Southern Phone broadband | ADSL and NBN plans

Providing NBN, ADSL, mobile voice and mobile broadband services, Southern Phone can offer you a deal with the lot.

Southern Phone is a Moruya-based Internet provider focused on supplying NBN, ADSL and mobile services across Australia. It offers broadband via all the standard NBN access technologies excluding HFC cable. In addition to having a choice of contract lengths, you also have the option to sign up for a copper or VoIP phone line and to add in Southern Phone's mobile service in a "triple bundle".

Southern Phone NBN plans

Southern Phone's NBN plans support most standard NBN access technologies, including fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the building (FTTB), fixed wireless and satellite, but it does not offer hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC).

Depending on the technology, three of the four main NBN speed tiers are available: Basic (nbn12), Standard Plus (nbn50) and Premium (nbn100). As for data allowances, Southern Phone's range of NBN plans vary from 100GB per month (or 70GB per month on satellite) up to unlimited data. Satellite aside, on a Basic NBN connection, this gives you a choice between the following four plans:

  • Small, which includes 100GB of data for $45 a month
  • Medium, which includes 200GB of data for $50 a month
  • Large, which includes 500GB of data for $55 a month
  • Unlimited, which includes unlimited data for $60 a month

Boosting your download speed to a Standard Plus connection will set you back an extra $10 per month. A Premium connection will cost you an additional $40 per month.

Since Internet speeds are susceptible to a number of factors including congestion on the network, the NBN speed tiers don't represent real-world performance. Instead, Southern Phone advises users that typical speeds during the peak evening hours of 7:00PM to 11:00PM are as follows:

  • Basic NBN connection: 9.00Mbps
  • Standard Plus NBN connection: 46.00Mbps
  • Premium NBN connection: 80.00Mbps

All Southern Phone's NBN plans are delivered on a month-to-month contract, so you don't have to worry about early termination fees for cancelling your plan. There are no set-up fees, either.

You won't have to worry about any excess data charges with Southern Phone. Going over your monthly data cap will see your speed slowed to 256kbps.

For more information on the extras Southern Phone offers with its NBN plans, click here.

Southern Phone ADSL plans

Southern Phone offers a choice of download limits on ADSL, although confusingly the tiers offer different data allowances to its NBN plans.

  • Small, which includes 200GB of data for $50 per month
  • Medium, which includes 500GB of data for $60 per month
  • Large, which includes 1000GB of data for $70 per month
  • Unlimited, which includes unlimited data for $80 per month

Southern Phone's ADSL plans are available on a month-to-month, 12-month or 24-month contract.

On a month-to-month contract, you'll need to pay an upfront fee of $200, but this drops to $100 on a 12-month contract and to $0 on a 24-month contract. There are penalties for breaking your contract. Under a 24-month contract, the early termination fee (ETF) is $20 multiplied by the number of months remaining on the contract. Under a 12-month contract, the ETF for cancellation at any time within the contract term is $50.

A NetComm NF10WV Wi-Fi router modem and delivery is included with a 24-month contract, otherwise you can upgrade to a NetComm NF18ACV Wi-Fi router for $149 unless you intend to bring your own.

Things become more complicated if you want to bundle a home phone line into your deal. You will have a choice of a standard copper line or a VoIP service. There are also "triple bundles" which add a mobile phone service. If you're looking at a bundle, keep in mind that the data allowances differ from those above and start at a lowly 50GB per month.

Southern Phone mobile broadband plans

Along with mobile voice services, Southern Phone also offers data-only mobile broadband services with a choice of using Telstra's or Optus's 3G/4G mobile network. These plans are labelled Orange and Green respectively.

As you'd expect, the Optus deals offer better value for money but Telstra tends to provide wider coverage, so it pays to do your homework before signing up, especially if you live outside the major cities or in a known metro black spot.

The deals from Optus range from $22 per month for 8GB to per month for 90GB. Meanwhile, deals from Telstra range from $30 per month for 5GB to $85 per month for 30GB. All plans are on 12-month contracts, but the fine print varies depending on the network provider.

With Optus, if you exceed your monthly data allowance, you'll be automatically charged $10 for each additional 1GB, up to a maximum of 3GB over your cap in one month. After that you're charged 15 cents per MB, which works out as a hefty $150 per GB. There is also a $10 per month early termination fee.

With Telstra, there are no $10 data boosts. Instead, if you exceed your monthly data allowance, you're immediately slugged 15 cents per MB of usage. On the upside, there's no early termination fee if you break your contract.

With either telco, you can purchase a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot outright for $99 or else just take a SIM card and bring your own hotspot.

It's worth noting that data-only mobile broadband services aren't included in the "triple bundle" service, only mobile voice/data services.

