Review of TransACT broadband and phone plans
You may not have heard of TransACT, but the company has been around since the year 2000. It has been primarily servicing the ACT – hence the name – in that time but also services regional Victoria. TransACT is a comprehensive telco, offering broadband plans, SIM only mobile phone plans, as well as Pay TV services.
In 2011, TransACT was acquired by iiNet to the sum of $60 million. This acquisition, in lieu with TPG’s acquisition of iiNet, means that the TPG/iiNet group is the second largest telco in Australia – behind Telstra of course. So, while TransACT still offers services to our nation’s capital (that’s Canberra in case you weren’t sure), as well as regional Victoria, its plans are one and the same as iiNet’s. In fact, upon visiting TransACT’s website, any browsing of plans will redirect you to iiNet.
However, TransACT still has its ventures focused on the ACT and regional Victoria. It uses iiNet’s vast network to construct Australia’s “largest public access Wi-Fi network”, giving Canberra residents access to secure and free public Wi-Fi. Think of TransACT like one big internet hotspot provider for the whole of Canberra. Without further ado, let’s see what TransACT offers and how it compares to the competition.
What does TransACT offer?
TransACT’s services are only available in the ACT (Canberra and Queanbeyan), as well as certain areas in regional Victoria. TransACT is also contracted by various government agencies to undertake their huge broadband demands. However, its consumer plans mimic those of iiNet’s, which is demonstrative of iiNet’s large presence in the telco world.
- TransACT – through iiNet – offers a large variety of NBN, ADSL and Naked DSL plans, starting from about $60 a month.
- TransACT also offers VDSL and cable broadband plans through iiNet, starting from about $70 a month. VDSL is like ADSL2+, but faster through more efficient use of copper wires to your home. Cable broadband is much the same, with promised higher speeds, but is only available in select locations.
NBN plans can be had from $59.99 a month on a 24 month contract. For your money you’ll get 250GB of data – for limitless data you’ll pay an extra $10 a month. This is for Tier 1 download speeds, which offer 12Mbps downloading – sufficient for most web applications but this speed may struggle for heavier streaming and bigger downloads. Not to worry, though, iiNet/TransACT also offers speed boosts:
- Tier 2 with 25Mbps downloading from $79.99 a month
- Tier 5 with 100Mbps downloading from $99.99 a month
While the cheapest plan has a data cap, all other plans feature unlimited data, which is especially handy for heavy users.
The ADSL2+ plans come with some key differences to the NBN plans. Indeed, the cheapest starting price comes in at $59.99 per month. However, there are only four plans, with 500GB costing $69.99 a month and unlimited data is $79.99 a month. The dearer unlimited broadband plan includes unlimited standard national calls to landlines and mobile phones. If NBN is not available to your home yet, these plans offer solid value. What’s more is you’ll get home phone line rental included with the plans.
Naked DSL Plans
Naked DSL is also much the same type of deal as TransACT’s/iiNet’s ADSL2+ broadband plans. The cheapest plan comes in at $59.99 a month for 250GB. Naked DSL is great for those just wanting straight broadband – no landline and phone rental. However as TransACT does not charge for line rental in a lot of cases, it remains to be seen the unique value proposition that Naked DSL could provide. Instead of landline calls, however, you’ll get access to VoIP services, allowing you to make phone calls over the internet.
VDSL and Cable Broadband Plans
If your demands are a little higher and your use commands higher speeds but you’re not on the NBN then it may be well worth looking into VDSL and cable broadband. VDSL is simply ‘very fast’ broadband, with touted speeds between 20 and 80Mbps, which is outstanding for copper-powered broadband.
All VDSL plans feature 1000GB of data, with various call inclusions dictating price. As for cable broadband plans, they are only available in selected areas, but the speed benefits are noteworthy. You can achieve speeds between 80 and 100Mbps, which rivals top NBN speeds. Cable broadband data is unlimited.
- VDSL plans start from $79.99 a month with no lock-in contract
- Cable broadband prices start from $79.99 a month with the option for no lock-in contract
With both of these broadband deliveries, it is worth seeing if they are even available in your area. Both types are great value with great speeds, but we envision that ADSL2+ is available in many more areas.
Mobile Phone Plans
Beyond broadband plans, TransACT also provides several postpaid, SIM-only mobile plans through iiNet. These plans operate on the Optus 4G Network.
