TPG claims best unlimited, Netflix ADSL plan


news Cut-rate broadband provider TPG last week claimed its new $69.99 Unlimited plan was the best value option in the ADSL broadband market, additionally claiming credit as the best provider in Australia for those looking to watch television online through the popular Netflix platform.

Last week the company revamped its broadband plan structure. The company now offers plans at $10 increments between $39.99 and $88, with additional options for bolting on voice telephony options. However, it’s the $69.99 Oz Chat bundle which the company said in a statement was the best on the market and a “game-changing bundle”.

The plan offers customers unlimited downloads and local, national, 13/1300 and calls to Australian mobiles, as well as including a fixed home phone line and a Wi-Fi ADSL modem, for the cost of $69.99 per month. Customers will additionally pay a $79.95 setup fee on a 24 month contract.

“In our view this is the best ADSL2+ with home phone bundle deal in the Australian market,” said TPG chief operating officer Craig Levy. “To our knowledge, there is no other provider that offers unlimited data with unlimited calls in Australia at this price point.

TPG was also keen to spruik its credentials as being a solid platform to watch the popular Netflix service on, which has been taken up rapidly in Australia since its launch earlier this year. The US company publishes an ISP Speed Index which ranks Australian broadband providers on their average download speed during the prime time viewing period.

For the months of May and June, TPG held the lead in the Netflix index, pipping rivals such as iiNet and Optus. Telstra has typically languished below other major broadband providers on the index.

“For two consecutive months, the Netflix speed index has rated TPG number one in Australia,” said Levy. “Our network architecture has allowed customers to benefit from the next generation of Internet applications such as Netflix, Facebook, Spotify and Instagram.” 

“It was just a few years ago that the typical Australian household was using their broadband for web and email access only, but now it’s a case of connecting multiple devices in a home to a fast connection with no data caps” Levy said.

Putting the claims to the test
On the face of it, TPG’s claims largely do match reality. Of the four major broadband providers in Australia (also including Telstra, Optus and iiNet), Optus is the only other provider to offer an unlimited download plan, and that plan starts at $95 per month, although it does also include similar unlimited telephone calls. iiNet and Telstra do not offer unlimited plans, and their highest-rating plans, with a terabyte of quota per month, start at $89.95 and $115 per month respectively.

A smaller provider, Dodo, does offer an unlimited plan at $69.80 per month, including ‘Metro’ calls and telephone line rentalm as well as offering no fee for new 24 month contracts. Calls to 13/1300 numbers are not included, however, and customers will be charged extra if they require an ADSL modem. Exetel also offers an unlimited data plan for $59 per month, but customers will need to pay $20 extra per month to get unlimited local, national and mobile calls

When it comes to Netflix, TPG’s claims are largely warranted — the company held the highest rating on Netflix’s speed ratings in Australia in April and May, but the company lost the title in June to iiNet — a fact TPG did not mention in its media release.

Another issue relates to the actual use which customers may get from telecommunications services in 2015. With the cost of mobile phone use increasingly coming down, many Australian customers actively choose to place all of their calls through their mobile phone and not through a traditional fixed-line.

Customers who do not need a fixed-line phone will not benefit strongly from the unlimited telephone call features in TPG’s plans. The company does offer an unlimited stand-alone ADSL plan without a phone, but that costs only $10 less per month — $59.99, which would appear to show that the telephone call feature may not actually cost TPG much to provide, or alternatively that the cost of its $59.99 stand-alone ADSL plan is inflated for customers.

There are also other factors to consider when choosing a broadband provider. There are quite a few different types of broadband out there at the moment — ranging from HFC cable from Telstra and Optus to Fibre to the Node in some locations through companies such as iiNet and even Fibre to the Premises through the growing NBN footprint in areas. ADSL broadband may not be the best broadband your residence may be able to access. In addition, amongst its rivals, TPG has a poor reputation for customer service, with others such as iiNet enjoying a stronger long-term reputation in the area. Telstra has also attempted to make gains in customer service in recent years.

Image credit: Netflix


  1. Really, TPG’s unlimited is only $5.00 more expensive than Amnet’s one when you add Amnet’s home phone.

    The TPG one likely only costs the 69.99 amount if you are connected to their hardware, doubt it would be for off-net plans too.

