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Review of Telstra broadband plans

Telstra is the single biggest provider of internet services in Australia, but does that mean you’re getting the best value for money? The telco giant offers home broadband using a combination of ADSL2+, HFC cable and NBN fibre connections, depending on the location of your home and personal requirements. With several plan options available, all of which can be purchased as broadband-only or bundled with a home phone and one of several Foxtel TV packages, Telstra probably has an internet solution for just about every household demographic. But how do Telstra’s prices and features compare to its rivals? Read our review of Telstra broadband plans to find out.

Telstra Broadband Plans: What’s on offer?

Telstra has a large range of different broadband plans – over 30 in fact! These are broken down by:

  • 11 ADSL2+ Plans
  • 10 Cable Plans
  • 11 NBN Plans
  • Plus more than 10 Mobile Broadband plans to choose from

All fixed line broadband plans from Telstra are available from $75 per month, and many are over $100 a month. So, what are you getting for your money?

  • Maximum download speeds for ADSL2+ broadband are around 20Mbps
  • Cable increases speeds to around 30Mbps, although faster downloads are technically possible

Once your suburb is connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN), Telstra allows customers to choose from three different NBN speed tiers of 25Mbps, 50Mbps, or a super-fast 100Mbps. The latter two cost $20 and $30 extra per month respectively and would be perfect if your household does a lot of media streaming, gaming or data-heavy work.

All of Telstra’s broadband plans come with several perks – these include three broadband top-ups per year if you go over your data limit, access to the nationwide Telstra Air Wi-Fi network, support for future NBN installation, and the option of the Telstra Broadband Protect service.

Review of Telstra Phone Plans

Telstra Broadband Plans and Bundles

Perhaps one of the most impressive things about Telstra is that across all of its types of plans, you are not compromising on price or inclusions. That is to say, you can expect the same or similar value from ADSL2+ plans as you can with NBN or Cable broadband. A lot of plans are on 24 month contracts, which seem to be the best value option, but you’ll have to be committed to sticking it out for two years. There are a handful of non-contract plans that can be handy. While a monthly plan seems like a no-brainer for the flexibility, each one does come with pretty steep up-front costs:

  • Set-up fees ranging from about $90 all the way up to nearly $400
  • A lot of plans have modem and postage costs

This is a bit of a slap in the face, and naturally you can expect to pay a higher upfront fee by opting for the non-contract route.  You also won’t get unlimited data – only 1000GB for the dearest plans, but we suspect that’s plenty of data for most people anyway. Also keep an eye out for entertainment bundles such as:

  • Telstra TV for your one-stop streaming destination
  • Foxtel for premium entertainment and sports channels

Take a look at some of the plans below:

Mobile Broadband plans

Telstra offers four different data plans on your choice of a monthly, 12 month or 24 month term. The longest of these includes your choice of portable Wi-Fi modem at no extra cost. In addition to mobile data, you will also get 10GB of data on the Telstra Air Wi-Fi network, which is very useful if you’re out and about a lot of the time as it includes thousands of hotspots around the country.

Contract Length

Price Per Month

Data

24 Months (with choice of device)

$15 1GB

$35

5GB

$55

10GB

12 Months (BYO Device)

$15

1GB

$35

5GB

$55

10GB

Month to Month (BYO Device)

$5

100MB

$15

1GB

$35

5GB

$55

10GB

Prepaid plans

Telstra’s prepaid mobile broadband lets you buy one of several devices and recharge it with your choice of several ‘Data Passes’. Depending on what device you have, you can buy an empty $2 SIM, or a range of wireless modems.

Prepaid mobile broadband customers also get a couple of perks, including unlimited access to Telstra Air and 200GB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage. While the data inclusions seem rather lean, these could be great for the household tablet that sees little internet use, or a tablet for the kids for the occasional app downloading. Once you finish your included data, you can choose from the following Data Passes:

Plan Price Data
Weekly Pass (7 days) $20 3GB
Monthly Pass (30 days) $30 3GB
3 Month Pass (90 days) $60 6GB
6 Month Pass (185 days) $90 10GB
Annual Pass (365 days) $150 20GB

How does Telstra broadband compare to other providers?

