Broadband is an essential element of modern education. Everything happens online — from enrolment to assignment submissions. Even registration for graduation attendance happens via an online portal (not to mention sharing the grad pics). This means that students need reliable Internet connections, with reasonable download speeds, and a solid amount of data — and all for an affordable monthly rate. So what’s out there?
What do Students Need From a Broadband Plan?
Before we dig into the broadband offerings for Australian students, it’s a good idea to take a look at the use cases involved. After all, students aren’t a homogeneous group and each student will have different requirements. You have full-time students and part-time students. Some will rely on their internet connection for study alone, others will turn to online streaming or gaming for entertainment between study sessions. Then there are students who live alone, with family, or with friends.
While it’s clear that each student will have different needs from a broadband deal, there are still some elements in common.
A decent rate
This is most relevant to full-time students and those living on their own. Not everyone has the time to work a full-time job alongside regular study. And not everyone lives with reliable housemates — or parents — who can pay a premium rate for broadband.
A reliable connection
A solid connection is a must. Studying requires online research, access to online journals, uploading assignments, and liaising with online study groups. Not to mention the needs of students involved in distance education and online courses. As a student, you need to know that your internet will give you the speed and responsiveness you need, when you need it. 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.
A reasonable data cap (or no cap at all)
Emails, messaging, and uploading assignments generally do not take up a lot of data — unless you’re downloading massive files on a regular basis as part of your course. Still, it’s rare that any student is just using the internet for study purposes. With so much of our lives happening online — social media, streaming TV services, and online gaming all spring to mind — there’s a real need to make sure that you have enough data to enable a balance between study and leisure.
Whether you’ll be staying on-campus, finding a decent place to rent, or maybe staying with family, real-life experience shows us that it’s best to be prepared to move. There are many reasons you might choose to relocate while studying, from noisy neighbours and increasing rent, through to difficulties with family or landlords. So it pays to find a plan that’s flexible enough to let you pack up and relocate should you need to.
Top Five Broadband Deals for Students
While value for money may be at the top of the list, it’s not the only point of reference by which we’re measuring broadband plans for students. Reliability, responsiveness, flexibility and data caps are all just as important. So we’re focusing on NBN and ADSL plans that offer at least 100GB of data. We’re avoiding 4G and wireless-only options, because they don’t mesh well with the other requirements. However, bundles are included because sometimes they offer value in other areas.
Telstra Entertainment Bundle
If you’re living in a share house, this is the deal for you. Offering unlimited data, a Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2, unlimited local, national, and mobile calls within Australia, a Telstra TV, and a $125 Telstra TV Box Office credit, this really is the all-in-one solution that gives you everything you need for a good rate. All this for just $99/month. Split that between two people and that’s $50/month for all the internet you’ll ever need – all on Telstra’s broadband network.
Get Telstra’s Broadband Bundle
Get the new Telstra TV 3 + unlimited data + $125 Telstra TV Box Office credit + 3 mths unlimited access to hayu, DocPlay, Garage, & AnimeLab — all for only $99/mth!
Southern Phone Sky Muster Basic X-Large Plan
This plan is aimed squarely at students in remote locations where ADSL is a bit dodgy and NBN cables don’t yet reach. If this is you, then Southern Phone has some great Internet plans. They offer their “Sky Muster” Satellite Plan. Our pick is the X-Large plan on the basic speed tier—– it gives you 240GB for just $70/month. You’ll need to supply your own WiFi modem (or buy one for a one-off $99 cost) but other than that, the satellite dish installation comes at no cost to you.
Get Great Value Broadband Plans with No Lock-In Contract!
Get connected today with Southern Phone broadband, offering a great range of NBN plans for all needs and budget. NBN plans start at only $50/mth and come with no lock-in contract.
MyRepublic Essential Unlimited Plan
MyRepublic sells itself on speed and flexibility. And the telco’s range of NBN plans sure fits that bill. All plans include a landline connection with unlimited calls to Aussie landlines, $0 upfront costs, and are
Super-Fast NBN with MyRepublic
Get unlimited data at super-fast speeds with MyRepublic’s NBN100 plans from $89.95/mth + score $10 off for the first 12 months. Offer ends 21 July 2019.
Best Mates Unlimited Plan
With a plethora of streaming services in Australia today, it’s a given how students don’t only use the internet for their studies. They heavily use it for streaming entertainment, too. This is where MATE’s Best Mates plan comes in, providing uncapped data on the NBN50 at $69/month with no lock-in contract. The telco’s Best Mates plan is what every student needs in their day to day — incredibly fast internet for under $70 bucks so it doesn’t compromise their budget for other essential student-related costs.
Get Great Value with Mate!
Grab the best deals on NBN & ADSL with Mate Communicate. Unlimited data + no lock-in contracts + no setup fees. NBN plans start at $59/mth.
Tangerine Standard Speed Plan
If your studying lifestyle is one of constant change, then you need a broadband plan that’s flexible. Tangerine offers a great deal of flexible and affordable plans that students can take advantage of. Our recommendation is the entry plan, Standard Speed, which already gives you unlimited data on the NBN25 speed tier. What’s great about this is you can first test it with their free 14-day free trial. If you’re not happy, then feel free to cancel, but if you’re satisfied, then you can sign up to also enjoy $10 off for the first six months with no lock-in contracts whatsoever as well.
Get Unlimited NBN Plans That Pack A Punch!
Sign up now to start your risk free 14-day free trial + get $10 off every NBN plan for the first 6 months plus other perks. Plans start at $54.90/mth.
Don’t Forget to Compare for the Best Deals!
If you’re relatively new to the world of student broadband plans, don’t be afraid to go for a plan with no contract. This lets you see what the service is like first-hand — and if you need to switch, you can do so with minimum fuss.