    The Amnet one on the other hand, it’s $50.00 for unlimited unless you are regional in which case you pay the additional regional fee (hate that, but it is what it is) and then it is a further 25 a month for the Home Phone plan.

    Though I guess the real part of it is that the TPG one is unlimited on all the calls where as the Amnet one charges you for mobile, national, regional, and a flagfall on 13 numbers, but they give you unlimited (no cost) on freecall, and local.

    Looking at the TPG one, I’m really surprised people are still paying contracts, I haven’t paid an internet contract for years, I always pay the set up fee that gets rid of the stupid thing.

    Still, it’s not a bad offering by TPG, that’s just assuming you are one of the lucky ones that have access to a TPG ADSL2+ enabled exchange.

    • TPG’s $69.99 plan does only apply to TPG enabled exchanges. I don’t know of many, if any, metro exchanges that haven’t been “upgraded” with TPG equipment, though I don’t doubt that there may be quite a few.

      Speed wise, TPG is quite good, with the occasional slowdown during peak hours (yes, I’m with TPG). Customer service wise, in the couple of times I’ve had to call TPG, I’ve got good service from them, though I may have just been very lucky and got connected to service personnel that know what they are doing.

      • I can’t remember whether my exchange counts as metro or not – it’s right on the border. The problem is that while it does have TPG equipment, the connection to my house is behind a pair gain system which ensures everything has to go through Telstra – yay! (not). That means that my options are either Telstra or Telstra Wholesale. Neither is especially cheap (for what it’s worth, I’m on a 100gb Internode Easy Reach plan, which I regularly go over the limit on, even though I do things like never watching YouTube, to conserve bandwidth). And my area isn’t even on the NBN rollout map. So, I’m stuck in the stone age for the foreseeable future.

  2. We have been with TPG for about 3 years and since the release of AU/NZ Netflix the internet here has been awful. Every evening it slows down to a crawl and even Netflix buffers like a crazy buffering thing.

    My guess is that it is backhaul from the exchange and probably affects more than just TPG customers. It just sucks to see them making these claims and not seeing the speeds we once had.

  3. TPG are prioritising traffic during congested periods, because they do not provision their network to eliminate contention like iiNet and Telstra. It appears that they’re probably doing some Netflix prioritisation to ensure that extremely time sensitive service gets delivered to most customers OK, but you can’t fix underlying poor network design with bandaids and trickery – TPG will have to seriously upgrade their network if they intend to maintain decent Netflix performance (but I expect they’ll simply keep trading on these previous high performance figures until customer dissatisfaction reaches breaking point – Vodafail, anyone?).

    • @UninvitedGuest all residential services are subject to contention regardless of carrier.

      Which specific aspect and area of TPG’s network is in such desperate need of an upgrade compared to the two carriers you’ve mentioned?

  4. TPG are nailing it for me on the ADSL2+ front, awesome speed for downloads, streaming, whatever I want, only draw back for netflix etc is my internal home network/wifi slowness :/ the have impressed me so much I’ve moved my mobiles to them. can’t wait till NBN is turned on soon.

  5. Both TPGs $59.99 plan and $69.99 plan include line rental which is the most important point. Not the ability to make a phonecall. Making the $59.99 plan more attractive for most. Both of these plans have been around years now, unchanged in any important way.

    Phonecalls have decades since simply been data just like any other through backhaul from any given exchange, not requiring much throughput at all compared to anything else.

    The cost of providing phone services is also negligible to a company of TPGs scale given all the backhaul they own. it’s long since just been VOIP for all providers regardless of what the customer sees. The cost for providing VOIP is only a single digit per customer and constantly dropping even from it’s already tiny amount.

  6. How many households actually require an unlimited data plan?
    Being fairly heavy internet users with multiple devices we chose Exetel’s $59.99/mth 25/5Mb/s, 500GB NBN Fixed Wireless plan, on metered Netflix & have yet to even come close to using 200GB/mth.
    We’ve also ditched our landline by porting the existing number & using a VOIP adapter connected to our router for a cheaper replacement home phone service with a different provider.
    We now have a far better & cheaper setup than we had on ADSL.

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