Telstra – as highlighted – has a wide range of plans over a course of broadband platforms, and overall the biggest telco in Australia is priced higher than a lot of the competition, but you do get extra perks that may make it worthwhile, like:

  • Entertainment bundles with Foxtel and Telstra TV
  • Telstra Air
  • Cloud services

Plus you get access to the most comprehensive network in Australia, which may or may not be a big dig for some. Let’s dig in and see how the ‘network without equal’ compares to the competition:

Telstra ADSL2+ Broadband Plans Compared

With a smattering of plans ranging from 100GB of data all the way up to 1000GB, Telstra competes across a range of price points with a bunch of different service providers. However, as you can see from the table below, if it’s pure broadband you want then there are other providers such as iiNet that offer unlimited data for much cheaper prices. Optus is also cheaper in a lot of cases. However, Telstra has a lot of plans that include entertainment bundles, which may boost its value. Overall, for ADSL2+, you’ll have to consider:

  • Overall cost including modems, set-up fees etc
  • Entertainment bundles and extra perks
  • Home phone line costs as well as calls

ADSL2+ plans have the potential to add up quickly, and Telstra is placed at the higher end of the scale.

Telstra Cable Broadband Plans Compared

In terms of cable broadband, Telstra’s only competition in Australia is Optus. Fewer homes have access to cable networks, and it’s evident that Optus beats out its rival as far as costs are concerned. As we’ve established, Telstra does not have unlimited data broadband plans, but relies on 1000GB as its highest data offering. Optus frequently offers more data for a cheaper price. Its plans lose out to Optus in terms of data allowances, with the latter offering several unlimited plans, but Telstra has the killer addition of Foxtel and free video streaming subscriptions at some price points.

  • Optus offers ‘Yes’ TV by Fetch with entertainment packs and Optus Sports and rights to the English Premier League
  • Telstra offers Telstra TV with subscriptions to Stan and Netflix as bonuses, with included subscriptions to Foxtel in some plans

Telstra NBN Broadband Plans Compared

NBN plans are varied in value and it’s important to assess the speed in which they are delivered. Telstra NBN operates on three speed tiers:

  • Tier 2 – 25Mbps downloads
  • Tier 4 – 50Mbps downloads for an extra $20 a month
  • Tier 5 – 100Mbps downloads for an extra $30 a month

So, it’s important to note that whatever price plan you see, you must add on these extra figures to the monthly cost to determine how Telstra compares with its competition.

Tier 2 Plans

These are the base NBN plans Telstra offers, which start at $75 a month for 100GB of data. Overall Telstra is one of the most expensive providers out there, with providers like Exetel, Internode and Infinity Broadband offering the same amount of data at lower prices. The same is the case as you add on more data – Telstra frequently falls behind smaller telcos in the price wars.

Tier 4 Plans

Telstra again is outplayed by smaller providers like Internode, SpinTel and Activ8me who come to the game with more data for cheaper prices. Keep in mind that the minimum you’ll pay with Telstra Tier 4 plans is $95 a month for 100GB.

Tier 5 Plans

Tier 5 plans reveal much the same story as all other speed tiers as Telstra frequently falls behind the little guys in terms of price. With at least 100GB of data, small providers like Exetel and Internode once again head the charge. However, newcomer MyRepublic has blown the competition wide open with top speeds and unlimited data for less than $60 per month. Consider it a broadband ‘disrupter’ and you can read more about MyRepublic vs Telstra here.

Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans Compared

Mobile broadband is a competitive area for Telstra, with a lot of its plans fairly on-par with smaller providers. However, it can be worth keeping an eye out for newcomers to telco land. Here, Amaysim, Jeenee Mobile, Vaya and Dodo all offer pretty stock-standard mobile broadband plans. However, one of the main benefits of Telstra is that you can just walk into a store and buy one without purchasing online. Also keep in mind that many mobile dongles are brand-specific and may only accept a certain carrier. Of course, going with Telstra also means free access to Telstra Air for when you run out of data.

Is Telstra broadband worth the money?

Overall, Telstra’s broadband plans usually mean higher costs than most other service providers, but the cheapest plans don’t always mean the best value. The tradeoff is that with Telstra you’ll get things like:

  • Comprehensive 24/7 customer service and physical stores
  • Entertainment packages
  • Extra perks like Telstra Air

If you’re willing to pay more to go ‘premium’, Telstra is still a very strong choice when you’re shopping for a new internet plan and the extra goodies that provide padding to its plans may be worth the money. If not, it can’t hurt to compare a range of different broadband providers to get the best bang for buck.

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