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Review of Harbour ISP broadband plans

Harbour ISP is an Australian-owned internet service provider based in Mudgee, NSW – a long way from a harbour. Exclusively offering NBN plans since 2013, Harbour ISP serves customers all around the country. With its services available on fibre, fixed wireless, and even on the NBN’s Sky Muster satellite service, this tiny telco is clearly dedicated to serving everyone from the inner city to remote areas. We’ve reviewed all of Harbour ISP’s NBN plans for you to decide if one is right for you.

Harbour ISP broadband plans

Connection Type Max Data Allowance Price From (Per Month)
NBN Fibre and Fixed Wireless 250GB $49
Unlimited $59
SkyMuster NBN
30GB $35
70GB $40
115GB $45
190GB $70
240GB $89
300GB $150

Source: Harbour ISP website

Harbour ISP’s bread and butter is its NBN fibre plans, which supply the majority of its customers as the NBN rollout continues apace.

  • There are two different data allowances to choose from, along with your choice of four different NBN download speeds
  • You can also pick from a monthly contract ($99 setup fee), 12 month contract (no setup fee) or a 24 month contract (no setup fee + free NetComm NF10W Wi-Fi router).
  • For more discerning customers, you can purchase a static public IP address for an extra $10 per month.
  • If you want to bundle home phone calls with your NBN plan, you can option it with one of two call packs. Both deliver service using theVoIP NBN phone, and $10 a month gets you home phone calls in Australia, while $20 gets you calls to mobile as well. You also get 1000 minutes to 12 countries, including popular ones like the UK, US and Canada.

NBN Fibre and Fixed Wireless Plans

A big benefit with Harbour ISP is that its fibre and fixed wireless plans come with the same value. So, if your home is not currently serviced by a fibre connection, then fixed wireless may be an option, and you won’t lose out. As mentioned earlier, with fibre connections you’ll have the option of all four speed tiers – 12/1, 25/5, 50/20 and 100/40.

  • 12/1 speeds start at $49 a month, and a 25/5 speed boost is $10 extra
  • Going from $25/5 to 50/20 will cost an extra $20, while 100/40 will cost $10 extra on top of that, bringing the minimum price for 100/40 speeds to $89 a month.
  • On 50/20 speeds and above, the minimum data allowance is 500GB, while the maximum is 1000GB

However, where fixed wireless connections lose out is their limited availability on different speed tiers. That is to say there are only two to choose from – 12/1 and 25/5. Apart from that all prices are the same as fibre connections. Below is how these plans may look with a home phone bundle attached:

NBN SkyMuster Plans

The SkyMuster is NBN’s answer to rural residents wanting a steady and fast internet connection, operating as a satellite service. You’ll get access to two speed tiers – 12/1 and 25/5, with 25/5 speeds costing an extra $5 a month. As it stands you don’t get much data for your dollars because the technology is so new. You’ll also have to contend with peak/off-peak data.

  • 30GB: 10/20
  • 70GB: 30/40
  • 115GB: 45/70
  • 190GB: 70/120
  • 240GB: 100/140
  • 300GB: 150/150

Evidently, you’ll usually get more data for use in off-peak periods than you do in peak periods. Off-peak constitutes times between 1am and 7am. So if you’re a night owl or a shift worker you could probably get quite a bit of ‘bang for buck’ with these plans. Further, if you have the ability to delay any big downloads til after 1am then you could eke out more value with these plans. But no matter how you look at it, you don’t get much data for your dollars, especially compared to NBN fibre and fixed wireless plans. Here’s how some of the plans look with a home phone bundle included:

How does Harbour ISP compare to other providers?

Harbour ISP is pretty good value across the board, but it’s not a particular standout in any category. There are other providers offering similar plans for less money per month, and Harbour sometimes struggles to keep up. Nevertheless, let’s see how it stacks up – you might find there’s a lot of merit to the provider from Mudgee.

