Telstra drops 24 month contract NBN broadband plans

Alex Kidman 19 February 2019 NEWS

Month to month NBN is in at Telstra, along with a 3rd generation Telstra TV.

Telstra is set to rework its NBN broadband plan strategy from 26 February with the launch of new broadband plans that eschew fixed 24 month broadband contracts.

Instead, Telstra will offer by default plans on either the NBN 25 or NBN 50 tier that operate on a month-by-month basis, with the only long term commitment being for the cost of the bundled modem.

Leave Telstra before the default $216 modem is paid off, and you've got to pay it out, which is quite standard across most NBN providers that insist on a specific modem.

The national broadband network can manage speeds other than 25Mbps or 50Mbps, and Telstra representatives told Finder that there were methods for consumers who wanted faster or slower plan options.

The top-tier NBN 100 band is available for NBN 50 consumers as a speed boost upgrade, but only if Telstra determines that your NBN connection can actually deliver a reliable quantity of that speed.

It's a smart way to ensure it doesn't once again run afoul of the ACCC, which has previously fined the telco for selling plans to customers on connections that couldn't deliver what was promised.

Likewise, if all you want is an NBN 12 connection, Telstra will sell those, but only on request. Given our general addiction to streaming media platforms such as Netflix, Foxtel and Kayo, an NBN 12 connection isn't likely to satisfy most consumers.

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Telstra is fighting hard in the NBN space, with recent ACCC reports indicating that it still holds some 49.6% of the overall broadband market.

The new month to month Telstra plans will cost $70 a month for 100MB of data on nbn25, with advised standard evening speeds of 20Mbps, or $90 a month for unlimited data on nbn50, with typical evening speeds of 40Mbps.

The one potential catch with the flexibility of those month to month plans is that all of Telstra's bundled extras are available as standalone components, and in some cases at a higher price than they were before. The value in those plans will of course depend on whether extras such as a Foxtel Now subscription or Telstra Smart Home products have interest to you.

3rd generation Telstra TV

Telstra has announced its 3rd generation Telstra TV set top box, set to go on sale from 26 February. While from the outside it appears to be pretty much identical to the 2nd generation Telstra TV, there are a few internal differences to bear in mind.

The new remote control connects via Wi-Fi, and includes a wider range of voice search capabilities, across not only shows but also actors within those shows. While it's not a personal video recorder in its own right, it will allow you to pause live TV for up to 30 minutes at a time if you're interrupted mid-match or show.

Telstra is also rebranding its Big Pond Movies service as "Telstra TV Box Office", and as a launch promotion will gift consumers who sign up for a Telstra TV at $9 a month over 24 months with $125 in credit to spend on rentals through the renamed service.

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