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Commander business services review

Commander launched in 2014 with the ideology that businesses shouldn’t have to juggle multiple utility accounts just to maintain operation necessities. This business telco and energy company was among the first and remains one of the few to offer bundled utility services for businesses, making it much simpler to manage overheads.

Commander is one of the most comprehensive business utility retailers on the market, offering electricity, phone, internet and mobile services. Commander currently services electricity in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, though its phone plans and internet services are available nationwide. You also have the option of bundling your phone and electricity plan, standing to save up to 20%. So let’s see what Commander offers in the internet space to business customers, and how it stacks up against other providers.

Commander Internet Plans

Commander began as a business phone and electricity retail service, but recently expanded into internet services. While its energy deals are largely restricted to only a few states, its internet plans are available in wide variety of locations. This is how they line up.

Connection Type Data Included Price per Month From
ADSL 15GB $39.95
150GB $69.95
1000GB $89.95
NBN Unlimited (lowest speed) $59.95
Unlimited (medium speed) $79.95
Unlimited (highest speed) $99.95
Mobile Broadband 1GB $20
4GB $30
7GB $45
10GB $60

Source: Commander Website

As you can see, Commander has most bases covered when it comes to small business internet. Its NBN plans are available across three speed tiers, with NBN 25 as standard. Speed jumps cost $10 extra per month. On top of its plans above, Commander also provides ‘Rapid Fibre’ and ‘Midband’ internet plans, if you are willing to pay a bit more for high speeds.

  • Rapid Fibre Plans: All come with unlimited data, and range between $398 and $698 per month (GST not included). You can achieve up to 400mbps download speeds, and you will be on a 36 month contract.
  • Midband Ethernet Plans: These boast symmetrical download/upload speeds, and range from $299 to $699 a month. Plan speeds range from 6mbps to 40mbps, with speed dictating price.

Commander’s Rapid Fibre plans are only available in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, but a number of ‘off net’ locations are available, albeit with hampered speeds. Commander’s 40mbps options service SA, WA, NT and Newcastle, with two plans available: $271.81 a month and $544.54 (excluding GST).

Its Midband Ethernet plans feature symmetrical speeds for both downloads and uploads. With these plans you’ll be put on a 24 month contract with varying set-up fees. Two off-net plans are also available for locations outside of the designated regions. With Commander’s entire suite of internet plans there are no peak/off-peak data restrictions and many include unlimited data as standard.

Commander Mobile Phones

Commander has recently expanded upon its offers with its range of postpaid mobile plans and handsets. Commander’s mobile plans start at $30 per month for just 1GB of data, unlimited calls and texts, though customers can add more data for an added monthly cost. Customers are also able to data-share if there is more than one plan on the bill, which enables data to be pooled together. An extra gigabyte of bonus data starts at $5 extra a month, and if you boost your data by 5GB, you also get 300 bonus international call minutes. In addition, Commander offers a range of popular handsets, which customers can pay off through added monthly bill inclusions.

Commander Electricity

Commander only has the one business market offer for electricity. Customers who pay their bills on time will receive a 20% discount on their usage rates, plus there is no lock-in contract or exit fees. Unlike with some energy retailers, the discount seems to be ongoing for the life of the contract. But make sure you get to the bottom of this before signing up. Customers can opt to bundle their phone for an additional 20% pay on time discount on phone usage charges.

Commander Annual Cost
Market offer (VIC) $1,360.18
Market offer (NSW) $1,804.71
Market offer (SA) $2,208.98

Costs based on annual usage calculations using statistics from AER for a three person household on the Citipower, Ausgrid and SA Power Networks electricity networks respectively, September 2018.

How does Commander internet compare to other providers?

Commander has a range of internet solutions for small businesses at a range of price points. However, many providers in the small business sphere have similar plans to what they offer to residential customers. In this regard, Commander may fall a bit behind. Nevertheless, let’s compare what Commander has to offer.

Commander ADSL Plans Compared

  • 15GB from $39.95 a month

In the ADSL space, TPG, Optus and Telstra tend to dominate the rankings. Here you can see that Optus seems to be most competitive as its business plans are the same as its residential plans. With TPG you can pay nearly the same amount and get 50GB of data. The trade-off is that this is split evenly between peak/off-peak times. Telstra also looks to be fairly competitive with 500GB for $100.

Commander NBN Plans Compared

  • 300GB data on 25/5 speeds from $59.95 a month

Those on the National Broadband Network can rejoice in the fact that these plans are generally the most competitive of the bunch. Optus seems to lead the pack with unlimited data for $60. However, the base speed is NBN 12, instead of 25. More Telecom features speeds of NBN 25 as standard, while TPG offers competitive unlimited data rates on NBN 12.

Commander Mobile Broadband Plans Compared

  • 1GB from $20 a month

Optus and Telstra dominate the small business mobile broadband ranks, and tend to outshine Commander a little bit. With these two providers you can get over 10GB of data for under $50 a month, while with Commander 10GB costs $60 a month. However, where Commander does stand out a little is with its $0 mobile dongle, or the option of a $5 monthly one. With Optus and Telstra you generally have to pay a fair bit more for a dongle.

Commander Mobile Phone Plans Compared

  • Unlimited calls and texts (including international), 1GB of data $30/month

In the business mobile phone space, you‘re pretty much relegated to using the Big 3 mobile providers – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. You can then choose either a SIM-only plan, or one that comes bundled with a mobile handset. With the former you are usually put on a 12 month contract, while the latter usually sees a 24 month contract. SIM-only seems to be where the most competition is at, and $30 a month for 3GB, unlimited calls and texts seems to be about standard. Also keep an eye out for data bonuses that providers from time to time like to offer. These may be attractive, but keep in mind they’ll probably disappear after a while. Telstra’s $70 SIM-only plan looks to be a standout here with a massive 15GB of data, plus included AFL/NRL Live Game Pass, which is streamed data-free.

Commander Electricity Plans Compared

It’s a little difficult to compare Commander’s electricity plans as they are not available in all states and various cities obviously have very different market contracts. However, there are a few pages that you can visit that may help your decision:

Keep in mind that even though you can stand to save 20% by bundling a phone and energy service from Commander, there may be other providers that offer cheaper rates across the board. Also take into account both the usage charge, and the supply charge, which could be the greater of the two evils.

Is Commander right for my business?

When you’re running a business, be it large or small, free time probably isn’t something you have by the bucketful. Commander seems a reasonable choice for business owners struggling to juggle multiple accounts and billing deadlines – it’s one less hassle, helping customers get on with more important things. However, if you’re willing and able to spend time shopping around, you’ll be surprised how competitive the business energy and internet markets can be. It can pay to do your homework.

Of course, keep in mind that business customers are very valuable to energy companies and they will usually do their best to offer you the most competitive price. While Commander’s 20% energy discount sounds great, be sure to compare other retailers to ensure you get a competitive deal – the difference may be better than the 20% conditional discount. All in all, Commander is a convenient place for small businesses to get all their necessary bills in one place, but by doing a bit of shopping around, a better deal may present itself.

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