Telstra and Optus are two of Australia’s largest NBN providers, with both skewing toward the premium end of the pricing spectrum. But if you’re going to drop top dollar on your internet plan, which provider should you pick?
Telstra and Optus NBN Speeds
Telstra and Optus both report some of the best typical evening speeds on plans as fast as NBN 100, advertising plan maximums on the tiers they offer:
|NBN 1000||NBN 250||NBN 100||NBN 50||NBN 25|
If speed is a major factor in your decision, there shouldn’t be any real difference between Telstra and Optus NBN 100 and NBN 50 plans. Both currently report 100Mbps during peak hours on NBN 100 plans, and 50Mbps on NBN 50 plans.
There’s more variance if you’re looking at plans faster than NBN 100, however. Telstra edges out Optus on the NBN 250 speed tier, reporting 230Mbps compared to Optus’ 215Mbps.
The gap becomes much wider when it comes to NBN 1000 plans. Telstra reports a massive 700Mbps on its NBN 1000 plan, which is currently the fastest evening speed guidance we’ve seen on the speed tier. Optus only reports 250Mbps on NBN 1000 plans.
Telstra also has an NBN 25 plan, while Optus doesn’t.
Contracts and Setup Fees
Telstra and Optus NBN plans are both sold on a no-contract basis but attract setup fees. You may also get hit by a modem fee if you leave early.
While Telstra normally charges a $99 connection fee, it will currently waive it if you sign-up online. Optus plans also have a $99 fee.
Telstra plans include a second-generation Smart Modem with 4G backup, valued at $216. However, you’ll have to pay out the prorated value of your modem if you cancel your plan within your first 24 months with the plan. This is equivalent to $9 per month left in your term.
Optus has a similar approach to its bundled Ultra WiFi Modem with 4G backup. The modem is valued at $252, and you’ll need to pay out a prorated amount if you leave within your first three years with Optus. This is equivalent to $7 per month left in your term.
If you want to add in a WiFi Booster to extend your network range (included in Optus’ Ultimate plans) you’ll also need to pay off the booster. This is valued at $216, which works out to a further $6 per month for each month left in your three-year term. This means you’re looking at a total exit fee of $13 per month you’ve got left.
Optus also has a new gamer plan that comes bundled with an ASUS DSL-AX5400 WiFi 6 gaming modem. If you pick this plan, you won’t get 4G backup and you’ll be up for a modem fee of $14 for each month left in your three-year term if you choose to leave early.
NBN 50 plans
When it comes to NBN 50 plans, Optus plans start at $75 per month, while Telstra plans start at $90.
Optus also has a family NBN 50 plan at $85 per month that is similar to its NBN 50 plan, but also includes the aforementioned WiFi extender. This will set you back $75 per month for your first six months and $85 per month thereafter. This offer is available until July 4.
NBN 100 plans
When it comes to NBN 100 plans, Optus has three options available. First, there’s the standard plan where you’ll pay $85 per month for your first six months and $95 per month thereafter.
Next, you’ve got the gamer plan at $89 per month for your first six months and $99 per month thereafter. This plan includes the ASUS gaming modem and a free static IP.
And finally, there’s the family plan with a WiFi extender at $95 per month for your first six months and $105 per month thereafter. These offers all run until July 4.
On Telstra, you’ll pay $110 per month. Telstra is currently only offering NBN 100 plans to those with FTTP, HFC, and FTTC connections.
NBN 250 plans
Both Optus and Telstra and running discounts on NBN 250 plans. You’ll pay $110 per month for your first six months on an Optus NBN 250 plan, and $130 per month thereafter. This offer runs until July 29.
On Telstra, you’re looking at $110 per month for your first six months and $140 per month thereafter. You’ve got until July 31 to get this one.
NBN 250 plans are available to FTTP premises and may not be orderable by all HFC premises.
NBN 1000 plans
It’s a similar story on NBN 1000 plans. You’ll pay $130 per month for your first six months on Optus and $150 per month thereafter. You’ll need to get this deal by July 29.
Telstra charges $150 per month for your first six months and $180 per month thereafter. This offer runs until July 31.
NBN 1000 plans are available to FTTP premises, and over 58% of HFC premises.
Given both Telstra and Optus and NBN plans are a little more premium in pricing, it’s natural to expect a few perks.
Firstly, both Telstra and Optus’ bundled modems offer 4G backup if your NBN connection carks it. In the event of an outage, you’ll be able to keep using your plan with download speeds of up to 25Mbps. The one exception to this is Optus’ gamer plan.
Big T customers also get access to the Telstra Plus perks program. Telstra Plus members get:
• $12.50 movie tickets for Event and BCC cinemas, excluding sessions after 5pm on a Saturday, public holidays, and special events. A $3 surcharge applies after 5pm on Saturdays and on public holidays
• Free popcorn and drink large combo upgrade when you book a movie ticket through Telstra
• Discounted tickets to select sporting events
• Presale tickets for select concerts and events
You’ll need to join Telstra Plus to get these offers.
Telstra is currently giving new NBN subscribers three months of free access to Binge.
In addition, joining Telstra Plus earns 10 points for every dollar you spend on your monthly bill as part of a Frequent Flyer style rewards scheme. You can spend these points on selected gadgets or use the points discounts on devices.
Optus has its own perks program, simply called Optus Perks. While Optus Perks previously included presale concert tickets and discounted experiences, the only benefit available right now is discounted movie tickets for Hoyts cinemas. These will set you back $12.50 for an adult ticket or $27 for LUX for any session on any day (including Saturday nights).
Optus NBN customers also get themselves a free Optus Sport subscription. You’ve also got the option of bundling in a Fetch TV subscription starting at $10 per month, but you won’t get a discount for doing so.
What about the rest?
If neither Telstra or Optus seem right for you, here’s a look at how their NBN 50 plans stack up to the competition:
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.