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NBN plans for seniors

Whether you want something packed with features or something simple and fast, here are the best NBN plans for seniors.

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Are you looking for an Internet plan that'll get you connected with minimum fuss? You might use your Internet connection to stay connected to family and friends, stream your favourite shows, check your emails, or anything really.

Whatever your living situation and your broadband needs, there are NBN plans catered towards seniors that can put you online without paying too much.

What are the cheapest NBN plans for seniors?

NBN plans on the Basic I (NBN12) speed tier will usually be your cheapest option, which is great news if you don't need to do anything fancy with your Internet. If you do find yourself streaming video regularly or just want faster speeds, you could also have a look at Basic II (NBN 25) and Standard (NBN 50) plans.

Click the headings below to see plans on different speed tiers. You can sort the plans by monthly cost, data amount, and more.

Do I need unlimited data?

Many Internet companies market their Basic I plans towards seniors looking for a so-called "simple connection", which is why many have data caps. This means you won't be able to use the Internet to your heart's content, but will have to work with 20GB or 100GB or whatever the limit is per month.

Unlimited data is appealing, but if you're not spending all your time on a screen downloading things or watching videos, it's not as important. Data capped plans are often cheaper than unlimited ones in the NBN12 speed tier, allowing you to save a little on fees. 100-200GB will be more than enough for most 1-2 person households.

How do I choose the best NBN plan for seniors?

When you buy an NBN plan, the speed of your connection affects the price. The NBN is split up into different speed categories, where faster plans are more expensive and slower plans cost less.

To decide which plan is best suited for you, have a think about what you're planning to use your Internet connection for.

Main online activitiesHousehold sizeSuitable NBN planAverage plan price (on Finder)*
Web browsing, emails, social media1-2 peopleBasic I (NBN12)$55
Video conferencing, working from home, streaming video (e.g. Netflix, YouTube)1-3 peopleBasic II (NBN25)$70
Web browsing, emails, social media>Streaming high definition video, many people online at once2-5 peopleStandard (NBN50)$80

*Based on prices collected from our Broadband Plan Finder™ in May 2020.

There are higher speed tiers, such as Fast plans and Superfast/Ultrafast plans, but even a Standard speed plan will be overkill if your household only has one or two people. Faster plans are mostly useful for large households where many people are using the Internet all at once. Otherwise, you're paying a lot more for quicker downloads, which won't help most users.

5 questions to ask yourself when choosing an NBN plan

The best NBN plan for you will depend on what you need out of it. There are a lot of NBN plans out there, so narrowing down what you really need is important.

Here's what you should ask yourself when comparing plans:

How much speed do you need?
The answer to this question will largely determine the price of your plan. Speed is the biggest factor in plan price, so picking the right one should be your first priority. You're better off buying a monthly plan that's too slow and upgrading later, rather than paying too much for speed you don't need. Not all plans are equal – even in the same tier, some plans and providers are faster. A higher typical evening speed on a plan means it's more reliable when all your neighbours are online.

Do you need a home phone?
With the NBN, home phones are tied to your Internet. If the NBN is in your area, you must have an Internet connection to get a home phone line (unless you have satellite or fixed wireless NBN). Not all providers offer a home phone, and most will usually charge extra to add it to your plan. Decide if you need one, or if you could get away with using your mobile instead.

What about entertainment extras?
Want more than what you have on your phone? Some broadband providers will bundle entertainment options into your NBN plan, such as Fetch TV or Foxtel. These usually offer additional entertainment channels and the ability to watch your favourite streaming platforms on your TV (for example, ABC iView and Stan), plus movies and more. Such extras add about $10-$25 to your monthly bill, so decide if it's worth it.

Does it come with a contract?
Most plans are month to month, giving you the flexibility to switch as you please. But some come with a lock-in contract, usually with the incentive of a free modem or cheaper monthly cost. Signing a 12-36 month contract could bring a few benefits, but you'll probably have to pay an exit fee if you want to leave early. Unless you're sure you'll love the service, avoid lock-in contracts.

Do you need a new modem?
If you haven't been on the NBN before, you'll likely need a new modem to go with it. Providers will always offer you a modem to go along with your plan, often for an additional fee. Some providers make this mandatory, so you have to buy their modem to get their plan. But if you already have a working NBN modem, you shouldn't need to buy a new one. Just run the model past your NBN provider when you sign up to make sure it will work with their service.

NBN senior and pensioner discounts

There are actually a few providers that have NBN plans specifically targeted to seniors or old age pensioners, with exclusive discounts. Here's what some providers are offering:

  • Aussie Broadband. If you're 60 years or over, you can get Aussie Broadband's NBN12 Seniors plan. It provides 100GB of data and a home phone line with unlimited standard calls for $60 per month.
  • 10Mates. All of 10Mates' Internet or Internet and phone bundles are $10 cheaper for all pensioners.
  • Westnet. Hold a Seniors Card? Get 50GB of data and a home phone line with unlimited standard calls for $39.99 per month. This plan is only available on a 24-month contract.
  • Flip. Flip offers unlimited data on an NBN12 plan for $42.90 per month with no setup fee or contract. Only available for Seniors Card, PCC, CSHC or DVA concession card holders.

While discounts are nice and all, don't be seduced by senior-specific plans. If these plans aren't suitable for your needs, you're always going to be better off going with a normal plan that works for you, and may be cheaper at the same time.

In the next couple of sections, we'll look at some popular NBN providers that you might be interested in and what they've got on offer for seniors. You can click on the providers below to quickly see what plans they've got.

