Broadband is now a common element in modern living. Everything happens online — from paying bills through to catching up with friends. So while it’s not essential for seniors to have broadband, it sure can make life easier – and there are some great deals out there.
Finding the Best Internet Plans for Seniors
The first step to knowing what a great deal looks like is knowing what you need from it. There’s little point in paying big bucks for heaps of high-speed data if you’re just going to be reading the occasional email. Likewise, it might not be worth sacrificing speed and data — and missing out on streaming TV and video calls — all for the sake of saving a few bucks a month?
So it’s important to know what you will be using your broadband connection for, what you’re willing to pay, and then work backwards from there.
What Do You Need From a Broadband Plan?
While everybody – from casual users to gamers – will have different needs from a broadband deal, there are some common elements.
A fair deal
This is most relevant to seniors who are careful with their funds. If you are the kind of person who likes to keep costs down, then you’ll want a broadband connection that delivers what you need but doesn’t charge a premium rate. Even if you want a connection with all the bells and whistles, it still pays to know you’re getting it for a good rate.
A good connection
A decent connection is a must. It doesn’t matter what you are using the internet for —– if it doesn’t work when you want it to work, then you’re not getting value for money. There are a lot of factors involved in getting a good connection, and some (like the number of people online in your area) you just can’t control. But you can help make the connection better by using modern modems which give you a better connection. This means you need an NBN connection, preferably on the NBN 20 tier. Or at the very least, an ADSL2+ connection that’s close to an exchange. Anything less and you will experience a slow connection.
A reasonable data cap
Australia is one of the few first-world countries that still has data caps on broadband plans. Providers in many other countries ditched data caps in favour of speed tiers years ago. But this quirk can work in our favour, as it lets us choose plans that are made cheaper by limiting the amount of data available per month.
Top Five Broadband Deals for Seniors
While getting a fair deal is top of the list, it’s not the only thing we’re going to use to measure broadband plans for seniors. Reliability, availability, and data amounts are all just as important. So we’re focusing in NBN and ADSL plans that offer at least 100GB of data. We’re not going to include 4G or wireless-only options, because they don’t offer the reliability that a wired connection delivers. But we are going to include a bundle or two in this guide because sometimes the value they offer in other areas makes all the difference.
Southern Phone NBN Sky Muster Standard Medium plan
For those of us who live a distance from town, Southern Phone makes it easy to stay connected. Not only do they offer ADSL and NBN connections in remote areas, they’re also one of the few providers to offer affordable satellite connection. Our pick is the Medium plan on the standard speed tier (NBN 25). For just $50/month, you get 120GB of data on a monthly contract. There’s no connection fee or service activation fee, and if you go over your data cap there are no excess fees (your download speeds just get throttled back to 128kbps). You can use your own modem, or buy a preconfigured modem directly from Southern Phone for just $99. Best of all, standard satellite dish installations are all done at no cost to you. Southern Phone is a completely Australian-based company. Their call centre is based in Moruya in rural NSW and they’re also owned entirely by regional local councils. So 100% of their profits go right back into the community.
Seniors Plans with Southern Phone
Get connected from wherever you are in Australia with great value home phone, mobile, and broadband plans from Southern Phone. NBN plans start from only $50/mth. No lock-in contract.
Telstra Entertainment Bundle
This is the deal for seniors who want to get everything in one bundle. Telstra is offering a big bundle that covers broadband, home phone connection, and entertainment. Their aptly-named Unlimited + Telstra TV bundle gives you unlimited data, unlimited local, national and mobile calls, a Telstra Smart Modem, and a Telstra TV 3 set-top box. All for just $99/month. This is available on both ADSL and NBN connections. As we mentioned before, Telstra also offers discounts for seniors on eligible home phone services. If you have a Centrelink Pension Card or a Veterans’ Affairs Pension Card, Telstra can give you discounts on some connection charges, home phone calls, and fee waivers for credit card processing fees and paper bill fees.
Senior Plans with Telstra Broadband
Telstra offers a whole lot of value for seniors and pensioners. Get connected to the largest network with the best speeds to stream Netflix, from only $75/mth with no lock-in contract.
Belong Standard Plus Plan
Belong’s lineup is perfect for all kinds of users, particularly budget conscious ones. They’re also ideal for seniors and pensioners, not only because they’re affordable but also because they’re simple and straightforward. All plans include unlimited data with or without lock-in contract. The telco also offers free activation and a discounted modem for only $60 (it’s free if you sign up for 12 months). For seniors, the cheapest Starter NBN25 plan is only $55 on a 12-month term, though it’s only $10 extra for an NBN50 speed upgrade. Don’t like long contracts? Just add another $5 for a month-to-month setup. Seniors who also need a mobile SIM will find Belong’s free $80 mobile credit quite handy.
Seniors Plans with Belong Broadband
Belong Broadband offers flexible broadband plans that come with unlimited data on the Telstra network, starting from only $65/mth on a 12-mth contract or just $70/mth with no lock-in contract.
MyRepublic Unlimited Essential Plan
This deal makes the list for two reasons — value and flexibility. MyRepublic prides itself on making broadband accessible to all. And their $75/month NBN50 plan shows why. While a tad higher than other standard plus speed plans, there are no upfront fees and no data caps with MyRepublic. You also get a landline connection with pay as you go calls, something that most seniors will find very handy. It’s only $10 extra per month if you need unlimited calls to Australian mobiles as well. Moreover, their NBN plans are available on both month-to-month and 12-month contract with the price increasing slightly for the no lock-in contract plan.
Super-Fast NBN with MyRepublic
Get unlimited data at super-fast speeds with MyRepublic’s NBN100 plans from only $94.95/mth. Get it with a $5 discount for the first 12 months. Offer ends October 9, 2019.
Tangerine Speed Boost Unlimited NBN
An affordable plan that seniors on a budget can sign up for is Tangerine’s Standard Speed Boost plan, which delivers unlimited data on the NBN25 speed tier. Conveniently, you can bundle Tangerine’s plans with unlimited local, national, and mobile calls for an additional $10/month. On top of that, this plan doesn’t come with lock-in contracts, as well as standard installation fees. Best of all, Tangerine’s internet plans also include a 14-day risk-free trial and $10 off for the first six months.
Seniors Plans with Tangerine Telecom
Tangerine Telecom delivers NBN plans & bundles that truly pack a punch. All NBN plans come with a 14-day free trial + $10 off for the first 6mths, starting from $54.90/mth with no lock-in contract.
Summary: Make Sure to Shop Around for the Best Seniors Deals!
It’s clear that there are a good number of factors to consider when choosing a broadband plan that fits your needs as a senior. The key to making smart broadband decisions is to check out what’s available and to understand your own needs.
If you want to shop around, don’t be afraid to go for a broadband plan on a month-to-month contract. This lets you see what the internet service is like in real life. And if you think you can do better, you can switch providers and packages without penalty.