Telstra vs Optus cable plans comparison

Telstra and Optus are your primary options for cable Internet, and here's how they stack up.

Broadband Offer

Telstra NBN Unlimited + Telstra TV



Min. Total Cost of $2376.00

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40 Mbps

Typical peak evening speed

Telstra vs Optus

Cable Internet occupies an odd place in the Australian broadband landscape. As part of the Multi-Technology Mix approach to the NBN, nbnco is acquiring the existing cable network from Optus and Telstra and using it to deliver high-speed Internet instead of rolling out new fibre connections.

Currently, only select parts of the HFC network have been hooked up to the NBN. Much of the HFC infrastructure remains under the purview of Optus and Telstra, both of which continue to offer cable broadband as a standalone service.

Because Optus and Telstra operate on separate cable networks, the two don't necessarily overlap. That means that even if you live within Telstra's cable network, you won't necessarily have access to Optus' network as well.

That said, if you are fortunate enough to live somewhere served by both Optus and Telstra's cable networks, you'll want to compare both providers' cable plans to determine which one is best for you. To do that, let's take a look at the key factors.


Internet speed is one area where both Telstra and Optus break even. Each provider offers two tiers of cable connection: a basic connection with a maximum download speed of 30Mbps and a speed boost connection with a maximum download speed of 100Mbps. However, it's important to remember that those speeds are theoretical maximums and can be affected by factors like network congestion. Your actual download speeds may be lower no matter which tier or provider you go with.


Optus has a slight edge on monthly data allowances for cable Internet plans. Where Telstra's plans start at 100GB of data per month, all Optus' cable plans include unlimited monthly data. Telstra offers unlimited data plans as well, but these come at a premium as you'll see in the next section.

Even if you're not a download fiend, the freedom of never worrying about exceeding your monthly limit makes Optus' approach more attractive.


Price is another factor Optus has in its favour. $70 a month with the telco will get you a 30Mbps cable connection with unlimited data and pay-as-you-go calls, while $90 a month will add in a subscription to Optus Sport, a Fetch Mighty set-top box and access to a single Fetch channel pack of your choice. If you'd prefer a standalone broadband service without home phone line rental, you'll be looking at $80 a month for 30Mbps and unlimited data. Best of all, these prices are the same whether you choose a 24-month or a month-to-month contract.

Telstra's plans, meanwhile, start at $70 a month for a 30Mbps cable connection with 100GB of monthly data and unlimited local, national and mobile calls and increase to $90 a month if you want to get rid of the monthly data cap. If you're looking to bundle in some entertainment with your Internet, $79 a month will get you unlimited data plus a Telstra TV set-top box along with a subscription to the streaming service Foxtel Now.

Optus maintains its price advantage beyond the monthly bill, too. Not only do all Optus cable plans come with a free Wi-Fi modem, there are no setup fees if you sign up on a 24-month contract. However, on a month-to-month contract, you'll be looking at a one-off sign-up fee of $200.

This is significantly cheaper than signing up with Telstra. All new Telstra customers signing up for a 24-month cable plan will face a $99 activation fee, while anyone signing up for a month-to-month contract will see this fee increase to $240.


Telstra outperforms Optus in its bundling options, and that's thanks solely to its Foxtel package. With plenty of premium channels spanning news, drama, lifestyle and kids shows, the Unlimited + Streaming pack offers a sizeable slice of the Foxtel catalogue to complement your cable Internet. That said, it can still work out cheaper to sign up to Optus cable and purchase a Foxtel Now subscription separately rather than go all-in with Telstra.

Outside of Foxtel, Optus' Yes TV by Fetch bundle handily beats out Telstra's Telstra TV bundle. Where Yes TV by Fetch includes your choice of live premium TV channels like Comedy Central and Syfy, Telstra TV merely acts as a set-top box for accessing services like Netflix or Stan – provided you're already paying for them, that is.

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