There’s a ton of choices when it comes to finding an Internet provider for your new NBN service – and that’s by design. The NBN was built from the ground up to let companies of all shapes and sizes have access to the same network, letting each provider set their own points of difference to attract customers.
Hello Broadband, a relatively new arrival on the landscape, is a company formed by people with extensive experience in the business of moving data around fast and keeping people connected. A fully Australian-owned company, they’ve won multiple awards over the years and claim a 99.95% uptime record on their network — which translates to reliability for your Internet connection!
Is Hello Broadband’s service right for you? Photo: Compare TV.
Say Hello to Hello Broadband
Hello Broadband is the retail brand of a company called Broadband Solutions, an Internet provider which has been operating for 13 years now, supplying fast fibre optic connections and phone services to businesses, schools, and even hotels.
Of course, supplying business connections and running a consumer internet provider are two very different propositions, but Hello Broadband has seen a niche in the market that needs to be filled. With the transition to the NBN in full swing, consumers are often confused by the range of options that get thrown at them by providers looking to lock them in as customers, even without making it clear exactly what their plans include. Hello wants to do things differently – by being completely upfront about the prices of their plans, and keeping the range of plans simple, clear and easy to understand. And the best part is that plans are available with no contract at all, as well as on a 12 or 24-month commitment, if you’d prefer.
Hello Broadband sticks to their promise of keeping things simple with their NBN plan offerings – there’s only four of them, and they are tailored to cover four different types of typical usage. But perhaps most importantly, all four of them come with unlimited data – both downloads and uploads. That effectively makes Netflix, Stan, Amazon and every other streaming service unmetered, which means you can stream as much as you want without ever worrying about going over your limit, even on the cheapest plan.
When it comes to streaming, the thing you need to pay attention to is the info that the ACCC asked providers to display with their plans – the typical evening speeds of each of them. Evenings from 7pm to 11pm are statistically the most congested hours for any Internet provider, thanks to Netflix becoming the new evening TV of choice for hundreds of thousands of Australians. So you’ll see an estimate of the minimum speed you can expect at those peak hours for every plan, and if evenings are important to you, these numbers should be your guide.
The four plans cover the four common NBN network speeds, quoted as download/upload speed: 12/1, 25/5, 50/20 and 100/40. Depending on the technology your NBN connection uses, the two top plans may not provide you with an actual speed boost, so be sure to have Hello check your connection if you’re on Fibre to the Node.
All plans have no setup fee if you choose to go on a 12-month or 24-month contract, but otherwise, there’s a one-off $49.95 setup charge.
At the entry level, there’s the “Unlimited Starter” and “Unlimited Family” plans, at 12/1 and 25/5, respectively. They’re priced at $49.95 and $59.95, with the lower plan quoting a top evening speed of 6 Mbps and the other doubling that to 12 Mbps. However, those are top speeds – the actual range quoted go as low as 1 or 2 Mbps, which won’t be fast enough to stream Netflix even at the lowest quality reliably.
For streaming fans, the way to go is one of the two faster plans – “Unlimited Entertainer” and “Unlimited Streamer” at $74.95 and $99, respectively. The plan names say it all – they’re for those who watch a lot of streaming TV, with the typical evening speeds quoted as 6-25 Mbps for Entertainer and a solid 40-80 Mbps for Streamer. The latter will let you comfortably run multiple 4K Netflix streams at the same time, even while others are using the Internet for other stuff. If you love your streaming – and your NBN connection supports the speed – we’d recommend you opt for the Streamer plan, which (like all of Hello Broadband’s plans) is priced competitively.
Of course, until you actually have access to the NBN, ADSL is the go-to technology you’re going to be using. Hello Broadband has ADSL covered with two plans, both with unlimited data – a $49.95 plan that gives a top evening speed of 6 Mbps and an “ADSL Plus Phone” plan, which adds a home phone line (on a pay-as-you-go basis for calls) for an additional $10 per month. There’s a setup fee of $49.95 for the no-contract option, which is waived if you choose a 12 or 24-month contract – however, you need to have an existing phone line. If a line has to be installed, setup costs will be higher (unavoidable because of the fees Telstra charges to run the line).
Home Phone Plans
By default, the voice phone line you’re provided with your connection runs as a pay-as-you-go thing – you pay for the calls you use (the rates are really good, by the way – a 10c flat fee per landline call anywhere in Australia, and 17c per minute to mobiles). However, if you use the home phone a lot, it’d be worth upgrading to one of the two phone packs. “National” costs $5 a month and gives you unlimited landline calls across Australia; if you call mobiles a lot you’ll want the $10 package which includes those as well.
Flexibility and Simplicity are Good!
Hello Broadband isn’t reinventing the wheel with their range of plans – quite the opposite. They’re upfront about what each plan gives you, and any modest extra costs that might be involved. With easy to understand plans priced at a level that puts them on par with the best prices in the business – and a solid network behind them – Hello Broadband makes for a great choice for your new NBN connection, no matter whether you’re a casual browser or a dedicated binger!