Telstra releases expensive NBN pricing


news The nation’s largest telco Telstra has released its commercial pricing plans for the National Broadband Network, with the company’s plans appearing to be significantly more expensive than those available from rival providers such as Optus and iiNet.

The company released two different types of plans for broadband customers. It appears both will not only be available to customers on National Broadband Network fibre infrastructure, but also existing customers on the company’s HFC cable and ADSL networks — Telstra appears to have unified its pricing structures across the different types of infrastructure.

The first type of plan is what Telstra refers to as a ‘bundle’. This plan comes with a bundled telephone line and broadband connection, and ranges in cost from $80 per month for 5GB of data quota and up to 25Mbps speeds, to a $150 monthly plan with 500GB of quota and up to 100Mbps speeds. The entry level plans at 25Mbps come with unlimited local calls but no STD or calls to mobile included, while the higher value plans come with unlimited local calls, and some other includsions, such as calls to Telstra mobiles or STD calls included.

Telstra’s plan structure includes just two different broadband speeds — up to 25Mbps and up to 100Mbps. This appears to represent the fact that Telstra currently offers two different stratas of network infrastructure — ADSL, which is limited to 24Mbps, and HFC cable, which in theory can top out at 100Mbps in supported areas. The NBN infrastructure supports four tiers of speeds (12Mbps, 25Mbps, 50MBps and 100Mbps), but Telstra does not appear to be offering the 12Mbps or 50Mbps speeds.

Telstra has also offered a separate tranche of plans available to NBN customers who also have a full service Telstra home phone plan. These plans, which all come with speeds of 25Mbps, range from $49.95 per month for a plan with 50GB of data quota to $89.95 per month for a plan with 500GB of data quota. They can be upgraded to 100Mbps speeds for an extra $10 a month. However, customers will need to be signed up for a Telstra HomeLine Plus telephone connection, which adds an extra $31.95 a month to the cost.

Telstra’s plans appear to be significantly more expensive than rival broadband plans available from other NBN providers such as iiNet and Optus.

For example, iiNet offers a $99.95 monthly NBN plan which comes with a total of a terabyte of data quota at 100Mbps speeds. For an extra $9.95 per month, customers will be able to use the company’s Internet telephony service, which comes with all local and national calls included. In comparison, Telstra’s highest value plan comes with half that amount of download quota for $150 a month, although it does feature additional unlimited calls to Australian mobile phones.

Optus also offers bundled plans with similar download quotas to Telstra, or higher download quotas, for less monthly costs.

Despite the additional costs compared with prices available from rival providers, Telstra chief customer officer Gordon Ballantyne described Telstra’s plans as featuring “a winning combination”. More than 500 customers had trialled Telstra’s NBN broadband access over the past six months, he said. The new deals will go on sale tomorrow nationally across all of Telstra’s infrastructure, and will be available to customers in NBN areas — in first release sites in Armidale, Kiama Downs, Townsville, Brunswick and Willunga.

Telstra will also this week launch what it described as “a Fibre Experience Centre”, which will travel the country and set up in the heart of NBN rollout locations, to provide Australians with hands-on experiences of Telstra services on the NBN. Kiama Downs will be first cab off the ranks, from 16 March.

Asked to comment on Telstra’s expensive pricing compared with rival providers, a Telstra spokesperson highlighted Telstra’s skills in providing free installation and in-home setup for customers. Data inclusions in the plans were up, free calls to a customer’s mobile phone numbers were included, they pointed out, and more than 1.2 million customers were already using previous Telstra bundled services.

Opinion/analysis to follow in separate article.

Image credit: Telstra


  1. I wonder if the level playing field that the NBN should be, will mean that the best priced services will translate into the most successful ISP’s?

  2. What game is Telstra playing at here… who the hell would buy those crap plans over the ones that other ISP’s are offering???

      • They don’t sound like a “winning combination” to me. I’m a current Telstra customer and I couldn’t see myself moving to NBN with them. I’m amazed that they’d announce such un-competative prices as I believe NBN will be a leveler in terms of reliability and speed (my key reasons for being with Telstra). I’m planning on moving to iiNet and I’ll be planning my other Telstra services accordingly as they come up for renewal over the next few years. As I see it I’ll be moving from all Telstra services ($180/pcm) currently to only having my mobile phone with them ($50/pcm) based largely on their NBN offering.

