Hi, I'm possibly moving into a new area and I'm wanting to hopefully get ADSL2 and home phone, not concerned if it's VoIP or not, I'm hoping for a wireless modem.
I've previously had VoIP and had issues with the phone they provided, so am hoping to use my normal phone instead. I want at less 50GB limit. If you recquire any further information, please just ask. I'm going mental looking at all these deals and not liking some of the fine print. Thank you, Tamara
We can certinly feel your pain, both in regards to the fine print and how confusing these plans can be altogether! Let's see if we can clarify a few things.
By "not concerned if it's VoIP or not" I'm assuming you're referring to the fact that many cheap bundles offer a service that is not switched via a normal Public Switch Telephone Network connection. That's a fair call, but it overlooks some key points about how an ADSL2+ connection is provisioned in the first place. So let's see if we can't make this all a bit simpler.
1. You need to know which providers service your exchange. You can call us for this on 1300 106 571. There are 4 providers who have their own large interstate networks that directly offer a connection to the internet: Telstra, TPG, Optus and iiNet (including Internode). Primus is the 5th, though they're about half the size of TPG and iiNet. All other providers lease a connection from one of these providers - mostly Telstra and Optus. For providers like Dodo and Spintel, you might notice two sets of plans, with all sorts of conditions like "Regional"and 'Metro" and the like. In a nutshell, for resellers like Dodo, 'Regional'requires leasing a Telstra Wholesale port, which is expensive, while in 'Metro'areas they can lease an Optus Wholesale port, which is much cheaper.
2. Assuming you're moving to an area with several providers to choose from, you have two things to pay for and three ways to to do it. You need to pay for Line Rental, which is about $30. This provides the connection between your home and the exchange, a connection owned by Telstra. Note- this $30 doesn't pay for the home phone service, strictly speaking. It pays for what it says on the tin - Line Rental. It pays for monthly access to a line that can carry internet or phone (or both). You're provided with a phone voice service because it costs Telstra very little to provide it, and they would prefer you used it. You don't have to use it, of course.
The second thing you pay for is your internet plan. If it seems confusing that internet plans are usually advertised WITHOUT the line rental charge, then don't be surprised. It's a marriage of reality and good marketing. Service Providers have to separate these two charges, so why not advertise the low price, if it's legally 'correct'?
But to get back to the point - You can opt to pay Telstra directly for line rental, and then get your internet from someone else. But then you're paying full, unbundled prices to both companies. If you bundle, you get a discount. For example:
TPG Unbundled ADSL2+ Unlimited - $60
Telstra Homeline Economy - $31.95
when bundled with TPG:
TPG Bundled Unlimited ADSL2 - $30
TPG Bundled Line Rental - $30
So with the bundle, you pay less overall for these two related costs. Most of that $30 line rental goes to Telstra (to be exact, $24.50 of it) but TPG discount the overall package because a) they still make $5.50 a month off you and b) you may use that phone to make calls, which they earn some cash off as well. The same principle applies to most providers. If, like Dodo, they're advertising '$39.90 Unlimited with no Bundling Required!'all they're saying is that the price remains $39.90 regardless of whether you go with Telstra directly for the line rental, or with them. It DOES NOT mean you don't have to pay line rental altogether.
As for Naked DSL...that's a whole different ballgame. Long story short - it's not cheaper. It's usually more expensive.
3. Regarding fine print - some fine print is, indeed, intended to slip in conditions that were they explicit, would probably cause you to reconsider (this is pretty common with mobile broadband plans). But some fine print is fine because the companies have had to squeeze out everything redundant to what their customers generally want, and they're obliged to let you know about those exclusions somewhere. With margins so slim and competition so fierce, you can bet that these combinations of exclusions can get very, very fiddly indeed. Here's some common ones:
- Direct Debit Only. This allows the company to avoid paying for credit management teams and debt recovery teams. It also allows companies to avoid performing credit checks, which eliminate many otherwise valuable customers and have their own costs attached.
- Steep signup fees. The per unit cost of connecting your line for service is $60, across the board (this is the part done by Telstra, at the pillar in your street). The average per unit cost for connecting your line inside the exchange to your chosen providers network also comes to about $60, give or take. Some companies subsidize this fee through long contracts and higher monthly fees. Lower cost providers use cheaper monthly fees and smaller contracts to bring in customers, but this means charging for connection upfront.
- Modem fees. Same as above - modems aren't free for service providers, and they can only afford to give them away for 'free' if you're paying more per month or committed for a longer time. Also, ADSL2+ has been around for over ten years- it's not unreasonable for most service providers to expect that many customers already have a modem from another connection.
- No fax or other complex services. Telstra provides several different tiers of landline connection. The more you pay, the more services are available. The most popular 'full suite' Telstra services include Faxstream Duet (which allows a unique fax number over the same line as your phone service), Back to Base alarm functionality, battery backup (so the phone stays active in a mains power outage) and Priority Assist, which is useful for older or incapacitated customers who may require 000 at the push of a button. Since many customers don't require these services at all, most service providers go for the very cheapest Telstra landline connection, which doesn't even include a fully switched telephone connection, let alone the other services. In this instance, calls are handled with carrier-grade Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which is something you alluded to in your original question. But in this scenario, the VoIP is handled at the exchange end, so you should be able to use your regular handset all the same.
- No Customer Service Guarantee. All Telstra lines are subject to a bit of legislation called the Customer Service Guarantee (CSG). This demands that customers paying for a full Telstra landline connection must be compensated for downtime. So a simple way of looking at this is:
Average line rental - $30 per month, or about $1 per day
Critical line fault average downtime - 3 days
Rebate as per CSG guidelines - $3.
There are some other bits and pieces of the CSG, but this is the main bit relevant to customers. Most service providers take that basic landline connection, which is not subject to the CSG. If you have a critical line fault (which is very rare) and it takes 3 days to repair, you can't claim back that dollar-per-day rebate.
This is us providing as simple and straightforward an explanation as we can - and that takes over 1000 words! Don't be concerned if it seems confusing - it IS confusing. We try our best to make sense of it.
As a shortcut - here's a quick, plain english breakdown of our recommended providers and their attributes, for that 50GB mark you mentioned.
TPG (1300 106 571) - $50, best if you don't need the home phone. Competent, if not fantastic customer service. Short contracts.
Internode (1300 106 571) - $70 a month, great call rates and top-notch service and support. Need to pay 2 months upfront, no contracts.Excellent VoIP service.
iPrimus (1300 137 794) $50 - free calls can be bundled in.
Dodo (1300 136 793)- $49.80, modem included.
I hope this helps and isn't TOO much information - give us a call if you need further help :D
Adam at CompareBroadband
1300 106 571