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Optus Cable Internet

Optus is one of the few providers that can still sell you a cable plan.

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If you happen to have access to a cable connection but not yet the NBN, Optus has a few plans to choose from.

Compare Optus cable plans here

How do Optus cable plans work?

While there are a couple variations in cable Internet plans from Optus, there are essentially two basic plans to choose from that are available on a month-to-month basis. Here's what you can get:

  • Cable basic. Unlimited data for $75 per month. Maximum speeds up to 50Mbps.
  • Cable boost. Unlimited data for $95 per month. Maximum speeds up to 100Mbps.

Each plan attracts a $99 set-up fee plus a mandatory Optus Ultra WiFi modem that will set you back $252.

The variations of these plans include options for entertainment bundles. Both of these plans can be upgraded into bundles for an additional $15 per month. The bundle includes a Fetch Mighty set-top box with one channel pack, plus an Optus Sport subscription.

Optus cable speed: What can you expect?

Cable is quite a bit faster than ADSL, allowing speeds of up to 50Mbps (or 100Mbps on the more expensive plan). The typical speeds you'll experience are lower than those maximums, around 40Mbps or 80Mbps respectively. This is fairly comparable to what you'd get on similar NBN plans, specifically NBN50 and NBN100.

If you don't have the NBN yet, cable may be the fastest fixed-line connection you can get. If it's not speedy enough for your needs, consider mobile broadband or home wireless as alternatives.

Optus cable review

It's difficult to compare Optus's cable plans to other providers, given that the only other company that really offers cable plans is Telstra. Still, if you want a cable plan, Optus's plans are nice in that they're month to month and provide much higher speeds than an ADSL connection.

One of the big perks of an Optus cable plan (or any fixed-line Optus plan) is the 4G backup that comes with its modem. Unfortunately, you'll be paying a hefty price for the privilege, with a mandatory modem fee of $252 on top of a large $99 set-up fee. There's no doubt that Optus has some of the highest activation and set-up fees on the market, compared to Telstra's free set-up for new customers.

How do Optus cable plans compare?

Here's how Optus's base $75 cable Internet plan compares to the only other major provider that offers cable on the market, Telstra.

While both plans cost the same amount per month, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Where Optus charges higher set-up and modem fees for new customers, its month-to-month contract is quite attractive as it means you can switch out at any time, which can be particularly handy since the NBN is due to be completed in Australia by the end of 2020. Optus's cable Internet plan also offers you unlimited data, whereas Telstra's is data-capped at 500GB a month.

Overall, it really depends on which plan suits your habits best and whether you have a preference in the provider. While Optus's initial fees may be higher, it might be more valuable for you in the long run.

What else can you get on an Optus cable plan?

TV icon

Fetch TV

You can stick on a Fetch TV Mini to the basic cable plans for an extra $5 monthly or get the Fetch Mighty plus a channel pack included on the more expensive monthly bundles. Fetch boxes will let you access streaming apps on your TV and record live TV, although the main upgrade on the Mighty box is that it is compatible with 4K video streaming.
Home phone icon

Phone line

Cable plans with Optus automatically come with a home phone line, though you'll be charged on a pay-as-you-go basis for any calls you make. If you want to spend an extra $10 a month, you'll be able to get unlimited international calls to 25 destinations on landlines or 7 countries when you're calling mobiles.
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4G backup modem

The Ultra WiFi modem that you have to purchase with your plan has a pre-inserted SIM that gives you access to 4G backup Internet. If your fixed-line broadband connection goes down, you'll be able to stay connected via the Optus 4G mobile network which will automatically activate.
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Optus Sport

Love the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and other football leagues? You can watch them live or stream them via Optus Sport, plus access bonus content that goes from interviews with players to home fitness videos and more.

What to do when the NBN arrives in your area

While Optus's cable plans are very comparable to its NBN plans in terms of price and structure, you won't be automatically switched over to the NBN when it arrives in your area. Instead, you'll have to contact Optus (or a different provider) to arrange the transfer, in what amounts to simply buying a new NBN plan and getting that set up.

Since Optus only has month-to-month cable plans, you won't be charged any early exit fees if you want to switch or cancel your existing plan. The modem that Optus sells you on its cable plans should be perfectly compatible with an NBN connection, so you probably won't need to buy a new one if you sign up to the NBN with Optus (and you'll keep the 4G backup functionality).

Check out our guide on how to switch to the NBN for more details.

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