Often people stop me in the street and say, “What’s the best broadband internet and phone plan in Australia?” So for the past few days I’ve been researching broadband and phone plans. It takes a while, because there are so many different phone companies, and its almost impossible to properly evaluate their plans without examining all the setup costs, connection fees, and the cost of new hardware. According to Whirlpool (which seems to be a good place to start your broadband search), there are over 200 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Queensland. And I’ve examined about 10 of them. I thought I’d do a quick thingo here, in case other people are checking out new phone stuff…
10 Rules for Getting a New Phone and Internet Plan
1. Never use Telstra for anything. Telstra is the devil.
2. For every extra day that you spend researching phone companies, you will find a phone plan that is at least twice as good as the plan you found on your previous day’s research.
3. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) seems to be the way to go for the phone, as long as you’re not too fussy about that sort of thing. It uses your broadband connection to make phone calls. Upside = you don’t need to pay landline rental. Downside = you need to get a VOIP modem and you may not be able to transfer your existing phone number to your VOIP service.
4. Naked ADSL is awesome. You get a broadband connection with no line rental costs, and run your phone over your broadband connection.
5. Do some research on getting a voip wireless modem from umart or other places instead of buying through the phone company.
6. TPG has terrible customer service, so even if they’ve got the cheapest plan, it’s probably not worth it. Unless you can speak Mandarin or something.
7. This isn’t a rule, but just a note to say that this list of rules probably doesn’t apply if you don’t live in the city…
8. and then some other rules too…
9. well, i couldn’t really think of ten, but it’s a good number for a list.
10. Always obey Rule 1.
The 3 Best Plans I Could Find
So these guys have the ads with the kinda weedy, cool looking guy, which says to me, ‘hey, this company is young and hip, but also tech savvy’. So they seem alright. Here’s what I reckon is their best plan…
Naked Home 2 – 20GB of download with free unlimited local and national calls. $59.95/month.
cons = at least $79 for the connection fee (for a 24 month plan), requires voip ADSL2+ modem (which costs at least $142 from umart), maybe something else…
I’d never heard of this company before, but it’s the company which most of the nerds on Whirlpool use. And also it’s the highest rated company on the productreview site, with a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.
Home-NakedExtreme-20 – 20GB of download for $59.95/month, with 100 free calls per month and something like 10c per call after that (from memory).
pros = lower setup cost than iinet, really low service cancellation fees, great customer service.
I’ve never heard of this company before either, and they don’t have as much info about them on the net, but I’ve just given them my credit card details and signed on for a 24 month contract, so they mustn’t be that bad… and they won a few awards from people for being the most awesome…
Standard Broadband Plan – 40GB for $59.95/month (with an easy option for getting an extra 6GB for $10 on a month by month basis), 100 free untimed local and national calls per month (which sometimes cost an extra $9.95 a month, but there’s a special deal at the moment), and 10c a call after that .
pros = great customer service, FREE setup, great special offers deals (I’m getting a FREE voip wireless modem), and maybe some FREE other stuff as well.
So basically, mynetfone is probably awesome, but we’ll see how they go. Otherwise I’d probably stick with internode, because they have cheap plans and a solid reputation. End of transmission.
EDIT: The phone and internet is up and running with no problems. Tech support continues to be friendly and conducted in English. Internet speed is pretty fast (about 5Mbps) and phone’s working fine. Woohoo!