Internet 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.
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.
In this Guide
What to look for in an internet plan
While everybody – from casual users to gamers – will have different needs from an internet 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 50 tier. Or at the very least, an ADSL2+ connection that’s close to an exchange. Anything less and you may experience a slow connection.
A Home Phone
With the NBN now rolled out to most of Australia, your choice of providers has dramatically increased – and with your home phone now operating over the NBN as well, many providers offer some sort of included phone service – with the added bonus of there being no monthly line rental. However, with some providers, all your calls within Australia are included in the plan as well, which is perfect for seniors – a home phone you can use as much as you like for no extra cost!
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 Internet 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 TV + 500GB w/ Free BINGE
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, and entertainment. Their aptly-named Telstra TV + 500GB bundle gives you 500GB data, unlimited local, national and mobile calls, a Telstra Smart Modem with 4G backup, and a Telstra TV 3 set-top box, which also automatically qualifies you for 20,000 Telstra Plus points. All for just $84/month, plus free connection fee worth $99 if you sign up online. Enjoy watching TV shows and movies? You also get 3 months of free BINGE streaming and 1 month Foxtel Now when you join Telstra. 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 and home phone calls (not needed with this bundle, though, as the home phone is free) as well as fee waivers for credit card processing fees and paper bill fees. To save even more, Telstra’s unlimited data plans now include $10/month credit for six months!
Last audited 30 March 2021
Southern Phone Sky Muster Standard Plus X Small Plan
For those of us who live a distance from town, Southern Phone makes it easy to stay connected. Not only do they offer NBN connections in remote areas, they’re also one of the few providers to offer affordable satellite connections. Our pick is the X Small plan with burst speed above 25Mbps. For just $55/month, you get 50GB 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.
Last audited 31 March 2021
activ8me Sky Muster 150GB Plan
For seniors on a budget living in remote areas, an affordable service they can sign up for is activ8me’s Sky Muster plans from only $34.95 per month with 150GB data. Conveniently, you can bundle activ8me’s plans with VoIP phone giving you unlimited local, national, and mobile calls for an additional $20/month. You can reduce it to only $5/month for pay as you go calls. On top of that, the telco’s Sky Muster plans don’t come with upfront costs and with flexible contract options as well. For NBN, plans start from $59.95/month with 100GB data and that already runs on the NBN50 speed tier. Also, for every Sky Muster satellite service purchased, $2 per month is donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia for 12 months.
Last audited 31 March 2021
iPrimus nbn25 Unlimited Plan
iPrimus’ 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. You can choose between 250GB and unlimited data, with or without lock-in contract. If you lock it in for 12 months, you save $99 on upfront costs. For seniors, the cheapest 250GB nbn25 plan is only $65, though it’s only $5 extra for an unlimited data upgrade. Even more practical is the included landline connection with pay as you go calls. For seniors who want entertainment, Fetch TV starts from only $10/month.
Last audited 30 March 2021
Dodo Broadband NBN25 Plan
This deal makes the list for two reasons — value and flexibility. Dodo prides itself on making broadband accessible to all. And their $65/month NBN25 plan shows why. While a tad higher than other standard speed plans, there are no upfront fees when you sign up for 12 months and no data caps with Dodo. You also get a landline connection with pay as you go calls, something that most seniors will find very handy. Moreover, their NBN plans are available on both month-to-month and 12-month contract and there’s the option to add Fetch TV from $25 per month.
Last audited 21 February 2021
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.