        • the only thing that i find remotely winning about this proposal is the 25 mbit floor. whats the coalition offer again? and if thats their minimum offer then if not the customers then clearly Telstra ITSELF is interested in higher speeds.

          given how much market Telstra holds and has the ability to take share in NBN market thats a fairly interesting position to take. and given the number of cutover connections Telstra is expected to provide NBNco a minimum of 25 mbit also pushes 12 mbit services into a decidedly smaller niche than expected – good news for Nbnco. bad news for Malcolm.

          given the crises in Labor of late tho thats cold comfort, if the thing gets closed down before it really starts taking traction…. but if it doesnt get messed with then NBNco has the chance to really prove it is possible to build a world class network that people and retailers DO want to use, as a valid governmental infrastructure investment. i just wish the Libs had their road to damascus moment sooner rather than later. they could certainly get Wilkie and Oakeshotte on side and put Gillard in a rather tenuous position…. so far the response has been a robotic ‘No’.

  3. The model in the broardband add to the left, looks like she’s just seen Telstra’s pricing…

  4. What does Telstra mean upto 100mbps… Its FIBRE, can’t they assure me that I’mm get 100mbps linkspeed???

    Or are they just trying to cover their arse for when the 100mbps link only gets 30mbps on speedtest?

    • well you DO get transmission loss, and from what Raaj (Menon) and others seem to have found is that after ack packets or whatever it is are subtracted you wind up with an effective 95mbit connect, from memory. its not new, the overhead costs are there in DSL and other transmission formats too. but ‘up to’ is probably the more accurate statement in this case.

    • NBN will have 64 customers sharing a 2.5Gbps PON link. You do the math. I wouldn’t guarantee 100mbps either!

  5. The bundles announced today are national broadband bundles that are also available to customers in the mainland NBN trial sites. They are not NBN-specific pricing. Hence the ‘up to 100mbps’ qualification that Level380 refers to.

    Telstra’s recent broadband pricing has proved very successful in the market, with growth reported in our recent results. Today we are simply extending our plans to those customers in NBN-enabled areas.

    • Huh Craig? These are NBN plans announced today…. Why are you saying they are non NBN specific pricing for all customers and hence the upto 100mbps.

      Regardless upto 100mbps is pretty open ended. You could be getting a link speed of 1mbps and that fit the requirement of your plan.

      Linkspeed has nothing to do with how fast your internet is, its all about the throughput speed. No point in paying for 100mbps connection if the ISP can only do a through of 20mbps!

    • hey Craig,

      the marketing position that Telstra’s taking on these plans notwithstanding, there is simply no technical reason to restrict NBN customers from signing up to any one of the four speed tranches available under the NBN — 12Mbps, 25MBps, 50Mbps and 100Mbps.

      By doing so, Telstra is limiting the choice which customers have over their network connection artificially. And that’s nothing more than a bad joke, reminiscent of the times when Telstra set artificial ADSL speeds to 1.5Mbps — despite the fact that many customers could receive up to 8Mbps.


      • I’m not sure what point you are making. Isn’t it a free market and a level playing field? Can’t customers make their own choices and choose a service provider that suits their needs?

        If I’m looking at Telstra’s plans and they don’t tick the right boxes for my needs, I can move on and check out all the other ISPs and find one that suits.

        Struggling to see how that relates to the ADSL long-bow that you’re trying to draw.

        • Of course customers can choose. Unless of course they are under contract, then they can either pay the hefty penalty to go to another RSP or just go with the same NBN provider.

          Me thinks that is (or keeping customers contracted to current contracts) the Telstra ploy here.

          I’d suggest if/when the NBN is rolled out much further and most of Telstra’s existing customers are nearing the end of contracts and holding out in anticipation for the NBN, only then will Telstra’s plans start to drop significantly.

          After all, why would Telstra want their current customers on their own network, which they receive top dollar for, contracted to someone else’s (NBNCo’s) network.

          • I believe that by requiring people to move to a new pricing structure Telstra would actually be brreaking the plan so allowing anyone who signs up to the NBN will get a free pass to break out of their plan.
            I have been using mynetphone on Internode internets for the past year so I will be saving about $30 when the NBN comes to town while doubling my internets speeds and also increasing my download quota by 50% and that is by staying with my current ISP and not shopping around.

