You might have heard of Belong Broadband — and you’ve definitely heard of Telstra. But did you know they are part of the same company? Belong is a subsidiary of Telstra, set up to offer simplified deals, which provide all of the quality of Telstra – since Belong and Telstra are on the same network – but at a lower price. Despite being a part of the Telstra stable, Belong more closely resembles one of the new providers on the Aussie telecommunications landscape. They are small, flexible, and their deals match their ethos.
Telstra, on the other hand, remains the largest provider in Australia. This means they can offer things few others can – from Telstra TV and Foxtel from Telstra to excellent deals on landline phone calls. All in all, the quality and infrastructure of both providers are largely similar. The main differences are in relation to bundles – which means finding out which one is ‘right’ for you depends largely on what you want out of your provider!
What is the difference between Telstra and Belong?
So, what are the major differences between Telstra Broadband and Belong Broadband? Well first things first, as Belong is a subsidiary of Telstra, the network is the same. This is great in both cases, primarily because Telstra have built the most extensive network in Australia. So if you’re worried about download speed – or mobile reception should you opt for a bundle – going with the Telstra network should ease your concerns.
Other than network, the two providers have become more similar in recent years in the types of contracts that they offer. Telstra, for a long time, had a reputation as being inflexible and requiring long contracts, however this has somewhat changed in recent years. Both providers now offer month-to-month broadband deals alongside contracted options – although Telstra’s contracts at 24 months are double that of Belong.
Telstra offers both ADSL and NBN connections, meaning you’ll get connected pretty much no matter where you live. There are, however, some important variances in their offerings to note – particularly in relation to the NBN.
OK, so we’ve let you know what’s similar – but what’s different? The major difference between the providers is bundling. Belong likes to keep things simple, which means the scope for bundling is minimal. Telstra, on the other hand, can bundle you up with phone deals as well as television and streaming to keep you entertained.
Telstra also lets you add streaming TV services like Kayo and Netflix to your existing Telstra plan so you can bundle all of your monthly payments under one brand – now that’s convenient.
What does Telstra Broadband offer?
In the early days of broadband expansion across Australia – and particularly after the industry was deregulated – Telstra had a less than stellar reputation for high prices, complacency, and inflexibility. Over time, Australia’s biggest telco has worked to change this – and they’ve come a long way. These days, Telstra broadband is available on a no-contract or 24-month contract basis, with the month-to-month option attracting a casual fee.
As for data limits, both the NBN and ADSL deals have either a 500GB limit or an Unlimited Data plan. Keep in mind that these days, 500GB won’t get you too far – particularly in medium to larger households – so unlimited is usually the way to go.
Last audited 21 February 2021
OK, so you’ve got your data sorted – but what about speed? For Telstra’s ADSL plans, speed will have a lot to do with where you are located. The NBN plans are available at tier 25, tier 50 and tier 100, with the latter two far more suitable for streaming and downloads.
What does Belong Broadband offer?
Belong currently are not promoting their plans. Below are great alternatives:
Last audited 22 February 2021
Belong likes to keep things simple – but that doesn’t mean they keep it basic. Like Telstra, they’ve got contract and no-contract options, although the contract is a little shorter at 12 rather than 24 months. The contracted option doesn’t have a connection fee – and it comes with a free modem.
Belong no longer sells ADSL plans, though anyone currently with Belong on ADSL can stay on their existing plan until the NBN arrives in their area.
They’ve got three plans on the NBN network – Starter, Standard, and Premium – with the main difference being download speed. The levels are 30MBPS, 40MBPS and 80MBPS, so it really depends on your usage. If your household is medium to large – or your love for streaming could be described as medium to large – then rest assured that the 80MBPS deal will suit your every online need.
Bundling: Who bundles it better?
The answer to the question ‘who bundles better?’ will depend on exactly what you want to bundle. Belong’s mantra is keeping things cheap, easy, and simple – which means that the scope of bundles is relatively limited. How limited?Belong doesn’t even offer the option of a home phone line – it’s broadband all the way.
Then there’s Belong Mobile. Belong doesn’t offer traditional bundles as such, but will often provide discounts and sign-on bonuses to new Mobile customers who also have Belong Broadband. It does, however, mean that if you’re looking for landline connections – as well as television or streaming – then you’ll need to look elsewhere.
When signing up for Telstra Broadband, a step is to consider your ‘entertainment’ options. This includes Telstra TV – known as the ‘box with the lot’ – which comes with access to Netflix, Stan, Kayo, and YouTube. You’ll also get access to Foxtel Now, which ranks among the best in Australia for live sport, movies, series and box sets, documentaries, reality TV and so on. Telstra and Foxtel have improved their partnership over the years, with the results being great for customers. Instead of the old ‘one size fits all’ packages, they now have different options to suit everyone.
OK, so broadband and entertainment are sorted – but what about the humble telephone? The bundles include unlimited calls to local, national and mobile numbers – as well as discounted international calls. For a company which used to have a reputation for expensive call costs, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Customer Service for Telstra and Belong
Given that both companies are in the same stable, their customer service offerings are broadly similar – in fact there is some degree of overlap. Telstra has a call centre based overseas with a complementary Australian-based component. While Belong’s customer service is accessible via their website.
As for Telstra, call 13 22 00 from 8am to 9pm Australian Eastern Time to be connected to a Telstra customer service representative. They’ve also got a 24/7 chat function on their website, as well as the CrowdSupport forum which will be able to answer loads of your questions.
Is Telstra or Belong a better broadband provider?
With the network and deals themselves largely the same, it ultimately comes down to the bundles – and of course the costs. Belong Broadband, the no fuss provider, are of course cheaper. When the network and offerings are largely the same, then Belong is likely to suit those on a budget. Telstra’s bundling – including both phone and internet and streaming – puts them in a different category completely. While it is more expensive, there are no doubts you’ll get bang for your buck. Ultimately, which one is ‘better’ will be up to you – and your household.