Compare casual month-to-month broadband plans

Casual Broadband Plans

 Need a broadband plan with flexibility? Compare casual month-to-month broadband plans today.

Moving around often, scared of commitment, want to hunt for better deals later or not 100% sure what kind of plan you need? A casual broadband plan might be right for you. Month-to-month broadband plans let you change plans and providers whenever you need without extra fees or penalties. Learn more about the benefits of casual month-to-month broadband plans in this guide and apply for a plan.

Compare Casual Broadband Plans and Prices

Why choose a casual broadband plan instead of 12- month or 24-month?

The main advantage of locking yourself into a 12- or 24-month Internet plan is that these generally cost less per month overall. Providers also offer special deals that are only available with longer plans, such as $0 activation fees, free modems and tablet devices.

However, the main downside is that you generally won’t be able to cancel or drop out without incurring disconnection fees. Depending on the provider and the plan, these fees can be potentially enormous, such as $20 for every month remaining on your original plan.

With the National Broadband Network (NBN) coming around Australia, hidden differences between networks and more options than ever before, it can pay to stay flexible. That’s where casual no-contract broadband plans come in.

  • Enjoy the freedom of flexibility. Life is unpredictable and changes to your occupation and accommodation can arise when you least expect it. Casual broadband plans provide an internet connection without long term commitments. This allows you to get connected at your current house whilst keeping your options open.
  • You might not know how a network will perform until you sign up. Optus and Telstra make up a large majority of Australia’s Internet infrastructure, but they are different kinds of networks, and can perform differently depending on the area. One large determinant of your NBN speed is the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC), which is how much bandwidth an Internet Service Provider (ISP) has purchased for your area. For example, one ISP may have purchased less CVC for your area, making your connection much more prone to congestion, especially during peak hours. Sometimes the only way to know how a network performs is to try it out with a casual month-by-month broadband plan.
  • Are you sure you have the right plan? If you sign up for a 500GB plan but keep hitting the limit you might regret locking yourself into a contract. Even though ISPs allow you to upgrade to a higher data allowance/speed for free, downgrading to a lower data allowance will cause you to break the contract. If you’re not sure it’s right for you then a no-contract broadband plan might be the way to go.
  • Is it your first time with a provider? If the provider’s Internet quality or customer service doesn’t live up to your expectations, it can be nice to have the freedom to go elsewhere.
  • Prices and plans can change. There’s no guarantee that the plan you sign up for is the one you’ll be getting for the entire duration of the contract. Prices can rise, plans can change and you might be left with a deal that you didn’t sign up for.

No-contract broadband plans can be a useful way to “try before you buy”. By spending a month on a no-contract plan to try it out, and then moving to a longer contract if you’re satisfied, you’ll often only be spending a few dollars more than if you’d committed to a longer plan right away.

However, this is largely dependent on the activation fees and other related costs. It’s well worth paying attention to these before signing up.

How to find the right casual broadband plan

Because the cancellation fees, installation fees and other terms and conditions can vary so widely between providers it can be a good idea to compare your options thoroughly. There are a lot of advantages to choosing a casual plan, but making sure you’re getting value for money is all about comparing a wide range of options.

Fortunately, it’s a lot easier when they’re all in one place. The broadband comparison engine at the top of this page has filtered broadband plans by casual contract length. It also includes prices, plan information and fee information to help you find the right casual broadband plan.

What fees can you expect to pay with casual broadband plans?

Unfortunately, casual broadband plans generally carry more set-up fees than contract plans. When all of them add up it’s often not worth staying on a plan for only a single month. Fees might include:

  • Activation fee. A fee for activating your plan, when you join a provider for the first time.
  • Casual plan fee. Some providers might charge an additional fee specifically for casual plans.
  • Installation fee. Depending on the connection requirements, there might be installation fees.
  • Modem charge. If you’re getting a modem from the provider, you’ll typically be charged for it.

Conversely, many providers will discount or waive set-up fees for 12- or 24-month plans. If you’re not sure about a plan it can be worth looking at the various activation and set-up fees compared with a contract plan’s cancellation fees.

Sometimes it might end up being better value to pay the cancellation fee after a few months rather than spend only a single month on a casual plan.

To see how it works, we’ve looked at the casual plan fees and cancellation fees, for several providers.

Telstra casual broadband plan

The following are the fees for casual and 24-month plans with the 1,000GB per month Big Data Bundle plan. This bundle includes only home phone and Telstra home broadband.

Casual24 months
Monthly plan cost$90 per month$80 per month
Activation fee$89 for new Telstra home phone or broadband customers$89 for new Telstra home phone or broadband customers
Hardware fee$168 home network gateway fee$168 home network gateway fee
Casual plan fee$120None
Cancellation feeUp to $168 for remaining hardware paymentsUp to $528 maximum, depending on time left on plan. This includes up to $168 for remaining hardware payments..
Changing plan feeNone$50 + cancellation fee
Temporary connection fee$100 if your voice service is connected for 3 months or less$100 if your voice service is connected for 3 months or less
Minimum cost$467 for one month$2,249 for 24 months

Rates and fees are for example purposes only and are not representative of the current market. Please see the tables at the top of the page for more up-to-date information on plans and prices.