  6. No 12/1mbps plan. I’m not surprised… time to flush page 118 down the drain.

  7. a “Telstra full service fixed phone” (if that’s what they refer to) includes Homeline Budget, which is ‘only’ $22.95/mo. The definition of full service fixed phone is in the T&C for Bigpond plans, and is as follows:

    “your local and long distance calls on your Telstra fixed telephone service are directly billed by Telstra and that service is in the same name as your [internet] service”

    Homeline Budget fits that criteria. I know Telstra accept that, because that’s what I have, and I get the discounted pricing. :-)

    The reason they only quote “Homeline Plus” in their marketing is a sneaky way of getting people to pay $10 more per month than they really need to. We use VoIP for all outgoing calls at home, anyway, so the higher call rates on the Budget plan don’t bother us.

    • I am in the same boat.
      Paying $23 a month for a phone line I make no calls on because it is cheaper than going on a “naked” internet plan.

  8. The only sense I can find in this is that they’re offering unified high-cost plans to ease the revenue loss from PSTN and to recognise the high cost of maintaining their existing networks. They may be able to offer NBN-specific services much cheaper, but they’re not getting NBNCo revenue for migrations just yet, so they’ll keep a unified set of high prices.

  9. I’m just waiting for the media and opposition to run with this.

    Seriously, these plans are aweful and people will point at this and say “See! The prices are massive”. Even though there are pleanty of other ISPs that have much better value for money plans.

  10. Plans are not bad for what they are… $130 seems expensive but you get half a terrabyte and you also get with that unlimited Local, STD and Telstra Mobiles which is actually quite good…

    When you have a family and they all call Mobiles it is good having the price capped.

    I think the headline saying Telstra “expensive” plans is again passing off your personal opinion which you should not do unless this is an opinion piece…

    • Except they are expensive. Look at Optus:

      500GB naked for 79.99, with $10 off if you’re an optus mobile customer.


      500GB bundled for $109 which includes unlimited standard calls to fixed lines and mobiles. $21 cheaper for an almost identicle service.

      So unless you’re making a ton of STD calls, Telstra is still a rip off. These are also Optus prices, There will be even better value from the smaller players.

  11. Quite simply, I think going by these pricings, Telstra “do not” want people to transfer from their current Telstra contracts, which are obviously more lucrative to Telstra, to the NBN, until the very last minute/they absolutely have to.

  12. I could understand people signing up to get some of the exclusive media Telstra offer (like the AFL, NFL, etc contracts), but really at these prices you may as well just get Foxtel and get the same thing and sign up with iiNet/Optus/whoever else and get a much better deal on the internet connection

  13. The furphy is trying to “sell” us the idea that a “landline” is adding value to the bundle – but the fact is that more and more people don’t want or need a landline, we all have mobiles. Many people only have a landline today because their ADSL service requires it and Naked plans are not the moneysaver everyone had hoped for.

    If you remove the perception that a landline is worth anything these days then nearly ALL the ISP’s NBN plans are quite expensive and go against the principle of the NBN being for all Australians.

    • Interesting isn’t it. In one corner we have the coalition clowns telling us “wireless is the future” and then we have Telstra “forcing” people to use two fixed line solutions lol.

  14. Some people simply want the best. Life is too short to drink the house wine. A Holden is nice but a Bentley is nicer.

    • Please explain what Telstra are offering differently, to other RSP’s (as they are all basically NBN resellers) to reach this conclusion please, Sydneyla?

      It’s all good and well to throw the word Bentley in there and say there, but is that actually a Bentley or just an overpriced Excel?

    • “Some people simply want the best.”

      And some people want you to take their crap for daring to want the best, that’s Telstra for you. There’s always a catch. Now please defend them for my general amusement.

  15. I’d suspect telstra atm is going to be the only company to actually allow you to get a decent speed out of the country.

    ie NBN may be a 12 lane freeway around australia but when 96% of all internet traffic is from outside oz and the link in comparison is 2 tin cans and a piece of string.

    All this hype about 100Mb is just hype good luck pulling that sort of speed outside oz, when there will be millions of people on 100Mb to compete with.

    End result at this stage is most people are going to have slower internet from the NBN

    • I’d suspect telstra atm is going to be the only company to actually allow you to get a decent speed out of the country.

      I’d actually say Optus/iiNet/TPG are more than prepared for the NBN and would be up’ing international capacity as the NBN is rolled out and demand is increased (assuming it is increased).