Southern Phone extras

If you don't have a compatible modem-router, an NBN connection isn't going to do you much good. Thankfully, Southern Phone offers the NetComm NF10WV Wi-Fi router modem, which is included with a 24-month contract, or you can upgrade to a NetComm NF18ACV Wi-Fi router which offers AC1600 wireless speeds and supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

Southern Phone also offers the option of a voice over IP (VoIP) phone service alongside its NBN plans or standard phone service alongside its ADSL plans.

The bundles include the $10 per month Medium voice deal, which offers unlimited local and national calls along with calls to mobiles for 37 cents per minute. You can vary this by mixing and matching your own broadband and voice services rather than choosing from the pre-configured bundles.

Southern Phone also offers "Home Plus" bundles, which include a home phone and mobile voice service. You can also opt for a "triple bundle" which includes NBN (12-month contract) or ADSL (24-month) broadband, a home phone line and mobile phone service. Once again, these pre-configured triple bundles don't offer every plan permutation, so you might prefer to shop a la carte.

How does Southern Phone compare?

As with most Internet providers, Southern Phone keeps its monthly pricing consistent regardless of contract length. The following comparisons are all based on its more flexible month-to-month plans, but keep in mind that Southern Phone's data allowances can vary if you sign up for a bundle. Also remember that the compared plans may or may not include a phone service and set-up fees.

How do Southern Phone's fixed-line NBN plans compare?

Not all providers offer allowances as low as 100GB per month, but if you're determined to opt for this low data allowance then Southern Phone's Small plan stacks up reasonably well. However, there are better deals around. You can save a few dollars elsewhere or even double your data allowance from Teleron for the same price. Keep in mind all these rivals might not offer the convenience of double and triple bundles for keeping all your communication spend on one bill.

Once you step up to unlimited plans, Southern Phone's Unlimited plan falls far behind the competition in terms of value for money.

Southern Phone is generally on par with its rivals when it comes to opting for faster download speeds – offering the flexibility of three of the four NBN speed tiers. It's the data allowances which hamper its value for money, especially when you can't opt for unlimited downloads at Standard Plus or Premium speeds.

How do Southern Phone's fixed wireless NBN plans compare?

Thankfully, Southern Phone's fixed wireless NBN pricing and data allowances are the same as its fixed-line NBN services, although depending on your location, you might not have access to all the speed tiers.

As such, its fixed wireless plans stack up against its rivals much the same as its fixed-line plans. Things change at the faster tiers since not all providers offer fixed wireless above Standard speeds. Southern Phone goes as high as Standard Plus.

If you only want 100GB per month, then Southern Phone doesn't look too bad, but the picture gets worse as you dial up the data allowance – with Southern Phone's Unlimited plan falling behind the competition.

How do Southern Phone's phone packs compare?

This is where Southern Phone's bundling situation gets complicated. On the NBN, its VoIP bundles add $10 to the cost each month, but you only have a choice of 100GB, 200GB or unlimited plans. Not all speed tiers are visible until you enter your address and go to purchase a plan, keeping in mind that unlimited plans aren't available at the Standard Plus and Premium speed tiers.

These bundles entitle you to Southern Phone's Medium VoIP plan (see below). Alternatively, you can sign up for an NBN and VoIP plan separately, which gives you the choice of the following VoIP plans:

  • Small for $5 per month, with 10 cents per minute for local calls, 25 cents per minute for national calls and 37 cents per minute for mobile calls
  • Medium for $10 per month, with unlimited local and national calls and 37 cents per minute for mobile calls
  • Large for $20 per month, with unlimited local, national and mobile calls
  • XL International for $40 per month, with unlimited local, national and mobile calls as well as unlimited landline calls to some countries

On ADSL, bundles include a copper phone line service and require a 24-month contract. They come with a choice of 50GB for per month, offering the same call rates as the Medium VoIP plan, or else 200GB ($80 per month) or unlimited data ($90 per month) which offer the same call rates as the Large VoIP plan.

On top of this, Southern Phone also offers "triple bundles" which include broadband, a home phone line and a mobile phone service. You can compare Southern Phone's NBN VoIP call packs with the competition below.

How do Southern Phone's ADSL plans compare?

Southern Phone's ADSL plans start at a reasonably competitive price, but other providers still manage to undercut it. The plans become less competitive as you work up to the unlimited tier, and keep in mind that some providers might include a phone service at these prices, plus ADSL deals can vary between metro and country areas.

How do Southern Phone's mobile broadband plans compare?

Southern Phone's choice of using Optus's or Telstra's mobile networks offers the best of both worlds – letting your save money if you're within range of the Optus network but offering the breadth of the Telstra footprint if you really need it.

At the budget end, getting 8GB for $22 per month on Optus is a great deal. Most telcos only offer 5GB at these prices, though Bendigo Telco currently undercuts Southern Phone thanks to its 3GB bonus offer on its 5GB plans.

As you increase your monthly data allowance, Southern Phone's Optus deals remain very competitive. A few telcos like Lebara Mobile and Kogan Mobile, which resell Vodafone's mobile broadband, slightly beat out Southern Phone with their 25GB plans.