Telstra NBN, cable, ADSL and mobile broadband plans compared

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

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Telstra NBN Home Broadband Unlimited + Streaming Plan $99 24 Month



Min. Total Cost of $2475.00

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40 Mbps

Typical peak evening 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 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 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 12-month or 24-month plans which include a device.

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?

All Telstra's broadband plans include a home phone service with unlimited local, national and Australian mobile calls. This saves you the hassle of purchasing separate phone packs, and ensures you never have to pay for standard calls. If you need to keep in touch with people outside Australia as well, Telstra's $15 international call pack includes unlimited standard calls to landlines and mobiles in 35 countries. This is a little pricier than some competing telcos, but the value ultimately depends on whether the countries you frequently call are included in the pack.

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. 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.

Why should you consider Telstra?

Being a premium provider, Telstra’s value is not, generally speaking, in the low cost of its services. In virtually all cases, Telstra’s monthly plans are more expensive, and in some cases, offer less than cheaper alternatives.

Even if you want entertainment inclusions such as Foxtel, it may be cheaper to go with a Telstra competitor and buy Foxtel separately than to opt for Telstra’s bundles.

There are some areas, though, where Telstra does offer good value, and this is typically in places where there is little competition. For example, those who can’t get the NBN but can access Telstra cable will find great value there, getting NBN speeds where there is no cost-effective competition – or any competition at all.

Telstra’s mobile broadband plans, too, offers good value, although you can find cheaper alternatives if you're happy to go with the Optus or Vodafone 4G networks instead.

There is other area where Telstra can excel, and this may justify its premium pricing to you. Telstra does, in many cases, offer a premium service to go with its pricing, quoting higher than average typical evening speeds on its NBN plans. This is less of an issue on ADSL plans with their significantly lower theoretical top speed, and it isn’t so relevant on cable plans, where there can be more variables affecting customer speed.

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