  16. Telstra, most expensive plans with the worst Support

    I would not touch any of their plans with a ten foot barge pole, no matter what clever little Cons they include

    Sign a ontract for 24 months – Get real. Force a voice service – Whoa!

    I am sick of them, I can not even get one of their Countrywide staff to admit of a congestion issue at our local exchange (here in Central Qld) in total denial he was … shambles

    Yet other ISPs have proof of Telstra admitting they are at fault.

    We keep getting fobbed off and we do not know who to turn to … great telecommunications for our great country!! Bought to you by the Anti-Competitive king of all time – Yep Tel$tra

    Rant End

  17. You’re flogging a dead horse if you think your disparagement of Telstra will gel with the Australian public. All SP’s will not provide exactly the same level of service and I am sure the Australian giant, Telstra, will excel in every department and win the hearts and minds of the Australian consumer.

      • “invalid” is a kind response…I think the handle was trunkated from Sydneylalaland…

        Seriously…how do you make statements like “I am sure the Australian giant, Telstra, will excel in every department”, when it’s right there in black and white that they obviously are not?

    • >> Telstra, will excel in every department and win the hearts and minds of the Australian consumer

      Hey – Sydneyla, is your real name Wil Anderson ?

      Ha ! Ha !

      That’s a classic, Wil – always loved your stuff.

      • Hey Steve,

        People in glass houses shouldn’t laugh. While I’m far from a Telstra fan but what ISP sells “turbo packs” where you can upgrade from 1.5Mbit to ADSL2+
        What a marketing & price gouging con that is in this day and age where we should have the fastest speed possible by default, like all the other ISPs out there.

  18. That’s only one fools opinion Renai, lol. Lets give it twelve months and comment again shall we.

  19. And this is the company the coalition want to build their FTTN network for them? Yeh, I think I’ll be staying with my current ISP.

  20. And this is the company the coalition want to build their FTTN network for them? Yeh, I think I’ll be staying with my current ISP.

    • +1

      And all the NBN critics previously had the nerve to talk about the NBN prices being unaffordable.

  21. as a Telstra employee i’m ashamed to say i work for them,
    the iiNet is much better, 1TB a month download limit for $99 at 100/40, even if it syncs at 75mb, its still 15x faster than i currently pay for.

    • Forget sync rate/SNR/attenuation, etc, they are important under a ULL type delivery but not fiber..

      Under the NBN GPON system all connected customers will be fully capable of receiving a 100Mb (and possibly above) connection, the difference will be the PVC size (which is the speed you purchase) and the contention ratio on the SP network (which the SP manages).

      There is probably going to be little difference with the contention ratio between Telstra/Optus/iiNet/TPG, so really when push comes to shove you should pick whichever one offers the best deal and has the perks you want to suit your needs.

  22. What a joke. Exetel top tier plan for $70/mth + MyNetFone Whirlpool TurboSaver plan $12.95/mth. $83/mth. Nuff sed?

  23. I reckon Telstra are pulling the same stunt that they did a few years ago… relying on their technically challenged loyal customers to buy a dodgy product because they trusted Telstra.
    Remember the heavily advertised ADSL package with 256MB upload/download for $29.95 ?
    Most of their users didn’t have a clue what a megabyte was and many of them racked up monstrous bills until they had it explained to them. To late, most of them were stuck on a two year contract.

    No, I don’t trust Telstra and never will.

  24. My impression is that Telstra is significantly overvaluing their branding value…that can be quite dangerous for a company to do.

  25. Its ok, companies will vote with their feet. It will be a shame to see such huge private monopoly go the way of the Dodo… :-)

  26. Guys.. You are just forgetting the most important thing of all. They may have same connectivity from your home to isp server location. But from there on its different. what about international connectivity? Is it same for every isp? Obviously not.

      • Yes thats what I meant. So I still suspect cheaper isps will still suffer from speed congestion exactly like whats happening in mobile sector. Moreover, competitors will not have anone blame to.

  27. Well well well, we now have the Anti Telstra Brigrade complaining that Telstra is not being competitive enough. Hang about folks and hear the gnashing of teeth and tears of blood when within a year Telstra delivers competition so fierce as to have the Brigade running to the ACCC with claims that big bad Telstra is sending them to the wall. Friends you cant have it both ways, free open competition will deliver winners and losers.

