Costs of getting ADSL broadband

Signing up to a new standalone ADSL broadband plan is still a new experience for many people. Since mobile phone plans were first released, we’ve heard countless stories of consumers being stung with high additional fees they were not initially aware of, not to mention the small additional fees we sometimes notice on our bill each month.

Broadband plans are generally more straightforward than mobile phone plans. However, below we have compiled a list of every possible extra fee a customer may be charged on their broadband plan, so that when you’re choosing a new plan you can be sure to ask the right questions, and know exactly what you’re signing up for. Keep in mind, while we have done our best to include every possible cost, there may be certain charges that may be specific to your area, plan or provider.

Monthly access charge

This is the cost which most people are concerned with when choosing a new broadband plan. The monthly access charge should not change for the duration of your contract, and it’s what most people use to compare the different plans which are available.

Installation costs

This charge is also known as a setup fee, installation cost, or line activation charge. This amount is based on the assumption that the property already has the infrastructure to support an ADSL connection, and the telephone wiring which is used to provide a broadband connection is in a satisfactory condition. Many providers will also waive or discount this amount if you churn over from another service provider.

Modem cost

The modem cost is not always included in the setup fee. Some providers, such as Netspace, will subsidise the cost of the modem if you sign up for a longer contract period. The modem cost will also depend on the type of modem which you purchase. The most popular choice is between a 1-port, 4-port or wireless modem.

Modem delivery fee


The modem delivery fee usually ranges from $10-$15. Some providers offer a pickup option if you’re nearby.

Surcharge for using certain credit cards (or for paying with any credit card)

These fees may apply even if you are paying with a credit card via direct debit. While the fees shouldn’t be too dramatic, the extra cost each month can add up.

Customers may wish to change their payment option to debit automatically from a bank account if they wish to avoid these fees.

Excess download charges

This penalty fee for exceeding your monthly download limit appears to be going out of fashion with most providers, with many opting to penalise customers with a slower download speed instead. However, make sure you check with your plan provider to find out if there is a charge, and if there is, how much this will be.

Relocating your broadband plan to a new property

Some providers allow customers to move their current plan to a new property if they are within contract. There will almost always be a cost involved to do this, and the charge usually ranges from $40-$150, depending on which plan or provider you are signed up to. You will also need to ensure that your current plan is available at the new property. If you think there is a high chance you will need to relocate in six months, it may be best to pay the higher setup fee and go for a shorter contract.

Changing plans inside (or outside) your contract


The costs involved with changing plans will depend on which provider you are with. The general rule is that there is no cost to move up to a higher broadband plan, but there may be a cost for decreasing your spend each month. That’s why we always recommend starting on a lower plan if you are not sure what your usage will be like.

Cancelling your contract

Just like mobile phone plans, early termination charges will be applied if you cancel your contract early. Some providers such as Exetel will only charge $100 if you cancel an ADSL plan, while other providers require you to pay out the cost of your plan up to a certain amount. Cancellation fees can be pretty expensive, so it’s always worth confirming the charge when you sign up to a new plan.