Hi, may I know what is the meaning of broadband off-net?
Is it a wireless broadband device that I can bring everywhere, or I need to connect it via ADSL port? Thank you, Bryan.
Off-net is a normal ADSL connection that can be either ADSL1 or ADSL2+. The speed and reliability of the connection is generally the same as your standard ADSL1 or ADSL2+ connection – the real difference is the price.
Click here for a guide to the best off-net providers.
Basically, a provider offers you off-net broadband when they don't have any of their own equipment or network at your exchange. As a result, they rent the equipment and network off another provider – almost always Telstra Wholesale. Because they're paying these rental fees along with the usual costs of providing a broadband connection, you're going to be paying more than you normally would for a standard ADSL2+ connection – usually, quite a bit more. If you can only get off-net ADSL2+, you're going to be looking at a minimum of $60 per month.
In the way it works in your home, though, off-net broadband is essentially the same. You'll need to have a phone line that comes into your property (whether or not it's connected isn't a huge deal, although keep in mind that some providers do not offer bundles or Naked Broadband through their off-net plans, which means you might have to get a phone through Telstra and then your internet through someone else, bringing your monthly bill up by as much as $30). You'll also need a modem – if you get a WiFi modem, either through your provider or from an electronics store, you'll be able to broadcast your internet through your house so that you can use it on multiple devices (such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.) in multiple rooms.
Off-net broadband is not a mobile wireless connection, and so it is not portable. If you are interested in mobile broadband instead, click here for the best mobile broadband plans.
When it comes to choosing a broadband plan, off-net shouldn't be your first choice. However, if you find yourself choosing between off-net and an expensive provider like BigPond, you might find that off-net is actually a cheaper option. What I'd recommend is that you call one of the following providers, all of who have a large network of their own (meaning that they should be able to get you a standard broadband connection) and/or have good value off-net plans.
Optus: 1300 137 897 (Optus does not currently offer off-net broadband, and are unlikely to do so in the future, especially with the NBN coming in the next ten years to give them an alternative to Telstra Wholesale for connections outside of their own network. However, they currently have one of Australia's largest networks and are a good chance for finding a good broadband connection.)
TPG: 1300 106 571 (With a large network and reasonably inexpensive off-net plans, TPG are a good choice for a broadband provider, particularly with their attractive 6 month plans – great if you might be getting the NBN in your area soon. However, TPG don't do bundle plans for their off-net services, meaning you'd have to get your phone from someone like Telstra, which could bring your monthly price up to something like $90.)
Dodo: 1300 136 793 (Dodo doesn't have a large network, meaning that they already use cheap wholesale connections from Optus or Telstra, and they can also provide great connections for heavy users, with unlimited plans. A good off-net option.)
Internode: 1300 106 571 (Internode has a large reach, but they also offer full bundles on their off-net plans – they call them 'Reach' plans – and can give you a 0-month contract. Another great off-net option, particularly for a lighter user who feels contract-shy.)
I hope this helps clear up your confusion, Bryan! Give us a call on 1300 106 571 if you have any further questions.