Harbour ISP Fibre NBN Plans Compared

Tier 1 – 12/1

Harbour ISP falls a bit behind in a hotly-contested segment. Here other providers offer plans around $10 a month less in many instances. However, these providers don’t often include home phone call allowances, whereas Harbour does. So you might find Harbour works out to be similar value overall. Keep a look out for providers such as Barefoot, Mate Communicate and Flip TV. These providers tend to offer unlimited plans for about $10 cheaper, but Harbour is certainly no slouch in this area.

Tier 2 – 25/5

Again, Harbour falls a little behind some familiar faces in Tier 2. Realistically you can expect to spend less than $60 a month these days to get unlimited data, while Harbour ISP is a little bit off the pace. Keep an eye out for providers such as Hello Broadband, Amaysim and Spintel, which tend to offer cheaper plans than Harbour. However, keep an eye out for set-up fees and other sneaky upfront payments!

Tier 3 – 50/20

  • 1000GB data from $89 a month.

While 1000GB is a lot of data by most standards, it still isn’t ‘unlimited’. If you’re a heavy user then 1000GB might actually be a little bit lacklustre. If you’re spending a pretty penny you can expect to get unlimited data with most other providers, however 1000GB can arguably promote faster consistent speeds as it prevents mass downloaders from hogging the bandwidth. Some providers have recently slashed prices for NBN Tier 3 when NBN Co discounted its bandwidth prices – Barefoot, Mate, Hello Broadband and TPG are front-runners at NBN Tier 3 speeds.

Tier 4 – 100/40

  • 1000GB data from $99 a month

With Tier 4 speeds you are again relegated to a maximum data allowance of 1000GB. With a home phone bundled as well you can expect to pay nearly $110 a month, which is nothing to be sneezed at. However you can sacrifice the home phone pack, which brings your plan down to $99 a month. It’s pretty hard to beat MyRepublic, as its plans start from about $70, and you can bundle home phone VoIP calls from as little as $10 a month extra. MyNetFone also comes into the picture with some great calling packs, and iiNet also comes to the game. Exetel also makes an appearance with a fairly competitive plan.

Harbour ISP Fixed Wireless NBN Plans Compared

Tier 1 – 12/1

At this tier, Harbour ISP stacks up pretty well against the competition – a hair under $70 a month for unlimited data seems to be about the norm. What’s more is you’ll get home phone calls in this price where many other providers fail to include any numbers. Nevertheless, keep an eye out for providers like Amaysim, Barefoot, and Mate. Phone packs are generally an extra $10 or so per month, except for in Amaysim’s case, which does not offer any call inclusions at all.

Tier 2 – 25/5

At the fastest speed tier available on a fixed wireless connection, Harbour ISP again competes pretty well. Some familiar faces crop up such as MyNetFone and Hello Broadband, while TPG also offers a competitive plan, but you will be placed on PAYG calls unless willing to spend about $10 a month extra. Keep in mind that Harbour also charges an extra set-up fee by opting for a no-contract plan, as do most providers.

Harbour ISP SkyMuster NBN Plans Compared

As the SkyMuster is a new service, there are fewer providers to choose from than what’s on offer with other NBN connections. Expect data inclusions to be comparatively low, but Harbour ISP does compete pretty well. iiNet is another provider seemingly at the forefront of SkyMuster plans, and it’s promising to see Harbour holds its own. Southern Phone is also a regionally-focused telco, which gives back to regional councils in the areas it services. SkyMesh is another NBN-focussed provider and has a litany of SkyMuster plans that are, on the whole, quite competitive.

Is Harbour ISP a good deal?

Harbour ISP is a small provider competing against some big boys, and it holds its own. While not particularly a standout in any category, Harbour does sit well against other providers that are much bigger and have much more purchasing power. Its fixed wireless and SkyMuster plans seem particularly good value against the competition, but it does flounder a little bit in the fibre NBN game. While not bad value by any stretch, Harbour ISP is well worth a look into, but keep in mind there are other providers offering the same or arguably better prices for a similar plan.

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