While not essential, broadband is now a common element for modern living. Everything happens online — from paying bills through to organising catch-ups with friends. Even sharing photos happens more online now than with printed pictures. 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.
But 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 dollars 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 Seniors Need From a Broadband Plan?
While everybody 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 with a modern 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 in this article, this quirk works 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.
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 + Streaming bundle gives you unlimited data, pay-as-you-go calls, a Telstra Smart Modem, a Telstra TV set-top box, a Google Home Mini and a 24-month subscription to Foxtel Now. All for just $99/month. This is available on both ADSL and NBN connections. If you want unlimited calls to standard local numbers and Australian mobiles, that’s just another $10/month on top. 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.
Foxtel Now Free for 24 months
Free Foxtel Now for 24 months +
Telstra TV on the Unlimited
Broadband + Streaming Bundle
bundles, plans & prices
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Mate “Great Mates” Plan
This deal makes the list for one reason — simplicity. Mate Communicate prides itself on making broadband accessible to all. And their $69/month “Great Mates” NBN plan shows why. There are no contracts, no connection or setup fees, and no data caps. You just get fast internet on the NBN 25 speed tier, with a standard evening speed of between 20-50Mbps. You can use your own modem, or get their preconfigured, NBN-ready modem for $149. Don’t like the service? No problems. You can switch plans any time, or even switch providers, with no penalty. On top of that, their call centre is here in Australia, so if you need to talk to someone about your service, you know your call won’t get dialled overseas.
Aussie Broadband Starter + Fetch Plan
Another broadband and entertainment bundle worth checking out is getting Fetch TV with your Aussie Broadband connection. The Starter + Fetch Mini bundle already gives you 100GB of data on the NBN25 speed tier, which is a lot of speed as it is, on what is hailed as the Australia provider with the best NBN speeds. On top of that, you also get a Fetch Mini set-top box, which allows you to stream all the best entertainment from leading streaming providers plus free to air! How’s that for getting entertainment and broadband all in one affordable plan?
Get Fetch TV & Stream with Australia’s Best NBN Speeds
Stream your favourite shows & movies from Australia’s leading providers with Fetch TV. Get your own box at $65/mth on a bundle.
Compare Broadband Bundles
Compare the best and most inclusive broadband bundles across a wide range of broadband providers.
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 and they’re also owned entirely by regional local councils. So 100% of their profits go right back into the community.
Sumo Basic Speed Unlimited NBN
An affordable plan that seniors on a budget can sign up for is Sumo’s Basic Speed plan, which delivers unlimited data on the NBN12 speed tier. Best part about Sumo’s plans is how you can also bundle it up with basic utilities like gas and electricity, making it easy to pay for bills! On top of that, this plan also doesn’t come with lock-in contracts, as well as standard installation fees. It’s definitely as convenient as it comes for seniors and pensioners with Sumo Broadband.
Make Sure to Shop Around for the Best 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. And while ADSL is still a valid option, the NBN is where your focus should be.
But like with many modern commodities, the key to making smart broadband decisions is to check out what’s available.
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.