:) I'm trying to find an unlimited Broadband plan (like those offered by TPG or Dodo), and am searching for the best, most competitively-priced plan. I hear that Dodo are offering cheaper unlimited ADSL2+ plans like TPG, but that TPG's plan is still pretty much the best one around. Also, what's the difference between an ADSL2+ plan and a Naked ADSL2+ plan?? I have no idea what I'm doing... Thanks! Jessica
Actually, both TPG and Dodo offer exactly the same unlimited broadband plan if you're looking to get a home phone and internet bundle (which I presume you are, unless you already have a home phone with some other provider that you wish to keep it with – I'll address this more in a moment). By this I mean that both Dodo and TPG offer an Unlimited ADSL2+ and Home Phone Bundle plan for around $60 a month (TPG: $59.99 per month; Dodo: $59.80 per month; go with Dodo and have a massive saving of $4.56 over the twenty four month contract!), and that both plans will work equally well in your area.
When choosing an ADSL2+ plan, don't worry too much about who will offer you the better "internet service". Your speed and the reliability of your broadband connection depend upon two main factors: your distance from the telephone exchange and the quality of your copper line. Although there are other smaller factors that your providers can control (like the equipment they use at the exchange and the amount of people they connect on one group of lines), these two main factors are the ones that will, ultimately, decide the speed and strength of your connection, and your provider has no effect on them.
As a result, we recommend that you make your choice based on customer service and price. You might think that Dodo and TPG offer exactly the same price, and make the choice therefore arbitrary, but let's take a closer look at the details of the plan.
TPG's Unlimited Broadband Plan is $59.99 a month and available on either an 18 month contract or a 6 month contract. The 6 month contract has a set up fee of $99.99; the 18 month contract has a set up fee of $79.99. TPG doesn't include a free modem, which means that you can either supply your own (one that you already own, or one that you have purchased from a store) or purchase one from TPG – a WiFi modem is $110 including delivery. When you sign up, you pay the first month in advance, and a $20 home phone deposit that works like prepaid call credit – every time you make a call, the cost of the call will come out of this $20, and TPG will top it up via direct debit once you use it all; once you leave TPG, you'll get back whatever's left, whether this be the full $20 or, say, $5.50.
All of this means that your initial fees with TPG are going to be pretty expensive; you could be looking at as much as $290 when you set up. On the plus side, you get a flexible contract (six months is very short, and once it's over you go onto a month-by-month contract and don't need to pay any new set-up fees or renew the contract) and you won't have to pay any additional fees for the first six weeks of your connection because you've paid that first month in advance. Call us for more information about TPG or to sign up today on 1300 106 571.
Dodo's Unlimited Broadband Plan is $59.80 per month and is available on a 0 month, 12 month, or 24 month contract. The 24 month contract has no set-up fee and comes with a free modem; the 12 month contract has a $69.00 set up fee; the 0 month contract has a $99.00 set up fee. Depending upon what contract you settle on, you might end up paying for a connection fee and a modem, or you might get both of these for free.
The thing to take into consideration is just how long you're willing to go on a contract for. If you're uncertain about signing up for a long contract, whether because you don't like being locked into a provider that long or because you're worried you won't be at the same address in two years time, you'll probably want to go for a shorter contract. If you don't mind a long contract, by all means, go for the 24 month one and set-up fees will be much lower! However, don't decide to go for the 24 month contract and figure that you'll be able to wrangle your way out of it if worst comes to worst; providers take contracts seriously, and you could be facing paying the contract out if you aren't able to finish it. Call Dodo for more information or to sign up today on 1300 136 793.
In terms of customer service, TPG is usually rated higher than Dodo. However, Dodo have made great leaps and bounds in improving their customer service over the last year. It really depends upon just how big a concern that is to you, and how easily frustrated you are.
You also asked about Naked Broadband. Naked Broadband, or Naked ADSL2+, or Naked DSL, is all the same thing. What it means is an ADSL2+ broadband connection where the home phone connection is tied off. Pay attention to my phrasing here: it's not "broadband without the home phone", it's "broadband with the home phone made unavailable". Many people think that Naked DSL is a cheap way to get broadband if you don't want or don't use a home phone, and don't want to pay line rental as a result of that.
However, the copper line that brings you your home phone connection is the exact same line that brings you your broadband connection. That means that no matter what, you're going to be paying line rental, because you're getting your ADSL2+ service on it. When you get Naked DSL, providers don't call it line rental or label it as a separate charge, but the cost that they will be paying to Telstra Wholesale for the use of your line is still factored into the monthly fee that you will be paying.
Don't be fooled by plans you see marked as "ADSL2+ only", like Dodo's Unlimited ADSL2+ plan for $39.90. This doesn't mean Naked Broadband – it means ADSL2+ only, as in "I already have a home phone with somebody else, and I only want ADSL2+". You cannot get these plans if you don't already have a home phone connected.
Naked Broadband is usually exactly the same price or more expensive than getting a bundle plan (see TPG, where Unlimited Naked Broadband is $70 a month). In addition to this, connection fees are often much more expensive – usually around $130. A much better idea is simply to get an inexpensive bundle deal, like the ones I outlined above by TPG and Dodo, and if you don't want a home phone, simply don't plug one in. Then there's no way you can get charged for any calls!
I hope this helps, Jessica! If you have any further questions, feel free to call us on 1300 106 571.