As you can see, the maximum possible cancellation fee isn’t that different from the minimum cost of a monthly plan, and the minimum cost of a one month plan is a considerable portion of the total cost of a 24-month plan.

Optus casual broadband plan

The following are fees for the Optus broadband only ADSL plans. Unlike the above Telstra plans, these do not include home phone.

Casual24 month
Monthly plan cost$115$80
Activation fee$125$125
Hardware feeNoneNone
Casual plan feeNoneNone
Cancellation feeNoneUp to $175 for others
Changing plan feeNone$80, plus up to $50 cancellation fee
Temporary connection feen/an/a
Minimum cost$240 for one month$2,040 for 24 months

Rates and fees are for example purposes only and are not representative of the current market. Please see the tables at the top of the page for more up-to-date information on plans and prices.

Note that these fees are for these plans only. Bundled options may include casual plan fees, or others.

The free hardware and absence of casual plan fees might make this a more suitable option for those who want a casual plan, but the higher activation fees and lower cancellation fees, relative to the compared Telstra plans, mean that it may also be more worth considering a longer term plan. This might be especially true given the price difference between the casual plans and 24 month plans.

After several months on the 24 month plan, it would end up being more cost-effective to choose the lock-in plan and then pay the cancellation fee, rather than signing up to a casual plan.

TPG casual internet plans

Providers will not always offer casual plans. With TPG, for example, term availability depends on your connection type. Month to month internet plans are only available with TPG NBN plans, or if you choose a home phone bundle with your broadband.

The following is for the unlimited data TPG ADSL2+ home bundle with internet and phone, available on casual or 18 month plans.

 Casual18 months
Monthly plan cost$59.99$59.99
Activation fee$99.95 + $20 prepayment$79.95 + $20 prepayment
Hardware feeNone - BYO hardware$10 for delivery
Casual plan feeNoneNone
Cancellation feeNone50% of the remaining monthly charges, up to a maximum of $350
Changing plan fee (home bundle downgrade)$59 for plan downgrade when outside of contract$59 for plan downgrade when outside of contract
Changing plan fee (NBN upgrade)$99.95, plus $99 cancellation fee when mid-plan, when switching to casual NBN

No fee when upgrading to 18 month NBN plan

$99.95, plus $99 cancellation fee when mid-plan, when switching to casual NBN

No fee when upgrading to 18 month NBN plan

Minimum cost$179.94 for 1 month$1,189.77 for 18 months

Rates and fees are for example purposes only and are not representative of the current market. Please see the tables at the top of the page for more up-to-date information on plans and prices.

With identical monthly fees and only a $20 fee difference between the casual plan and the 18 month contract, TPG might be a suitable choice for casual plans where available.

If you have reason to change plans, such as to move to the NBN or simply to change your terms, then a TPG casual plan is particularly advantageous because you can take control over your fees.

  • Not sure you have the right home bundle plan? Start small and then upgrade, instead of starting larger and then downgrading. There are no fees for upgrading your plan.
  • Planning on switching to the NBN? In this example, there are no fees for switching to an 18 month TPG NBN plan, but a $99.95 fee applies for switching to casual NBN plans. If you cancel partway through an 18 month home bundle ADSL plan then you’ll also have to pay a $99 cancellation fee. By choosing a casual plan and then switching at the end of the month, outside your contract period, you can avoid the cancellation fee.

iinet casual broadband plan

The following are for unlimited iinet ADSL2+ broadband only plans. These do not come bundled with a phone, but do require a phone connection to function.

Casual24 months
Monthly plan cost$89.99$89.99
Activation fee$79.95None
Hardware fee$89 if selected, plus $10 delivery feeFree modem, plus $10 delivery fee
Casual plan feeNoneNone
Cancellation feeNone$300 after 0-6 months
$225 after 7-12 months
$150 after 13-18 months
$100 after 19-24 months
Minimum cost$164.94 for 1 month$2,169.76 for 24 months

Rates and fees are for example purposes only and are not representative of the current market. Please see the tables at the top of the page for more up-to-date information on plans and prices.

iinet waives a range of fees for 24-month contracts, but charges significant disconnection fees for early cancellations. If you’re looking for a casual plan, and aren’t sure whether you’ve found the right option, then providers with this type of fee structure might be a more suitable option.

Casual broadband plans are an ideal option if you're looking for flexibility in your contract. You may also like to compare the cheapest broadband plans to save more money on your broadband plan.

Got any questions? Leave a comment below and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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