As every pensioner already knows, making ends meet in a world of rising prices can be a tricky balancing act. And with the Internet now almost as essential a service as electricity or the home phone, there’s a confusing array of plans, bundles, deals and offers available that promise all sorts of technical marvels. But all you really want to do is just get connected to the Internet – for communicating with family, for shopping or paying the bills from the comfort of home, for reading and research – and, yes, for entertainment as well!
As Australia’s largest phone and Internet provider, Telstra is an obvious first choice. Your home phone’s probably already connected with them. Hence, it’s nice and simple to add broadband internet in the mix without spending too much extra money.
Is there a Seniors or Pensioners Plan?
While Telstra used to maintain a special package set aside for pensioners that included home phone and broadband, you won’t find it on their list of plans anymore. Similarly, Foxtel has decided awhile ago to retire their Senior’s Plan and replaced them with even greater cost-saving packages, and believe it or not, that’s not a bad thing. The plan that was on offer came with a very small monthly download allowance of 25GB, suitable for casual web browsing and not much else. Moreover, the price of that plan was only $11 under the current entry-level bundle price, which is a much better deal all round. More on that and the alternatives in a moment – but what happened to those discounts for pensioners?
Where are the Senior Discounts?
Currently, Telstra offers Seniors several benefits for holders of eligible pension cards – whether you are on an age pension, a disability pension, the recipient of a carer payment and a range of other government benefit programs. Exactly what is offered depends on the service and plan you’re subscribed to. However, common to all are things like a waiver of fees (including late payment fees, credit card surcharges and the dreaded paper bill fee), free call control to block access to certain call types (like premium or overseas numbers, so you don’t get any nasty bill surprises) and a discounted connection charge.
Seniors Plans with Telstra Broadband
Telstra offers a whole lot of value for seniors and pensioners looking to get the best internet deals. Get connected to the largest network with plans starting at only $70/mth, and streaming bundles from $79/mth.
Best Bundles for Seniors
The Telstra bundle we recommend for pensioners is an all-inclusive package that covers your home phone – including line rental. When you take that into account, the additional cost for fast reliable broadband is actually cheaper than you’d expect.
Coming in at the value end of things is the Essential bundle, at $70 per month. That gives you a home phone line, a broadband connection with 100GB of data allowance per month on the NBN25 tier, and a Telstra Smart Modem™ to enable wireless broadband throughout your home. There’s a $99 connection fee, which Telstra will waive if you sign up online.
Is 100GB of data enough for you, though? It depends on what you plan to use the internet for. If browsing through web sites and reading and writing email is the main reason you want to get online, 100GB should be more than enough. It’s only when you get into the more data-hungry internet pastimes that you might need to think about a higher data allowance. For example, if you plan to stream a lot of video – whether on paid services like Netflix or free ones like ABC iView – data usage can climb very quickly. Likewise, if you’re going to be connecting any device that can have high download demands, such as a game console.
Still need more data?
In cases where you’ll need more data to use for your streaming needs, we’d recommend you spend an extra $20 a month and move up to the Unlimited Plan, which already gives you unlimited data on a fast NBN50 speed tier.
If you’re not sure how much data you’ll need, don’t worry – Telstra allows you to change between plans without penalty at the end of any month. Another good news is, you can sign up without any contract commitment with Telstra’s new standalone internet plans. You just need to shell out a one-off modem fee of $216.
Telstra Broadband Plans
- Up to 20Mbps Standard Evening
- 100GB Data
- NBN 25™ Fixed Line
- Up to 40Mbps Standard Plus Evening
- Unlimited Data
- NBN 50™ Fixed Line
What about phone calls?
These internet plans both come with a home phone line that includes standard local, national, and mobile calls. If you need to make international calls often, Telstra offers discounted international call rates. There are 500 calls to 13 numbers included as well. Calls made over this allowance will be charged at 40¢ per call.
What about the NBN?
Both of these Telstra plans are “NBN Ready” – in other words, when the NBN arrives in your area, you can just move over to the new network without hassle or cost. Regardless of what type of NBN service your home ends up getting, you’ll still have access to your home phone and internet without having to shop around all over again.
Are these plans right for you?
If you’re a pensioner who wants to get online with a reliable and fast broadband service, but keep the home phone active and take advantage of Telstra’s pensioner discounts, then these two plans are definitely a good fit. You’ll have a nice big data allowance so you don’t need to worry about limits, and there’s the option of unlimited phone calls to everywhere in Australia for just a little extra each month. For an all-in-one home phone and internet, these bundles are a great choice.