Two years ago, I stupidly signed a 24 months contract with a Telstra telemarketer for a very low value Bigpond plan that only offers ADSL1 at a download speed of 1500Kbps and monthly data allowance of 12GB. I was excited when this plan expired in June this year. Learning from this unhappy experience, I vow to be wiser this time, do more research and become very wary of plans that tie you for a long duration of time.

I am a heavy internet user so I was searching for the best value unlimited broadband plan on the market. TGP often advertises its $29.99 ADSL2+ Unlimited Plan in the MX newspapers. However, this plan is not offered for the Altona area. It does offer a ADSL1 Off-Net 8Mbps Unlimited Plan for $69.99 a month. Dodo also offers an unlimited ADSL2+ Plan for $39.90 a month. However, this is too unavailable for Altona. I finally settled on Clubtelco which offers an unlimited ADSL2+ Plan for $50 a month. A great attraction of this plan is that it is on a month to month commitment so you can leave the ISP at any time. When bundled with its home phone, you get a 5% discount off the total bill. I had switched over to Clubtelco for about a week and I am so far happy with the service. I was delighted that it only took about 3-4 days for my landline and broadband to be ported and churned over to Clubtelco.

When I compiled the table below, I realized that you may also consider Optus Home Phone & Broadband bundle, which costs $64.94 and includes $30 of value for its home phone. However, this plan does not offer unlimited data and is on a 24 months contract. I guess 120 GB is sufficient for most people. What I have read is that Cable broadband is more reliable in speed than ADSL2+, which depends on the distance between your place and the exchange.

You can check your internet speed by using this site1 or site2. I have obtained vastly different speeds from the 2 sites and I do not know which gives a more reliable result.

I find the home phone rental silly as you are paying around $30 a month even if you do not use the home phone much. You could save this cost by opting for what is called the Naked DSL, in which you can have a standalone ADSL broadband without a landline service. However, I believe that Naked DSL is not being offered in Altona.

Bigpond Optus TGP Dodo Clubtelco
Plan Elite 200GB Liberty Home Phone & Broadband $64.94 Plan ADSL Off-Net 8M Unlimited
ADSL2+ Unlimited Regional  
Club Unlimited
Type ADSL2+/Cable Not written on website. Cable? ADSL ADSL2+ ADSL2+
Speed 20/1Mbps (ADSL2)
30/1Mbps (Cable)
Not written 8Mbps/384Kbps ADSL2+ ADLS2+ or ADLS1Max
Data 200GB (no peak or off-peak) 120GB (50GB peak + 70GB off-peak) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Shaping Slow to 256kbps Slow to 128kbps No No No
Contract 24 months Month to Month (Standalone)
24 months (Bundled with Home Phone)
6 months Month to Month (+$99)
12 months (+$69)
24 months (no setup fee)
Month to Month
Monthly Price (Standalone) $99.95 (12 months contract) $89.94 $69.99 $69.90 $50/month + $50 annual fee
Monthly Price (Bundled with Home Phone) $99 (includes home phone rental) $64.94 (includes home phone rental) Not available $59.90 5% discount on total bills
Inclusion T-Box Modem + Handset Modem
Phone Monthly Rental HomeLine Budget Plan $14.95 Home Phone Plan with $30 of included value Not available $30 $30
Total monthly cost (broadband+phone rental) $99 $64.94 $69.99 + Home phone rental $89.90 $80.20