Is the setup fee necessary when I am already setup?
I'm not entirely sure what context you mean, here. Do you mean that you already have a contract with a provider – let's take TPG, for example – and would like to change your plan? In that case, in most situations, no, you won't need to pay a set-up fee. However, if you're changing your plan radically – i.e., going from an ADSL2+ only plan to a bundle plan or vice versa, or downgrading from an unlimited plan to a 20GB plan – your provider might ask you to pay some fees involved in transferring or changing a service.
Similarly, if you mean that you're moving house and want to take your current connection with you, again, your provider usually won't make you pay a set-up fee. However, if we take TPG as an example again, they may make you pay a relocation fee around $80, and then being able to relocate it is contingent on the provider being able to offer the same plan in your new area. (If not, and if you are still on a contract, you may be asked to pay an exit fee, or to pay out the contract in full. Be wary of that when choosing a contract, take into consideration how long the contract is so that you can leave it easily if you need to move.)
However, if you are wondering whether the connection fee is necessary when you are connected to one provider and want to switch to another then, simply put: yes, it is. You might think that because your house is already connected to the internet, it should be a simple enough job to connect your house to a different provider. Wrong!
First and foremost when it comes to connection fees, setting up is not a simple process. It's not like an electronic push of the button; someone has to go out to the telephone exchange, find your connection, and change it over. All of this involves work, and often a provider will then send someone around to your house to check that everything has worked up oaky. So there is an actual Real Life Human Being TM who is connecting you to the telephone exchange, and that Real Life Human Being TM has to be paid, and they have to have the equipment to do the job they're doing, and the telephone exchange has to be open for them to do this. Also, it has to be the right telephone exchange, the one that you're connected to! Your provider can't simply saunter to a telephone exchange across the street from them, no matter how much easier that would be.
Click here for a more detailed guide to how and why we pay the connection fees we do when signing up to a provider.
If you're looking to avoid connection fees, you could call one of the following providers, who are more often able to waive them (though frequently in exchange for longer contracts).
Dodo: 1300 136 793
Optus: 1300 137 897
MyNetFone: 1300 106 571
I hope this helps! If you have any further questions feel free to give us a call on 1300 106 571.