Your home wifi as recently become a necessity, and it shouldn’t break the bank. We have collated plans and retailers to allow you to easily see not only which one is cheapest but which plan suits your needs.
While most Aussies are on NBN now, there’s a variety of Internet technology types available in Australia. Here’s our quick guide.
NBN. There’s about 8 million NBN internet connections in Australia. Of these, about 1.5 million are full-fibre, and the rest are part-fibre. NBN rollout was considered slow and patchy for awhile; but it’s really gotten there and is widely available in most urban areas now. NBN stands for “National Broadband Network”; it’s an upgrade to Australia’s existing phone and internet infrastructure. The NBN is a wholly-owned Government company, created to provide access to all benefits of fast and reliable internet services. That way, Australians can get the same basic service, no matter where they live – for a more digitally-inclusive Australia.
ADSL2+. ADSL2+ is arguably the most widely-available Internet technology type within regions of Australia that haven’t been upgraded to NBN yet. Access speeds are up to 24Mbps, so it’s a fair bit slower than NBN. However, the prices can be a little cheaper; the ACCC has criticised NBN pricing for not offering entry-level options that are equivalently low-cost. ACCC chairman Rod Simms has said: “We are now observing prices of low-speed NBN plans offered to new customers that are at least $10 per month higher than what consumers paid for equivalent plans on the ADSL network.” So if you’re budget-conscious, and not worried about speeds, ADSL2+ may be an attractive choice.
Cable. Other than NBN, cable broadband is one of the fastest, most reliable Internet technologies available. The cost is similar to ADSL2+. Cable internet download speeds are a maximum of 100Mbps. However, availability is rather limited. The main providers are Telstra and Optus, with limited support from other providers (including iiNet).
Depending on the Internet plan you’re looking at, there’s plenty of extras and bundles out there to sweeten the pot! Many ISPs are trying to be the best pick; so rather than competing on price, they’re looking to seal the deal with exciting extras. For example, you can bundle in a phone line, a mobile phone, and even an entertainment pack. Entertainment packs have become a very attractive point of difference in a noisy market. They’ll contain various entertainment options, from standalone streaming devices like Fetch TV and Telstra TV, to integrated packages. They may offer a range of free channels (sports, kids shows, news, etc.) or certain free movies.
“What’s the best Internet plan for me”, you may ask? Well, there’s no simple answer to the question! And that’s because we all use the Internet a bit differently. Some of us are still getting on fine trodding alone with NBN 50 (or even dialup, believe it or not)! But most of us would prefer not to wait, or sit there pressing reload. In today’s busy world, speed is often a dealbreaker.
But how much speed do you need? There’s ultra-fast NBN plans around offering 250Mbps, and if time is of the essence, then it’s worth it – for some. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a balance between speed and price, NBN 100 is a popular choice.
Basically, it’s a question of making the right trade-offs to decide what matters the most to you. Low cost, or speed and high data limits? If you’re being offered a 12-month contract at a cheaper price, are you sure you can make a 12-month commitment? (If not, the cheaper price may not end up cheaper after all!) If you pay $10 more than the Internet plan you’re looking at now, what extras do you get in return? There’s many options on the market, so it’s all about finding the right plan for you.