Barefoot Telecom | NBN and ADSL broadband plans compared

Barefoot Telecom offers NBN and ADSL plans with unlimited monthly data limits and no-lock-in contracts.

Owned and operated right here in Australia, Barefoot Telecom provides both NBN and ADSL Internet services to Aussies across the country. It also offers traditional landline and Voice over IP (VoIP) phone services bundled in with its Internet plans for an extra monthly charge. All its plans come packed with unlimited monthly data and feature no-lock-in contracts, meaning there are no nasty exit fees to worry about should you decide to cancel your service.

Additionally, Barefoot Telecom maintains an Australia-based customer service centre, with local staff available via phone, live web chat and social media.

Barefoot NBN plans

Barefoot Telecom's NBN plans support all the core NBN infrastructure technologies: fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the building (FTTB), hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) and fixed wireless. They also span the four main NBN speed tiers, from 12Mbps all the way up to 100Mbps. Like most providers, though, Barefoot only supports 12Mbps and 25Mbps speeds on fixed wireless connections.

Since all Barefoot's NBN plans come with unlimited monthly data, there are just four plans to pick from:

  • NBN Lite. Includes a 12Mbps connection for $49 a month.
  • NBN Mid. Includes a 25Mbps connection for a month.
  • NBN Bigfoot. Includes a 50Mbps connection for $59 a month.
  • NBN Ultra. Includes a 100Mbps connection for $89 a month.

Those monthly fees are the only costs you need to worry about on Barefoot's NBN plans since the telco doesn't charge any set-up or activation fees. The only upfront payment you'll need to consider is the price of a new modem-router, should you not already have one. For $149, Barefoot will bundle in the Netcomm NF18ACV modem-router, which supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless bands along with featuring two telephone ports for connecting VoIP handsets.

Barefoot NBN bundles

For a more complete telecommunications package, Barefoot's NBN bundle plans combine its NBN plans above with a Voice over IP (VoIP) phone service. This service includes unlimited local, national and mobile calls within Australia, and comes with the option of porting your existing phone number or receiving a new one from Barefoot Telecom.

Barefoot's four NBN bundle plans are as follows:

  • NBN Bundle Lite. Includes a 12Mbps connection for $58 a month.
  • NBN Bundle Mid. Includes a 25Mbps connection for a month.
  • NBN Bundle Bigfoot. Includes a 50Mbps connection for $68 a month.
  • NBN Bundle Ultra. Includes a 100Mbps connection for $98 a month.

Like its standard NBN plans, Barefoot charges no set-up fees on its bundle plans. You also have the option of purchasing the Netcomm NF18ACV modem-router for $149 if you don't already have a VoIP-compatible modem-router of your own.

Barefoot ADSL plans

Barefoot offers both standalone ADSL plans and home phone and ADSL bundles to residents across metro and regional areas of Australia. While the only pre-requisite for its ADSL bundles is that you live in an area where the copper network is still active, to purchase its standalone ADSL plans you'll need to already be paying for home phone line rental with another provider. In other words, Barefoot's standalone ADSL plans are not the same as naked DSL plans.

For a standalone ADSL service, there are two options available based on where you live:

  • Metro Ultra ADSL. Includes unlimited data for $39 a month.
  • Regional Ultra ADSL. Includes unlimited data for $49 a month.

For a home phone and ADSL bundle, meanwhile, your options are as follows:

  • Metro Ultra Bundle. Includes unlimited data, unlimited local and national calls and 40c/min mobile calls for $59 a month.
  • Regional Ultra Bundle. Includes unlimited data, unlimited local and national calls and 40c/min mobile calls for $89 a month.

While you won't have to pay any set-up fees on Barefoot's standalone ADSL plans, you may have to cover a connection fee if you don't currently have an active phone line on Telstra's network. If you're transferring an existing but inactive telephone service to Barefoot and the process doesn't require a Telstra technician to come out, this fee comes to $59. If a technician does need to get their hands dirty you'll be looking at $169, while getting a whole new telephone line installed will set you back $299.

If you need a modem-router to go with your ADSL plan or bundle, Barefoot will sell you the Netcomm NF18ACV for $149. This modem-router is NBN-ready too, so you can keep using it when you eventually upgrade to the NBN.