    • Wow…just reading your post Mr Troll, I haven’t seen this much spin-without-substance in quite some time. Is it a natural talent or were you trained?
      Are you trying to say that someday, Telstra will actually be a competitor again?
      I’m sure that’s possible, and I do hope it’s true…but today isn’t that day.

  28. Telstra is pricing its NBN higher for one simple reason. It know the future is in 4G mobile and is happy to see its competitors tie themselves to a white elephant while they take all the billions they got from selling their copper network and upgrade mobile towers as fast as their little legs will carry them.

  29. Nah sorry not as sad and “pathetic” as some Telstra lover that defends them tooth and nail when its clearly they have been ripping the consumers off and deem it as acceptable behavior.

    And with the earlier Bentley remark Bentley would have a million times better customer service than Telstra for their consumers.

    Not shift all their work overseas because Telstra cannot be bothered sourcing out local jobs for this country.

    Telstra apologists really need to get out more..

  30. What I find hilarious is that the only use for mega bandwidth at the moment is to download illegal content.

    • That is not even slightly true.
      It just happens to be the most common reason for wanting it at the consumer level.

      But this will change as PaaS starts to become attractive because the bandwidth is cheap and plentiful, also as TV dies a long over due death.

    • Well Count, I can see that you are somewhat new to the internet and are letting the uneducated fill your head with nonsense. You should really spread your wings and see what’s actually out there!

  31. Hey there Sammy boy/girl. Just thought I would like to let you know that I am a sub contractor to be in the Telstra call centre in Brisbane. They don’t outsource all their em politeness to Manila

    • Interested, Do you ever do any residential customer calls? I’ve never spoken to an Australian while making calls to Telstra regarding residential services. I have however spoken to Australians when I’ve gone through the Telstra loop-de-loop (sometimes 4 trasfers or more) for business calls.

      To say they dont outsource all is correct, but it is also correct to say that they outsource most of the positions.

  32. Telstra is on the nose. Their plans are on the nose. Their old monopolies are on the nose.


    Telstra makes their money on mums and dads who are totally clueless about just how much they are being ripped off. They take loyal customers of 20 years and royally SHAFT THEM.

    Bend over Telstra now it’s your turn. GO NBN.

  33. I compared the plans in the graphics here with Internode plans and factored in the price of the phone service compared to Telstras equivalent phone plans and found that if you use a Telstra phone the plans are decent value.
    I use a My Netfone telephone for landline calls and my Vodafone plan for mobile calls so these plans would be expensive for me but if I did use a Telstra landline I would currently pay $90 a month for all of my landline calls then another $80 for my internet with Internode 250GB Reach plan qall up costing $170 meaning that $130 for 500GB and all of the phonecalls I can make would be much better value.

  34. What most people have completely lost sight of is that the Telstra NBN plans are on a par with the current Home Phone Bundles so I do not see any rip off or poor value for money as so many are claiming.

    I think there are far too many people getting pre-occupied with the technology and and the hype that a number of so called industry experts have been saying. Telstra is one of the few RSPs who offer the option of having fixed cost phone and internet services that actually work and work reliably.

    There are a lot of people who do not want surprises every month when the phone bill arrives and would simply prefer fixed monthly costs. Telstra offers a fixed cost option and everyone cries rip off. It is time that everyone grows up.

    Telstra has been very successful at offering home phone bundles and to people like me I find this very good value as I have a fixed charge and do not have to worry about how many calls I make and to where. The current NBN offerings from Telstra are simply an extention of what Telstra already has in the marketplace or has everyone conveniently forgotten about that.

    Call me a Telstra Troll if you will, but it is up to each peerson to look at their own situation to determine what they see is value to them, not some cheap and nasty headline price with all of the devil in the detail as is the case with some of the other offerings in the marketplace.

    • Telstra is one of the few RSPs who offer the option of having fixed cost phone and internet services that actually work and work reliably.

      Considering you’re dealing with a fixed delivery service that is barely in it’s initial rollout, and Telstra doesn’t have one customer on as yet, that’s quite a big call.

      Telstra offers a fixed cost option and everyone cries rip off. It is time that everyone grows up.

      So does Optus, so does iiNet …

      Call me a Telstra Troll if you will

      You’re a Telstra Troll, and I say this because you clearly haven’t taken the time to look at what any of the other RSPs are offering and are sticking the mantra of “It’s Telstra, therefore it must be the best”.

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