Optus NBN, ADSL, cable and mobile broadband plans compared October 2018

Optus provides a wide variety of broadband plans and an option to bundle with entertainment.

Optus is Australia's second largest telco with Internet plans that span a full suite of broadband technologies, from ADSL2+ and NBN through to its own Optus cable service.

Optus also offers wireless broadband and mobile broadband plans that leverage the telco's 4G network. Thankfully, the company has recently simplified its broadband plans, making it easier for customers to compare prices and inclusions against other carriers.

The key point of differentiation for Optus is its entertainment offering, which the telco includes on its flagship $90 plan, and is available across its fixed-line broadband services (NBN, cable and ADSL2+).

This entertainment bundle includes a premium set-top box entertainment service from Fetch and a subscription to an exclusive streaming service specialising in sports with Optus Sport. There’s also a phone service with competitively priced call packs.

Optus NBN plans

Optus NBN plans run the full gamut of NBN access technologies: fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the building (FTTB), hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) and fixed wireless. Fixed wireless is limited to Standard Plus speeds (50Mbps) while NBN's various fixed-line connections add the option to upgrade to Premium (100Mbps) speeds.

All in all there are only really two NBN plans: the $75 Made for Everyday plan and the $90 Made for Entertainment plan. The Made for Everyday plan comes with Basic NBN speeds of 12Mbps while the Made for Entertainment plan comes with Standard NBN speeds of 25Mbps. Both plans come with unlimited data. For an additional fee, either plan can be upgraded to a higher speed tier of either Standard Plus or Premium, which Optus refers to as "Speed Pack 3" and "Speed Pack 4" respectively.

Optus entertainment options are only available on the Made for Entertainment plan where the company will throw in a Fetch Mighty set-top box with your choice of one premium channel pack in addition to an Optus Sport subscription at no extra charge. The Made for Entertainment plan also comes with a free Sagemcom AC WiFi modem-router while the Made for Everyday plan includes a more basic modem. However, Optus does give customers the option to upgrade the router to the AC model for a one-off fee of $40.

All of Optus's NBN plans can be configured to either a month-to-month casual contract or a 24-month commitment. Optus does sting you with a $200 set-up fee if you opt for a casual arrangement, whereas the fee is waived on a 24-month contract. Regardless of the plan selected, you will receive a phone service with pay-as-you-go calls that can be augmented with additional call packs from $5/month.

While you are free to move between plans during a 24-month contract, an early recontracting fee of $80 will apply if you elect to change to a plan of lower value.

Optus ADSL plans

Optus ADSL plans work in the same way as its NBN plans with similar inclusions such as unlimited data and the option of either a 24-month contract or a month-to-month contract. The main thing to note with Optus's ADSL plans is that they all include phone line rental. The lone exception is the Just Broadband plan which comes with no home phone line or call packs.

The $75 Made for Everyday ADSL plan includes a basic modem-router and no entertainment options while the $90 Made for Entertainment plan gives you a more capable AC-enabled WiFi modem router in addition to a Fetch Mighty set-top box with one premium channel pack and an Optus Sport subscription. Optus incentivises a 24-month contract with no set-up fees while a casual month-to-month arrangement will cost you $200 up-front.

Optus cable plans

Optus cable Internet plans are generally the same as its NBN and ADSL plans with the telco enticing customers to its $90 Made for Entertainment plan by including the entertainment bundle (Fetch TV box with one premium channel pack and Optus Sport subscription) and a better equipped modem-router.

In keeping with its other fixed-line broadband plans, there are no data caps and only two contract options: 24 months or month-to-month with the latter coming with a $200 set-up fee.

Optus home wireless broadband plans

Optus caters to those who can't get a fixed-line broadband connection by offering home wireless broadband which leverages the telco's 4G network – provided you live within the coverage map. Speeds are capped at 12/1Mbps while those who live outside of Optus's 2300MHz spectrum will be limited to speeds of up to 5/1Mbps.

Optus essentially offers three home wireless broadband plans starting from $70 a month with 200GB of data on a 24-month contract with a Wi-Fi modem thrown in for free. If you exceed your quota, a 10GB top-up for an extra $10 will be automatically added to your account with speeds slowed down to 256Kbps after 250GB of usage.

Keep in mind that although you are locked into a 24-month contract, the nature of wireless broadband means you can take the plan with you wherever you go – simply plug the modem into your new place for a near-instant online connection. This is because the wireless broadband connection works off the SIM card plugged into the modem as opposed to a physical fixed-line connection such as a phone line or cable.

The two other home wireless plans are both on a month-to-month, no-lock-in contract and are offered through Optus's partner Vividwireless. For $70 a month you can get 200GB of data, or you can upgrade to unlimited data for $90 a month. The catch is that you need to pay $269 upfront for the Wi-Fi modem in exchange for the freedom of a month-to-month contract.

Also be aware that Optus's home wireless broadband plans do not come with a phone service.

Optus mobile broadband plans

Optus's mobile broadband plans are essentially SIM-only data plans designed to be used inside a sole device such as a tablet or Wi-Fi dongle.

These plans offer data-free music streaming to apps like Spotify and Google Play Music, though if you are willing to commit to a 24-month contract you will also receive data-free video streaming through services like Netflix and Stan. All Optus Mobile broadband plans also come with a free Optus Sport subscription.

Mobile broadband plans start from as low as per month for 2GB of data and go all the way up to $80 per month for 100GB of data. Plans are available on either a month-to-month, 12-month or 24-month contract.

Optus extras

Optus Made for Entertainment plans are available across all of the company's fixed-line broadband services and comes with an entertainment bundle that includes Fetch TV and Optus Sport.

Optus has spent a significant chunk of change bulking up its entertainment offerings, securing the rights to the English Premier League, the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the home season of the Australian cricket team through its exclusive streaming service, Optus Sport.

Optus also has a long-standing partnership with Fetch TV, a premium television service that effectively competes with Foxtel.

With the Fetch Mighty set-top box you can pause, rewind and record up to 585 SD hours (or 1TB) of your favourite TV shows plus get access to Netflix and Stan (subscription not included) and catch-up TV. Fetch's entertainment bundles provide the choice of one channel pack boasting popular networks including Disney, Nickelodeon, National Geographic, ESPN, ESPN2 and Comedy Central. Additional channel packs can be added for $6 per month or you can grab all 45 channels for an extra $14 per month.

Optus provides a variety of bundled packs that include home phone line rental and pay-as-you-go calls. Additional call packs are available for as little as $5 per month. Unlike most other ISPs, you have the option of picking and choosing specific call packs based on your needs, so if you only need unlimited calls to mobiles and are not concerned about making calls to landlines, then you can pay just $5 per month. Or if you only want unlimited calls to select international destinations and are not concerned about calls to Australian numbers, then you can pay just $10 per month.

How does Optus compare?

Optus has simplified its broadband plans greatly in recent months by cutting all of its fixed-line broadband plans down to essentially two plans: the Made for Everyday plan and the Made for Entertainment plan.

Similarly, the contract periods have been reduced to either a month-to-month or a 24-month commitment. While Optus keeps its monthly pricing consistent regardless of contract length, it does charge a $200 set-up fee for the freedom of a month-to-month contract.

All of Optus's fixed-line broadband plans now come with unlimited data so you can stream Netflix as much as you want without having to worry about exceeding your monthly data cap.

With this in mind, the below comparisons are based on its more flexible month-to-month plans.