Telstra NBN, cable, ADSL and mobile broadband plans compared

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As Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, Telstra has much to offer across the newest NBN plans, as well as ADSL2 and cable services.

Broadband Offer

Telstra NBN Home Internet Bundle Entertainment $99 Unlimited 24 Month



Min. Total Cost of $2475.00

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50 Mbps

Download Speed


Telstra is not just Australia’s largest telecommunication provider but also the oldest. Starting life in 1975 as the Australian Telecommunications Commission, Telstra has been through many changes in its 42 years of existence, passing from public into private ownership, and remaining one of Australia’s most successful, if not most popular telecommunication providers.

Telstra NBN Plans

Telstra offers NBN connections on three of the main NBN speed tiers: Standard, Standard Plus and Premium. Regardless of NBN access technology, all are supported and priced at the same level. The 12Mbps Basic tier is not offered at present.

Telstra ADSL/Cable Plans

For those not yet in an NBN service area, Telstra offers broadband over ADSL and its own cable networks as well. These connections are available just about everywhere, over ADSL, at least, with the cable coverage footprint significantly smaller. However, for those in a cable area there is the likelihood, albeit, not guaranteed, that customers can receive higher speeds, up to 100 Mbps in some places with an optional speed boost.

Telstra home wireless and mobile broadband plans

For those customers desiring a more portable broadband solution, or those who can’t access NBN, ADSL or cable services in their area, Telstra has a number of mobile broadband options available on casual (monthly), 12-month or 24-month plans which include a device.

Telstra offers plans marketed as mobile broadband for use on-the-go, as well as wireless broadband for use in a fixed location, although there is no reason why, for example, you couldn’t use one kind of plan for the other kind of usage.

How does Telstra compare?

Telstra offers a full gamut of packages including standalone broadband connections and bundles that include home phone line rental, as well as bundles that include Telstra TV and Foxtel options as part of a broadband contract.

The complexity of Telstra's entire set of packages can be overwhelming, but it's worth bearing in mind that in most cases you'll only be looking at a single technology type. If you're in an NBN area, for example, then ADSL plans don't apply to you, and vice versa.

How do Telstra’s fixed-line NBN plans compare?

At the outset, it’s important to bear in mind Telstra’s positioning of itself as a premium provider, and so its plans are, for the most part, more expensive than its competitors. Also worth noting is that Telstra does not differentiate between NBN access technologies. Fixed wireless services are available at the same cost, and with the same inclusions as any other access technology.

You may have noticed a trend developing here. Across the board Telstra’s services cost more than equivalent services from competitors, some of which are also considered “premium providers”.

Considering Telstra’s relatively expensive connection fee, and quite expensive, mandatory modem fee for casual customers, Telstra’s premium plans regardless of any bonus inclusions simply may not add up.

How do Telstra’s phone packs compare?

Unlike some other providers who offer bundled and stand-alone NBN packages, Telstra does not include a PAYG phone service with each of its fixed-line broadband options – and this includes, at the time of writing, Telstra’s ADSL and cable plans too.

Telstra’s phone inclusions are relatively simple, though. PAYG calls are available on all plans at no extra cost beyond the cost of the calls themselves. There are no additional monthly access fees, for example. If you make a significant number of calls, then Telstra’s $10 unlimited local/national/mobile call pack might be a good idea.

In isolation, Telstra is rather competitive here with the $10 call pack on par with most competitors, though its underlying plan costs generally are not.

How do Telstra’s ADSL plans compare?

Telstra’s ADSL plans are available just about everywhere, and the company’s cable service is generally available in many metro locations, though the footprint is not as large. The plan pricing is identical to Telstra’s NBN plans. Telstra offers a free upgrade path to the NBN when and as it reaches a customer’s area.

With ADSL being relatively cheaper than NBN from most providers, Telstra’s plans do not appear to offer great value.

Put simply, Telstra’s ADSL plans aren’t competitive, and if you’re looking for a Foxtel service, depending on the specials running at the time, you can get a basic package including Sports, Entertainment and HD channels for $39 per month standalone.

This means that even if you took Exetel’s unlimited ADSL, for example, and added a separate Foxtel service on top, you would get more than what Telstra offers while still paying less.

How do Telstra’s cable plans compare?

Where Telstra’s plans offer more value is for those with access to Telstra’s cable network. Though the data inclusions are the same as for ADSL plans – and there are cheaper ways to access the same amount of data – the benefit with cable, generally speaking, is speed.

Telstra cable offers up to 30Mbps download speeds, and for an extra $20 each month, that speed jumps to up to 100Mbps, or in some cases more.If you have the need for speed, especially faster than what ADSL could ever offer, can’t get NBN, but you are within a Telstra cable service area, then the choice is an exceptionally simple one.

Telstra’s ADSL plans generally don’t offer stunning value, but the cable plans, if you can get them –and conversely, can’t get the NBN – offer great value.

How do Telstra’s mobile broadband options compare?

Unlike fixed-line broadband services, mobile broadband has a few more variables to consider. In general, NBN and ADSL use the same infrastructure regardless of your chosen provider. Mobile broadband, however, can be delivered over three completely different mobile carrier networks, and two providers operating on the same network can, and often do, offer different value and inclusions.

With this in mind, Telstra’s mobile broadband offers some distinct advantages. It's offered as either mobile broadband or Home Wireless broadband but they are effectively the same. In many places, Telstra offers a superior mobile network with higher speeds and reliability. However, as you might imagine, there can be a strong disadvantage to this, and that’s around price.