts to all, without the marketing mumbo-jumbo. Hopefully when consumers are better educated about their broadband options, they can choose wisely.
Providers mentioned in this article
Telstra BigPond Internet Services, http://www.bigpond.com
Netspace Online Systems, http://www.netspace.net.au
Online Resources which assisted in my research
ZDNet Australia, http://www.zdnet.com.au
The Register, http://www.theregister.co.uk