Telstra vs Optus Broadband: Which plans are best for you?

Does Telstra or Optus get you more value for your money? Find out in this guide.

Broadband Offer

Telstra NBN Home Internet Bundle Entertainment $99 Unlimited 24 Month

$99.00

Monthly

Min. Total Cost of $2475.00

Provider Logo
Unlimited

Data

50 Mbps

Download Speed


While there's no shortage of broadband providers to choose from these days, Optus and Telstra are still far and away the biggest names in the business. Not only are they the only companies to operate nation-wide cable broadband networks, together they control a large part of the country's ADSL infrastructure, a fact that kept smaller providers from competing in the ADSL space for a long time.

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Even with the neutrally-owned NBN rolling out across Australia, Telstra and Optus remain the go-to choices for reliable broadband. But that still leaves the question: Optus or Telstra? To answer that, let's break down what each has to offer.

Speed

If you've got the need for speed, both Telstra and Optus are equally capable of delivering the goods. On their ADSL plans, each serves up a maximum download speed of 20Mbps, though you'll likely see speeds much slower than that due to the way ADSL speeds degrade the further you live from your local telephone exchange. Nevertheless, you won't see much of a difference between Telstra and Optus' ADSL speeds.

Cable Internet is much the same. Both providers offer two speed tiers for their cable broadband plans: a 30Mbps tier and a 100Mbps tier. While cable speeds don't suffer the same degradation over distance that ADSL speeds do, network congestion can cause your speed to drop during peak Internet hours. Again, this is consistent across Telstra and Optus.

With the NBN, Telstra offers two NBN speeds without extra cost, Connect (25/1 Mbps) and Connect Plus (50/20 Mbps). If you want to get the 100/40 Mbps you need to add $30. Optus, on the other hand, offers four speed tiers including NBN 12 which, while slower than some existing ADSL connections, can be suitable for light Internet users looking for a cheap broadband option.

Data caps

Optus has a marked advantage over Telstra on the data front. All Optus' broadband plans come with unlimited data, saving you the hassle of monitoring your data usage every month. Telstra plans range from 100GB of data per month up to 2000GB. In comparison, Optus provides an unlimited option.

This lack of unlimited data, along with the need to predict how much data you're going to use per month in order to choose the right plan, makes Telstra's broadband plans considerably more confusing than they need to be. Optus is the clear winner here.

Monthly costs

Once again, Optus has the edge over Telstra in the pricing comparison. Its two main plans clock in at $75 a month for unlimited data and pay-as-you-go calls, and $80 a month for unlimited data, pay-as-you-go calls, a Yes TV by Fetch subscription and a subscription to Optus Sport. These prices remain the same whether you sign up for ADSL or the basic 30Mbps cable connection.

Telstra's plans are notably less impressive. $69 a month will get you 100GB of data and pay-as-you-go calls with an ADSL or 30Mbps cable connection, while $79 a month will up your data cap to 1000GB a month.

Optus retains its advantage with its NBN plans. For $90 a month, you'll get an nbn 25 connection along with unlimited data, pay-as-you-go calls, Yes TV by Fetch and an Optus Sport subscription. That same price over at Telstra will only get you 100GB of data and pay-as-you-go calls on nbn 25.

At the high-end of the NBN spectrum, Telstra again loses out, charging an additional $30 a month to upgrade to its Super Fast (nbn 100) speed tier. In contrast, Optus charges just $20 extra a month for its equivalent Boost Max speed tier.

Additional fees

ProviderActivation feeCasual feeEquipment charge
Optus (ADSL2+, NBN same with Bundles Month-to-month)$200$0$0
Optus (ADSL2+, NBN same with Bundles 24 Month)$0$0$0
Telstra (NBN same with Bundles Month-to-month)$99$120$216
Telstra (NBN same with Bundles 24 Month)$99$0$0

Bundles

Bundles play a large role in both Optus and Telstra's broadband business. For basic home phone bundles, Optus' price advantage makes it the clear winner, but Telstra turns things around on the entertainment front. Since Telstra owns 50% of Foxtel, it's able to bundle Foxtel's Entertainment pack into its Entertainment broadband plans, getting you 45 channels from across a variety of genres including drama, lifestyle and documentaries.

Telstra offers a wide range of internet plans & bundles to choose from. Get unlimited data, Telstra TV with a Foxtel Now Starter Pack included for 24 months, plus your first 2 BigPond Movies rentals on us, for $99/mth for 24mths. Min cost $2,475. If you instead sign up for Optus broadband and purchase the fetch pack separately, fore $90 a month plus you'd enjoy unlimited data and a subscription to Optus Sport.

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