- $19.99 per month gets you $400 value plus 2GB of data. Calls are billed at 90c a minute plus 35c flagfall. Texts are 25c each
- $29.99 a month brings unlimited calls and texts, plus 2GB data
- $39.99 a month gets you 7GB of data plus unlimited calls and texts, as well as $300 of international calls
- $49.99 a month gets you unlimited calls and texts, 9GB of data as well as 300 minutes of international calls
TransACT also offers ‘pay TV’. By pay TV it means that it offers Fetch TV through iiNet. Fetch TV is one of the latest entities to offer streaming video on-demand (SVOD), streaming integration and entertainment channels, plus HDD recording and a TV guide all in one neat package. Think of it like a combination of Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Foxtel and TIVO for a one-stop entertainment package. Using ‘iiNet TV’ you can choose between:
- Fetch TV ‘Mini’ set top box for $5 extra per month plus $99 upfront for the box
- $19.95 extra a month gets you the same, but with the Entertainment channel pack with 35 extra channels, like ESPN and MTV. This package also waives the $99 upfront fee.
One of the main benefits with this is that you’ll get limitless streaming with this Fetch TV package. This means that what you stream through Fetch TV won’t count towards your data limit. If you’re on a data-capped plan, this can be especially useful. Further, if your main data use comes from streaming, this package could potentially get you into a cheaper plan. Indeed, all of iiNet’s subsidiaries benefit from this pay TV package with uncapped data, and TransACT is one of many iiNet subsidiaries.
How does TransACT compare to other providers?
TransACT has an expansive range of broadband and mobile phone plans all run through iiNet’s expansive network. As such, it compares quite well to the competition. Plans in both the broadband and mobile sectors are well-suited to take on the competition, with relatively low prices and generous inclusions.
TransACT Broadband Plans Compared
Running broadband plans through iiNet provides stability, quality and peace of mind, but are these plans good value?
NBN Plans Compared
TransACT compares pretty well to the competition. At the cheapest end of the scale, however, there are other NBN providers that offer comparable data inclusions for a little cheaper. Providers like SpinTel, Exetel, AusBBS and Inspired Broadband all offer unlimited data on NBN speed tier 1 for less than $60 a month. TransACT/iiNet’s main strength comes in its unlimited packages at a variety of speed tiers. Again, however, other providers offer unlimited data for cheaper prices.
ADSL2+ Plans Compared
ADSL2+ plans are much the same as TransACT’s NBN plans. The general theme is clear; while they offer great overall value, there are smaller providers that offer unlimited data for less per month. Dodo is one of the cheapest to offer unlimited broadband in Australia, at less than $35 a month. Other providers such as Barefoot Telecom, Mate Communicate and Bendigo Bank Telco all offer unlimited data for less than $50 a month. However, it is worth considering that iiNet/TransACT does not charge for line rental, which can equate to some savings month-to-month.
Naked DSL Plans Compared
Naked DSL sees much less competition come to play, and iiNet/TransACT is one of the top four cheapest to provide unlimited data. At about $70 a month, TransACT sees competition from MyNetFone, however it only offers 1000GB. Newcomer MyRepublic also provides great value with unlimited data for less than $60 a month. TransACT also sees competition from another iiNet company – Internode – that also offers unlimited streaming through Fetch TV.
Cable Broadband Plans Compared
In this realm, TransACT/iiNet primarily competes with big players Optus and Telstra. Here, the $80-odd price tag for unlimited cable competes primarily with Optus that also has a no-frills cable package from about $80 a month. While Telstra caters towards the dearer end of the market, it should also be noted that these two marquee providers in Australia frequently offer extra perks along the way. Optus itself has a Fetch TV package of its own, while Telstra has Telstra TV that offers a similar premise.
TransACT Mobile Phone Plans Compared
TransACT uses iiNet’s plans to service the ACT and regional Victoria areas, and these plans run off the Optus 4G Network, thereby making iiNet/TransACT a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). TransACT/iiNet competes fairly well against the competition, but expect other MVNOs such as Dodo, Jeenee, TeleChoice and Yomojo to all offer some enticing deals. Yomojo looks to be one of the cheapest postpaid providers to offer unlimited calls and texts, with 2GB data. Indeed, the same sentiment is echoed throughout all of TransACT/iiNet’s plans. It pays to keep an eye out for other MVNOs offering similar value.
Is TransACT a good choice?
TransACT is one of the few companies left in Australia still offering localised broadband services. While it mostly operates as a ‘white label’ for iiNet products, its service to the ACT and regional Victoria is noble. If you’re in these areas, expect to see TransACT offering free and secure Wi-Fi, among a lot of other services. In the world of big companies operating on a national scale, it is refreshing to see a company focusing on a particular region where needs might be different.
TransACT’s operation through iiNet ensures it remains good value across all broadband deliveries and mobile phone options, with a few caveats:
- There are smaller providers offering slightly better value
- You have to take into account perks like Fetch TV and iiNet’s big network to see the overall picture and value proposition that TransACT provides
All in all, TransACT is another subsidiary of iiNet ensuring great value, but with a localised service. If you’re in these areas, it could make sense to place your transactions with TransACT.