How does Barefoot Telecom compare?

Its name might be a little goofy, but Barefoot Telecom more than makes up for it with its highly competitive broadband plans.

How do Barefoot's NBN plans compare?

Barefoot holds its own against the top providers in the NBN space. Thanks to its competitive pricing and the freedom of its no-lock-in contracts, the small telco fares well against other low-cost providers like Exetel, Infinity and even TPG.

Its 12Mbps Lite plan, for instance, stacks up quite favourably against similar plans from TPG and Spintel. While the latter two have Barefoot beat by bundling in a pay-as-you-go phone service with their plans, the absence of any set-up fees on Barefoot's offering gives it the edge on price for at least the first 12 months.

That said, if you're after a phone and NBN bundle, Infinity has the better deal here, since it also charges no set-up fees while including a pay-as-you-go VoIP service at no extra cost.

At 25Mbps, Barefoot struggles a little more to keep up with the competition. Its Mid plan still benefits from the lack of set-up fees, but Flip TV and Hello Broadband give you more bang for your buck with their lower monthly rates. Hello Broadband even bundles in a VoIP phone service, too. Meanwhile, Infinity continues to edge out Barefoot on monthly cost as well as charging no set-up fees either.

Barefoot gets back in the game at the 50Mbps speed tier. Here its Bigfoot plan goes toe-to-toe with offerings from TPG, Infinity and Tangerine, though both TPG and Infinity still have the edge with their included VoIP phone services. If you plan on spending a lot of time on the phone, though, you'll probably want to look at MyRepublic's alternative, as it comes with unlimited local and national calls for the same monthly fee.

If pure Internet is all you're after, Barefoot's Bigfoot plan is one of the cheapest you'll find thanks to its lack of set-up fees.

It's only at the premium 100Mbps speed tier that Barefoot takes a backseat to the competition. Along with cheaper phone and Internet bundles from MyRepublic, TPG and Dodo, you've got Infinity combining a phone service, a cheaper monthly rate and no set-up fees to well and truly trump Barefoot's offering.

While many of its competitors above include a pay-as-you-go phone service by default, Barefoot does not. Instead, the telco offers bundle plans for an extra $9 a month that include unlimited local, national and mobile calls. For an idea of how this compares with the unlimited call packs offered by other leading providers, take a look at the table below:

Barefoot TelecomInfinityTPGMyRepublicSpintelHello BroadbandFlip TV
Unlimited local and national callsN/A$10 extraN/A$0N/A$5 extra$10 extra
Unlimited local, national and mobile calls$9 extra$20 extra$10 extra$10 extra$10 extra$10 extra$20 extra

How do Barefoot's ADSL plans compare?

For standalone ADSL broadband, Barefoot sits right in the middle of the pack. On one side, you've got AusBBS and Dodo offering considerably cheaper monthly rates, though due to their higher upfront fees, Barefoot is slightly cheaper overall for the first few months.

On the other side, providers like Spintel charge quite a bit more for their standalone ADSL services, and that's only the tip of the ADSL iceberg. Even though it's not the cheapest option out there, then, Barefoot is still worth considering for standalone ADSL.

Barefoot finds itself in a similar situation with home phone and ADSL bundles. Cheaper alternatives are certainly available – both AusBBS and Exetel offer lower monthly rates – but Barefoot's $0 set-up fees once again mean its plan works out cheaper overall for roughly the first six months.

You also get unlimited local and national calls packed in with Barefoot's ADSL bundle, which could well save you even more over the long run if you fancy a good chinwag now and then.

Why should you consider Barefoot Telecom?

Barefoot calls itself the "NBN specialists", and while that might be quite a lofty claim, its NBN plans are certainly some of the most competitive currently on the market.

Along with aggressively-priced monthly rates, Barefoot's no-lock-in month-to-month contracts and lack of set-up fees mean you can sign up with no commitments and very little money down, and if the service doesn't meet your needs you won't have wasted a small fortune finding that out.

You've got plenty of options for getting online with Barefoot, too. Along with supporting standard fixed-line NBN technologies like FTTN, FTTP, FTTB and HFC, Barefoot offers plans over fixed wireless for those in regional Australia as well as ADSL connections for those stuck waiting for the NBN to roll out in their area.

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