Start Broadband | NBN and ADSL plans

Start Broadband offers services over NBN and ADSL, with a bundled home phone line and the option of unlimited downloads.

Start Broadband provides the NBN over all connection types except satellite, or else via ADSL if NBN is not yet available in your area. All NBN speed tiers are on offer, with a choice of month-by-month plans or 24-month contracts. Unlike some rivals, Start Broadband only offers the choice of 100GB per month or unlimited data.

Every Start Broadband Internet service comes with a home phone line. Aside from pay-as-you-go, options include packages with unlimited local, national and mobile calls, as well as an international call package.

Start Broadband relies on an Australian customer support team. Part of the retailer's profits goes towards providing free Internet services to Australia's lowest income families.

Start Broadband NBN plans

Start Broadband's NBN plans support all fixed-line NBN access technologies: fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the building (FTTB) and hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC). It also supports fixed wireless but not satellite. Three of the four of the main NBN speed tiers are on offer: Standard (nbn25), Standard Plus (nbn50) and Premium (nbn100). Fixed wireless plans do not support Premium NBN speeds, however.

As for monthly data allowances, Start Broadband's NBN plans come with either a 100GB cap or an unlimited allowance.

On a Standard NBN connection, you've a choice of two plans:

  • Everyday, which includes 100GB of data for $65 a month
  • Unlimited, which includes unlimited data for $75 a month

Boosting your connection to Standard Plus costs an extra $5 a month, while upgrading to a Premium connection will set you back $20.

Start Broadband provides the following guidelines for the typical NBN speeds you can expect during the peak evening hours of 7:00PM to 11:00PM:

  • Standard NBN connection: 23.00Mbps
  • Standard Plus NBN connection: 45.00Mbps
  • Premium NBN connection: 80.00Mbps

While the monthly pricing is identical regardless of contract length, the initial set-up costs vary. On a month-to-month contract, you'll need to pay a $59.95 set-up fee, but this does not include a broadband modem. If you require a modem you can purchase one outright through Start Broadband for $139.95 plus $15 delivery fee. Signing up for a 24-month contract waives the set-up fee and includes the modem for free, although you'll still need to pay for delivery.

If you choose to cancel your 24-month contract early you'll be charged an early termination fee equal to the number of months remaining on your contract, up to a maximum of 6 months multiplied by the lowest cost Start Bundle available.

Rather than charge excess data fees on its 100GB cap deals, Start Broadband slows your speed to 256/64 Kbps for the rest of the current billing cycle.

For more information on the extras Start Broadband offers with its NBN plans, click here.

Start Broadband ADSL plans

Start Broadband offers ADSL services in areas that are not yet NBN Ready for Service, although you'll want to confirm availability in your area via the Start Broadband website. All ADSL services come with a home phone line, as Start Broadband does not offer naked DSL.

Options are the same as for Start Broadband's NBN plans, except that you're limited to ADSL2+ speeds of up to 20 Mbps (or up to 8 Mbps in ADSL1 areas):

  • Everyday, which includes 100GB data for $65 a month
  • Unlimited, which includes unlimited data for $75 a month

Like its NBN plans, Start Broadband's ADSL plans are available either month to month or on a 24-month contract. Set-up fees on a month-to-month contract amount to $99.95, plus $139.95 and $15 delivery if you require a broadband modem. On a 24-month contract the set-up fee drops to $59.95 and a broadband modem is included but you'll still pay $15 for delivery.

If you cancel your 24-month contract early you'll be charged an early termination fee equal to the number of months remaining on your contract, up to a maximum of 6 months multiplied by the lowest cost Start Bundle available.

While home phone line rental is bundled for free with Start Broadband's ADSL plans, the cost of setting up that phone line is not. It is free to transfer an existing active line, but if the line is inactive you're looking at $59 for a standard connection. This goes up to $125 if a visit from a technician is required or $300 if you need a whole new phone line installed.

Start Broadband extras

Of course, an NBN connection won't do you much good without a compatible modem-router capable of sharing that connection among your various devices. If you don't already have a suitable model ready to go, Start Broadband offers its Start Wireless Gateway which costs $139.95 plus $15 delivery if you're on a month-to-month plan. The gateway is free on a 24-month contract but you'll still pay $15 for delivery.

How does Start Broadband compare?

