Fixed-line internet subscriptions have gone from being a drop in the ocean to being as ubiquitous as running water in Australian households. As you probably know, there are two big fish in this pond: Telstra and Optus.
Both offer competitive broadband plans, both offer options for ADSL2+, NBN, and Cable connections. Both bundle extra services in with broadband, like TV and home phone calls. So which broadband is best bang for your buck?
A search for broadband plans, filtered to look for just Telstra and Optus options, returns a mind-boggling 90 incrementally different results. This sounds like a lot, but most of these plans have a few core things in common. So, let's start by breaking down the basic options for each.
- Telstra has 4 basic data tiers: 50GB, 200GB, 500GB and 1000GB per month.
- You can choose either 24-month plans or Month-to-month. Pricing is the same, but Telstra will waive most setup costs and give you a modem if you take the contract for all plans except basic broadband-only options.
- Broadband bundles include a combination of broadband, home phone (including calls) and a Foxtel subscription.
- Basic broadband plans and bundles include either 200GB or Unlimited data.
- 24-month option only (Month-to-month available on Cable plans). Installation costs are fixed, but are free if you choose the Home Unlimited Plan.
- Bundles include combinations of broadband with home phone calls and Fetch TV subscriptions.
Basic broadband: ADSL2+, Cable or NBN
For broadband and no frilly extras, Optus is the cheaper option by a wide margin. Both plans come with 200GB data, and a home phone including all calls to national landline numbers.
Even if you don't think you'd make use of a home phone line, and plan to make all your calls from your mobile phone, both are great options.
As we've pointed out in the sub-heading above, this price is valid for all ADSL2+, Cable and base-level NBN plans. It won't cost you more to choose one of the different technology options, it just depends on which service is available at your house.
- Optus = $90 for installation and modem delivery.
- Telstra = $59, though there is no modem included.
How About the Fastest NBN speed: Tier 5?
Both Telstra and Optus charge a $20 per month premium for the fastest NBN speeds, but apart from that, everything is the same as on the basic broadband only plans.
Home broadband bundles
For families who like to have a shared household phone, both Telstra and Optus offer plans which include home broadband plus a phone line with unlimited national calls to Australian landlines and mobile phones.
Also, there are no 200GB plan options which include calls to mobile phones, so if you need a home phone service with unlimited calls, you will need to take up a plan with a huge data component too. Not that this is a bad thing.
One important difference between Telstra and Optus is that Telstra offers the same plans on a casual, month-to-month basis as well as a 2-year contract as seen above. All Optus customers must sign a contract for a 2-year term.
Still, all things considered, Optus still has a massive price advantage and will save you a bunch of money over time.
- Optus = $125 Set-up fee.
- Telstra = $59 for all installation costs.
Entertainment bundle (including TV)
If you plan on bundling an entertainment service with your broadband and home phone, the comparison becomes much trickier.
The Optus Entertainment Bundle comes with broadband (ADSL2+, Cable or NBN), a home phone line and Fetch TV — an IPTV service with a 1 terabyte TV recorder. All home phone calls are included in the Ultimate Bundle.
Telstra leverages its part ownership of Foxtel in its Entertainer Supreme bundle. For $139 per month, you get basic Foxtel, broadband and unlimited home phone line calls to Australian landlines and mobiles. Extended Foxtel packs are also available. You can choose to add the Drama pack (to watch great TV shows) or a Sports pack, but each adds about $20 per month. A Platinum Foxtel subscription brings the monthly cost of the Telstra bundle to $240 per month.
If you'd like the entertainment pack, but only limited home phone calls with Optus, this is available with Unlimited broadband data in the $95 Home Entertainment Bundle.
Ultimately, this will boil down to how you compare Foxtel Vs Fetch TV. You can save a lot of money with Optus and Fetch -- as much as $1600 over two-years on the basic entertainment bundles. But then, Foxtel is a pretty awesome TV service if you can afford it.
- Optus = no setup costs on the Ultimate Home Bundle plan, including a free modem.
- Telstra = $239 for all broadband and Foxtel installation costs.
Made up your mind? Click on the links below for more information about Telstra and Optus.
Telstra Broadband Plans
and Entertainment Bundles
Optus Broadband Plans
and Entertainment Bundles