Telstra logo

optus logo

iinet logo

TPG Logo

Telstra NBN plans for seniors

Telstra is Australia's biggest network provider, but it doesn't actually have plans specifically designed for seniors. That said, it still has quite a lot of extras on its broadband deals, in true Telstra fashion.

  • Add Telstra TV to your Internet plan and get access to all your favourite streaming services like Stan and Foxtel on your television. You'll still need subscriptions for them.
  • A home phone is included for no extra cost on all broadband plans, which is great if you need one. You'll have unlimited standard calls in Australia.
  • Telstra's cheapest plan still provides 500GB of data, which should be more than enough for streaming, downloading or whatever you could possibly want.

You can see Telstra's range of NBN plans in the table below.

Telstra does charge premium prices for its services, so look elsewhere if price is your main concern.

Optus NBN plans for seniors

Optus is another household name that doesn't sell senior-specific plans, but which you still might want to sign up with. Its plans are cheaper than Telstra's for the same speed tier and include:

  • Optus Sport, which gives you exclusive access to the English Premier League on demand – great for football fans! Alternatively, pick up a Fetch TV entertainment box on pricier plans.
  • A free home phone line. Calls are charged at pay as you go rates on the free line, but you can get unlimited standard calls in Australia for $10 extra per month, or some international calls for $10 more.
  • Unlimited data on all plans, so you don't have to worry about your data usage.

The downside to Optus is that it doesn't offer Basic I or Basic II plans, so check other providers if you're looking for a plan on these speed tiers. Otherwise, you can browse Optus's NBN plans below.

iiNet NBN plans for seniors

iiNet may not be as huge as Telstra or Optus, but it has some solid NBN deals and is well known for its customer service. Here are a few things you might like about iiNet:

  • Plans come with a free home phone line. Pay as you go call rates are the default, but you can get unlimited standard Australian calls for $5 extra per month, or calls to 20 countries for $10 more.
  • It offers a cheaper Basic I plan capped at 500GB, which is still plenty for most people. You can add Fetch TV boxes with extra entertainment options onto Standard and Fast plans only, so consider if the extra cost is worth it.

iiNet also offers contracts that are 6 months in length. These reduce a new modem's price from $100 on the month to month plan down to $60 on the contract.

TPG NBN plans for seniors

TPG also lacks dedicated plans for seniors, but it does have some of the best value on the market overall. Here's some of what TPG has to offer:

  • 10GB and 100GB restricted data NBN12 plans at much cheaper prices than most of the market. The 10GB plan could be useful if you almost never use your Internet for anything beyond basic browsing and emails.
  • A free home phone line with pay as you go call rates. $10 extra will get you unlimited calls in Australia, or you can pay $20 for unlimited Australian calls and calls to 15 countries.
  • Solid value plans with unlimited data. TPG doesn't have entertainment options, just straightforward plans.

Like iiNet, TPG also offers a longer-term contract option of 6 months and will charge you a $99.95 setup fee if you opt for a month to month plan. This fee is scrapped if you choose the contract option.

What do I need to know about the NBN?

If you haven't spent a lot of time staring at Internet plans already, NBN plans can be somewhat overwhelming with all the terms and deals being thrown at you. We've put together a tiny glossary section to break down a few key facts and terms to help you compare plans.

A quick summary of the NBN:

  • The NBN is one of the only options for fixed-line Internet now that the old copper ADSL lines have been decommissioned. Most Australians won't be able to get anything else.
  • NBN installation is free. As part of the national rollout, all the infrastructure will be handled and installed by NBN Co. The only thing you pay for is your Internet plan and modem.
  • Not all NBN connections are equal – what plan you can get and how well your Internet works will depend on what kind of technology has been used to hook up your home.

And now for some common terms in the NBN sphere:

  • GB. "GB" stands for "gigabytes", which are a measurement of data. Your plan will have a certain GB allowance, and whenever you download or upload files or movies or whatever from the Internet, you're eating into this allowance.
  • Technology/connection type. This refers to how your home has been connected to the NBN. You don't get to choose this, and you usually can't change it once it's been installed. Your technology will determine what speed tier of plans you can buy, with some connections not supporting the faster tiers. However, the majority of connection types can handle up to Standard speed without problems.
  • PAYG. PAYG or "pay as you go" is what you get on a home phone line without unlimited standard calls. You'll be charged for each minute of calls that you make.
  • Minimum total cost. This is how much you'll have to pay for the shortest period on a plan. For month to month plans, this includes one month's cost plus any setup or modem fees. On contracts, this is how much you'll pay over the life of the contract.
  • Typical evening speed. This is how fast your connection will be on average during busy periods of the day, especially 7pm-11pm. Plans with high typical evening speeds are more reliably fast.

Frequently asked questions about NBN for seniors

Do seniors get a discount with Telstra?

No, seniors don't get discounts on regular Telstra NBN plans. However, older aged pensioners do get $10 off Telstra's Ultimate Voice home phone package (which comes with no NBN), lowering it from $55 per month to $45.

What is the best alternative to the NBN?

If you aren't interested in a fixed-line NBN connection, one of the best alternatives is home wireless broadband. With these plans, you can simply plug in your home wireless modem and you're good to go. You won't need to worry about speed tiers, as home wireless uses the 4G or 5G mobile networks in your area.

I'm looking for an NBN phone only plan for seniors. Where can I find this?

Telstra is the only company that offers a discount on its dedicated home phone plans, but it applies to old age pensioners, not all seniors. Otherwise, you may be able to get one on your NBN plan or consider using a mobile phone plan as a substitute for a home line.

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