As with most Internet providers, Start Broadband keeps its monthly pricing consistent regardless of contract length. Opting for a 24-month contract gives you a free broadband modem and lowers or even eliminates the set-up fee, giving the provider an advantage over some rivals.

Also keep in mind that every Start Broadband plan includes a home phone line as part of the bundle. Some rivals offering cheaper deals don't include a home phone line.

How do Start Broadband's fixed-line NBN plans compare?

Capped plans

Compare to Start Broadband's Standard plan, you can save a few dollars and still get faster speeds or increased downloads from the likes of Exetel and IPStar.

Alternatively at these prices, data hogs can step up to Standard Plus speed and get unlimited downloads from Mate Communicate or opt for a provider which focuses on performance such as Aussie Broadband.

If you're prepared to sign up for a 12-month plan, then you'll also want to consider Exetel's plans.

Unlimited plans

Step up to unlimited downloads and Start Broadband's deals still struggle to compete. While it's asking $75 per month for Standard speeds, you'll find cheaper month-by-month deals with no set-up fee from the likes of Barefoot Telecom and Mate Communicate. If you don't care about speed then look at their Basic plans along with Flip TV where you'll also avoid set-up fees (once again remembering that only some of these plans bundle a home phone line).

If you're prepared to sign up for a contract then Exetel's Standard Plus deal is tough to beat, or if you're satisfied with Standard or Basic speeds then Flip TV is also a strong contender.

The above comparisons remain valid once you crank up the speed for unlimited plans, keeping in mind that the extra amount you pay can vary slightly between providers depending on whether or not you're on a contract. As you can see in the table below, Start Broadband speed premiums are quite attractive.

Start Broadband Exetel Mate Flip TV Barefoot
Standard N/A N/A N/A $10 extra N/A
Standard Plus $10 extra $5 extra $10 extra $30 extra $10 extra
Premium $20 extra $35 extra $40 extra N/A $40 extra

How do Start Broadband's fixed wireless NBN plans compare?

Like most NBN providers, Start Broadband groups its fixed wireless plans in with its fixed-line plans, charging the same rates regardless of which technology reaches your home. As such, Start Broadband's fixed wireless plans stack up again its rivals much the same as its fixed-line plans until you reach the Standard Plus speed tier – as not all providers offer fixed wireless plans with speeds above Standard.

Unfortunately, this isn't enough to give Start Broadband the edge. Providers like Exetel continue to offer larger data caps and lower prices.

Competition is tighter amongst the unlimited Standard Plus fixed wireless plans, where Start Broadband's monthly pricing is respectable.

How do Start Broadband's phone packs compare?

All Start Broadband services come bundled with a home phone line included in the price. There's no extra fee to use the pay-as-you-go service, unlike some providers. Along with the pay-as-you-go option which charges standard call rates, there's the $10 Start Talk Local & National package which offers unlimited calls to local and standard national numbers. The $20 Start Unlimited Talk package adds unlimited calls to Australian mobile numbers.

Unfortunately for Start Broadband you'll get better phone deals from its rivals which also offer better broadband deals, as you can see below. It's worth noting Start Broadband's $15 Start International Saver option which gives you $100 calling credit to any international landline destination.

Start Broadband Barefoot Telecom Exetel Hello Broadband Flip TV Spintel
Pay-as-you-go $0 extra N/A N/A $0 extra $2.95 extra $0 extra
Unlimited local and national calls $10 N/A N/A $5 extra $9.95 extra N/A
Unlimited local, national and mobile calls $20 extra $9 extra $10


$10 extra $19.95 extra $10 extra

How do Start Broadband's ADSL plans compare?

Start Broadband's ADSL plans don't stack up particularly well against the alternatives, with some rivals offering unlimited data and a bundled phone line for the price of Start Broadband's 100GB plans. Remember, with Start Broadband there's no naked option so you're paying for that bundled phone line whether you want it or not.

Why should you consider Start Broadband?

Start Broadband doesn't offer the most competitive pricing on the market, but the simple plan structure and inclusion of a bundled home phone might appeal to those looking for a simple deal. The set-up fee and cost of the broadband modem is waived on a 24-month contract, although the lack of information regarding the modem's capabilities might not sit well with more tech-savvy shoppers.

When weighing up the cost you might also factor in the less tangible benefits such as having access to an Australian customer support team. There's also the altruistic aspect, knowing that some of Start Broadband's profits go towards providing free Internet services to Australia's lowest income families.

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