Do I have to stay with Telstra for my phone service?

  • Telstra still provides most wholesale
  • Bundles vs Standalone plans
  • Optus also runs some infrastructure

When people are searching for a new ADSL broadband internet connection, a lot of different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will have a service in your location. Many people call us up at Compare Broadband and ask whether or not they will have to keep their landline phone rental with Telstra if they sign up with a new service provider. The quick answer is “No”.

Search for the best home phone and broadband bundles

Telstra infrastructure:


There is a big difference between having your phone with Telstra and having Telstra infrastructure running into your home. What you need to be aware of is the majority of ADSL broadband providers use the Telstra copper phone lines to deliver their service to you.
 
If you want to get a home phone bundle with internet and landline rental through the single provider, the ISP can offer you both services via this Telstra-owned line. So, you do not have to rent your phone through Telstra.

Most homes in Australia that have phone jacks in the wall already have Telstra lines connected to their home. The main broadband provider who doesn’t use these lines is Optus, who often uses its own network.

Whatever speed ADSL Telstra BigPond provides you with will be the same with other ISPs, as this is determined by how far away you live from your local phone exchange, and the quality of your copper phone line in the ground.

Bundles vs. stand-alone ADSL broadband:

Much of the confusion around Telstra phone lines and phone line rentals stems around the different ways in which you can set-up your ADSL internet. If you go for a bundle, it means you get your phone line rental and ADSL broadband through a single provider, and thus receive only one bill per month.

If you go for stand-alone ADSL broadband, this means your telephone line provider and broadband provider are two different companies. For example, you can have your phone with Telstra and your broadband with TPG. In this case of course you would receive two separate bills each month.

However, you don’t have to have the phone line rental with Telstra when you go for a stand-alone connection. You can go for any phone company, as long as they are using the Telstra network. For example, you could get your phone line through Club Telco, but your ADSL through Dodo.

Best broadband plans without bundling:

Dodo 1300 136 793
Club Telco unlimited plan
1300 138 155

Optus infrastructure:

When Optus becomes involved in the equation things can get even more complex. If Optus is your phone provider you’ll need to find out if they are using their own Optus lines, or if they are renting Telstra infrastructure, as they do in numerous locations.

If Optus is using Telstra lines you could keep your phone with them, and then choose from all of the ISPs that use the Telstra network. However, if your Optus phone is on an Optus line, some companies will be able to change the whole bundle over to their service (E.G. TPG), while others will need you to change your phone line to Telstra before they can offer an ADSL connection.

The sole reason some ex-Optus customers are forced to do this is so they don’t lose their current phone number.

As far as we are aware the only time you have to set-up a Telstra landline phone is in a brand new property that has never had an active phone number. It’ll cost you $300 if you want to leave straight away and go for a bundle with a different ISP, or $60 if you stay for 3 months (3 months x $30 a month = $90), so a total of $150. The other option is to pay a $60 connection fee plus $30 for one month line rental and then a $100 disconnection fee for leaving to another provider, thus $190.

If you’ve had an active phone number before, you should be able to set up a bundle from an inactive line without dealing with Telstra at all.