Telstra NBN plans are great, but is there something better?

One in four homes use Telstra broadband, so we looked at whether it’s the best deal for you 

Based on recent figures, four out of ten Aussie homes and businesses use Telstra services to connect to the internet. Even as the NBN rolls out this figure hasn’t changed too much. Mostly people are happy to stick it out with the big T.

But is this the best idea? Are there better NBN plans to consider?

Though we all know the plans are more expensive, there are a number of solid reasons to choose Telstra for NBN. For starters, Telstra doesn’t sell the slowest NBN speed tier, so every connection offers a big step up in performance from older, slower technologies.

You also get a special Telstra modem that will automatically connect your home to the Telstra mobile network when there is a network outage. And let’s face it, there will always going to be outages from time to time, so this modem is a great idea.

On top of this, you can also bundle in home entertainment with several of the Telstra plans. You get a choice of installing Foxtel or receiving a Telstra TV box to use with online services like Netflix.

Comparatively the plans are more expensive that with the competition, but you’d argue that you get your money’s worth if you plan to make use of the extra features and gadgets.

What about the rest?

The central idea of the new NBN network is that all providers get the same access to the network, regardless of whether they are a big, well known brand or a small upstart company. While Telstra has a strong reputation, it won’t necessarily offer a better NBN service.

A key benefit of the smaller brands tends to be that they have their calls centres in Australia. These companies aren’t yet big enough to warrant overseas support teams, so you get to speak to a local person who understands the local market.

Two great examples of this are Mate Communicate and Barefoot Telecom.

Also, a number of the smaller players offer no lock-in contracts on NBN plans. They understand that you need to build trust with their service, so they give you the option to leave anytime.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Telstra offers a great range of NBN plans and is easy to recommend, but there are a number of newer, cheaper options to check out before you sign on the line.

Joseph Hanlon is the publisher at Australia’s most comprehensive telco comparison site WhistleOut.