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 tiers available, all of which can be purchased as broadband-only or bundled with a home phone and one of several Foxtel TV packages, Telstra has an internet solution for just about every household demographic. But how do its prices and features compare to its rivals? Read our review of Telstra broadband plans and find out.
Telstra home broadband plans
Telstra’s home broadband plans come in two basic types:
- Broadband plans, which are simply a broadband connection and a PAYG home phone line. Depending on what’s available in your area, you could purchase an ADSL2+, cable or NBN fibre connection. Unlike most other providers, Telstra doesn’t offer a true ‘naked’ plan without home phone line rental.
- Bundles, which include both a home broadband connection and home phone subscription (with included calls) in one package. Bundled plans usually come with extra benefits included in the package as an incentive to spend more. Bundled plans are also available with ADSL2+, cable or on the NBN.
Maximum download speeds for ADSL2+ are around 20Mbps, with cable increasing this to 30Mbps. If you live in an eligible area and choose an NBN connection, you can choose from three different maximum speed tiers – 25Mbps, 50Mbps or a super-fast 100Mbps. The latter two cost $10 and $15 respectively, and are perfect if your household does a lot of media streaming, gaming or data-heavy work.
All of Telstra’s 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.
Basic broadband plans from Telstra
Telstra’s basic broadband plans are just what you’d expect – broadband internet with no frills or extras at an affordable price, with home phone calls available on a PAYG basis. All three plans are available on a 24 month contract or a month to month basis for no extra cost. Whilst a monthly plan seems like a no-brainer, each one does come with a pretty steep up-front cost of $375, comprising an activation fee, network gateway installation and a casual plan fee. Check out the plans below:
|Cost per month||$75||$95||$115|
|Home phone calls||Pay as you go|
Bundled plans from Telstra
If it’s a bundle you’re after, Telstra’s offers consist of the same plan names and data inclusions as its broadband plans, but with cheaper prices and more inclusions. Bundles are also available with your choice of a monthly or 24 month contract.
If you choose a 24 month contract, the M and L plans include Telstra TV at no extra cost. This set-top box service lets you buy and rent TV and movies through Bigpond Movies, download a variety of entertainment apps such as ABC iView, and even display your own media via Wi-Fi or USB. Telstra TV also comes with three free movie rentals and three month subscriptions to Stan, Netflix and Presto – perfect for getting you started.
Those hungry for even more entertainment can get Foxtel from Telstra on the L plan at no extra cost – equipment, installation and subscription are all included. You can also add on extra channel packages, though these will cost you more per month. Check out Telstra’s bundle inclusions below:
|Cost per month||$70||$90||$120|
|Home phone calls||Unlimited local||Unlimited local & national||Unlimited local, national and mobile|
|Extras (24 month plan only)||–||Telstra TV||Foxtel + Telstra TV + free installation|
Telstra mobile broadband
If you need wireless internet for your laptop or tablet on the go, Telstra is also competitive in the mobile broadband space. You can choose between a mobile broadband plan or prepaid data SIM, giving you access to Telstra’s 4G mobile network.
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 your mobile data, you will also get 10GB of data on the Telstra Air Wi-Fi network, which includes thousands of hotspots around the country. Check out the details:
|Price per month||$5||$15||$35||$55|
|Telstra Air data||10GB|
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, a $30 SIM with 3GB of data, or one of four wireless modems. Three of these come with 3GB included, whilst the most expensive brings 5GB.
Prepaid mobile broadband customers also get a couple of perks, including unlimited access to Telstra Air and 200GB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage. Once you finish your included data, you can choose from the following Data Passes:
|3 day pass||Week pass||Month pass||Annual pass||2 year pass|
|Expiry||3 days||7 days||30 days||365 days||730 days|
How does Telstra compare to other internet providers?
In terms of cable broadband, Telstra’s only competition in Australia is Optus. Its plans lose out to Optus in terms of data allowances, with the latter offering several unlimited plans, but Telstra tends to offer better value in regards to month to month options – and it has the killer addition of Foxtel and free video streaming subscriptions.
ADSL2+ plans compared
When it comes to ADSL2+ connections however, the market is much, much more competitive. Telstra’s plans compare less favourably here, with many smaller providers such as MyNetFone, TPG and SpinTel all offering unlimited broadband bundles for significantly lower costs per month, as well as flexible monthly contracts. Telstra’s inclusion of a Wi-Fi modem helps offset the extra costs, but still leaves it playing catch-up in terms of value.
Mobile broadband plans compared
Mobile broadband is a competitive area for Telstra, with its mid-tier plans right on par with most other providers such as Optus, Vodafone and Amaysim. But Virgin Mobile and Vodafone are hard to beat.
Is Telstra right for me?
Overall, Telstra’s business model tends to rely on providing superior network speeds and customer service in exchange for higher fees, an approach which is reflected in these broadband plans. The company’s continuing offer of 24/7 customer service, along with extras such as several free data-top ups and entertainment packages, means Telstra is still a very strong choice when you’re shopping for a new internet plan.