Foxtel Broadband’s new bundles: the changes explained
The good news? Lots more data. The bad news? Mobile call charges have gone up.
Nine months ago, Foxtel launched its broadband bundles, which combine Foxtel access (complete with an iQ2 set-top box/recorder), a home phone line and an ADSL2+ home broadband service. You get ADSL2+ even if you have a cable connection to Foxtel; if you want a faster Internet connection via your cable, the bundles aren't the right choice for you.
Those plans have been updated, with much more data on most of them. The downside? Prices have gone up slightly and the charges for mobile calls have been raised.
The old scheme offered plans with 50GB, 100GB, 200GB and 500GB monthly limits. While the entry-level 50GB plan remains essentially the same, the data allowances for the other three are much higher: 250GB, 500GB and 1TB (that's 1024GB) respectively. You can also now choose between 12- or 24-month contracts, though with 12 months you'll also have to pay $140 for the Foxtel hub modem.
Here are the basic costs for the new plans (including total minimum cost with all installation and setup fees):
|Plan||Data||Phone inclusions||Foxtel inclusions||Contract||Price/month||Minimum total price|
|Entertainment 50GB Home Bundle||50GB||Standard local calls||Entertainment Pack||$95||$2339 (24 months); $1399 (12 months)|
|Entertainment 250GB Home Bundle||250GB||Standard local calls||Entertainment Pack||$99||$2435 (24 months), $1447 (12 months)|
|Entertainment 500GB Home Bundle||500GB||Standard local and national calls||Entertainment Pack||$110||$2699 (24 months); $1579 (12 months)|
|Entertainment 1TB Home Bundle||1TB||Standard local and national calls||Entertainment Pack||$130||$3179 (24 months); $1819 (12 months)|
Most of the plans have gone up by $5 a month -- not a bad trade-off for that extra data. What's a little less welcome is the higher charge for calls to Australian mobile numbers. Previously these cost 30 cents a minute plus a 49 cent connection fee, capped at $2 for the first 20 minutes. Now they cost 35 cents per minute plus a 49 cent connection fee. This is capped at a maximum of $3 for any call up to 20 minutes.
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The bundle includes an iQ2, the Foxtel Hub Wi-Fi modem/router and the basic Foxtel Entertainment pack, which includes 45 channels and online access via Foxtel Go. You can add channel bundles (such as sport) for additional fees.
If you're an existing Foxtel Broadband customer, you'll remain on your existing plan, but Foxtel says it is increasing data allowances for customers on its old 100GB, 200GB and 250GB plans (to 250GB, 500GB and 1TB respectively).
The data and call inclusions will vary depending on which package you select. The basic bundles are listed below. You can choose between a 12 or 24 month contract.
On the 50GB and 250GB bundles, you'll pay 25 cents per minute plus a 49 cent connection fee for calls to national numbers. This is capped at a maximum of $3 for any call up to 60 minutes. (You'll hit $3 after a 10 minute call.)
Whether a bundle works for you depends on whether you'll make effective use of all the services. If you will, having a single bill can make planning easier.
If you regularly call mobile numbers a lot, a mobile plan that includes unlimited calls, a cheaper broadband bundle, and a separate deal just for Foxtel, may well be better value than Foxtel's relatively high call charges. We also can't see much value in the basic 50GB plan for $95; why wouldn't you pay an extra $4 a month for 200GB of additional data?