Hi Adam, I'm currently living in the NT in the Bellamack suburb.
I'm a gaming enthusiast and want a reliable internet connection at home. My problem is this. I am not in long term accommodation so I cannot tie in to a 12month or even a 6 month contract. I'm living in my sisters house and I do not want them stuck with an ongoing bill once I leave. They do not have line rental at their property, or wish to once I leave. I'm currently using telstras wireless NextG dongle, which is both expensive ($150 for only 10GB!) and fairly unreliable. What do you suggest as a good option for me? Thanks, Welwyn
I have a possible solution, but you're just going to have to accept that this is going to cost you more than some of the deals you've seen advertised here and there. You're in a lightly populated area, making it harder for most service providers to service you. You're asking for a connection with no guarantee you'll see it through for even six months, which is the point at which most service providers start making money on your connection. And the rest of your conditions limit your options for service.
With that in mind, let's begin - mobile broadband won't work for what you want. Not enough data, and latency (the amount of time it takes for a command from your computer to be responded to by the server) stinks on any mobile broadband connection, no matter how fast the underlying throughput is (throughput being the "megabytes-per-second" equation). So the reason your current NextG dongle is 'fairly unreliable' is because of the laws of physics. Nobody, not even the all-powerful internet, can beat physics. Even the Universe bends to the laws of physics (that's a physics joke).
The alternative is ADSL2+, and that's it. And that means line rental. Telstra provides the copper line to your house, so if you want it electrified and flowing with current to allow an internet signal to pass over it, then you have to pay them for that. So that's that.
Note: I didn't say anything about a home phone service. I said 'line rental'. That's what you pay for - for the line to be active. Don't want to use the phone service? Fine! Don't plug a handset in.
At the exchange, where that line leads to, you do luckily have one alternative to Telstra to choose from. That alternative is Internode (part of iiNet), whom we're a dealer for. They're the only company who have extended their network to the Palmerston exchange, which as far as I can tell, is the exchange you're connected to (hint: when asking for assistance, a full address helps us more accurately assist you, because we can check exactly which exchange you're connected to, which providers connect to it, and can estimate your line speed based on the distance to the exchange. We remove it when posting your enquiry to the site).
Luckily, Internode is totes awesome. Besides having locally based technical support and customer service, they also have the very highest customer satisfaction ratings, year on year. Their founder, Simon Hackett, interacts directly with customers on sites like Whirlpool, a general forum on broadband service in Australia. Internode also recognize that some people, like yourself, need to have the option of not having a contract.
Now I would recommend Internode even if they weren't directly serving Palmerston, because even when they're leasing a port off Telstra (what they call their Reach Plans), their contract terms and superior customer service would make them the best choice. But they DO directly service Palmerston, so you're in luck.
Internode's 200GB Easy Broadband package is $79.90, and that price includes the line rental (Internode handle that part - you don't have to deal with Telstra directly). It comes with a phone service, but only because that's how it has to happen - you don't have to use it, and your sister is welcome to disconnect it when you leave. You don't even have to pay the phone service any mind; you can plug just the modem in and enjoy your high speed connection).
Because you're not taking a long contract, you're not going to get any freebies. Connection will cost you $129, and you'll also have to pay for your first 2 months up front. A good quality modem from Internode, complete with Wi-Fi built in (so you can share the connection around the house wirelessly), will set you back $120. And all these costs have to be paid upfront, with a credit card or via BPay, before they'll connect you. And it can take up to 10 working days to get connected.
So yes, up front, you're looking at paying about $410 before you get connected. BUT...no bills for two months, no contract, you'll own your modem, and you'll get 200GB to play with every month. No peak or off-peak splits.
You do have alternatives. Telstra's one, but they only offer 24 month contracts, so let's ignore that. Dodo is the only real alternative, and their number is 1300 136 793. Their advertised plans, once again, will likely not be available. For Palmerston, their service qualification shows that they will only offer ADSL 1, which is about one third the speed of ADSL2+. An unlimited data plan is $88.90 a month, including line rental. No contract, connection fee is $99. It can take 2 to 4 weeks to be connected. Service and support is based offshore (but has been improving). You will be provided with a free modem, with no Wi-Fi router built in.
I can assure you, Your options won't get much different than this. Simply put, Everyone except Internode will be leasing a port from Telstra out there (or, possibly from Internode!). So everyone will have some combination of these charges, or will require a much longer contract. With Internode, you at least can be confident it will work. Call us for more information or to sign up with Internode.
Adam at CompareBroadband
1300 106 571