Hello, My daughter is studying at Murdoch university in Perth.
She has a Telstra mobile connection with her iphone. She has been living in Perth for more than 6 months. We have bought an apartment in Cockburn Central for her to live in. What options are there for high speed internet connection in her apartment and then she would bundle a mobile connection for her iphone to receive internet and texts etc. Does she have to use cable modem? Would a new apartment be all set up for this connection? How much and how long are the contracts. Thanks,Beth
You have a couple of different options here, particularly in terms of what you want to do with your daughter's phone and her internet together. First off we'll talk the basics: for a high-speed, reliable internet connection, you'll want to get a fixed line connection, which means either ADSL2+ or cable broadband.
Out of the two, cable broadband will be the fastest kind of connection you can get, with high speed optic fibre running the connection into your daughter's apartment. Cable is more expensive than ADSL2+, but you are paying for a much faster connection; if that's what you value above and beyond anything else, you should definitely look into it.
Only Optus and Telstra supply cable in Australia. Check out the best cable plans here, or call Optus on 1300 137 897.
The problem with cable is that it's fairly restricted in the areas that it's available in. Approximately 10 per cent of Australian homes can get cable, and though the chances are higher when you're in a capital city like Perth, it's by no means guaranteed that you'll be able to get a cable connection. (Although if a cable connection is available at that apartment, then, yes, you will have to purchase a cable modem. Some providers supply one for free – I'd talk to Optus, if I were you.)
If it turns out cable is not available in her area, you could almost certainly fall back on ADSL2+. ADSL2+ is a broadband connection that runs through the copper line that also carries a telephone connection (which is why it's cheaper to get a bundle plan than Naked Broadband, even if your daughter isn't planning on using a landline phone – click here to read more about Naked ADSL). The speed of ADSL2+ depends upon your distance from the telephone exchange and the quality of your copper line, but is generally more than adequate, especially when you're in a metropolitan area.
You asked whether or not the new apartment will be set up for the connection. If you mean "new" as in "just been built", there is a chance that a telephone line has not yet been installed, and in that case, ADSL2+ cannot be connected. You can pay to get that line installed, but it's usually a $300 fee. (There is also the chance that the line has not yet been installed even if the apartment isn't newly built, but it's much lower.) The giveaway will be whether or not the apartment has telephone jacks in the walls; if there are those little ports there, your daughter should be fine to get ADSL2+ installed. If not, talk to the building manager or real estate agent who sold the apartment to you, or call the Telstra Home Phone Connection Service to find out if there is a line going in.
If there is a line, there are a great range of plans available with all sorts of contracts, between 0 months from providers like Club Telco (1300 106 571) and Internode (1300 106 571), to 6 months with TPG (1300 106 571), to 24 months with providers like Optus (1300 137 897) and Dodo (1300 136 793).
When you're choosing between contract lengths, keep the following in mind: the longer the contract, the more likely you'll get some swag with it – like free connection and a free modem. If you want more control over a contract, like a 0 month plan or a 6 month plan, that's fine and it will give you a lot more control over the plan (i.e. if the connection turns out to be less than great, the customer service inadequate, or if your daughter has to move for whatever reason), but you're going to have to pay around $100 for a modem and potentially that much again for connection.
And the shorter the contract is, the more expensive your connection fee will be, as the provider is not guaranteed that you're going to be sticking around as a customer – sometimes it can be around $130, although Club Telco are an interesting alternative in that rather than a connection fee, they will charge you an annual membership fee of $50. If that doesn't appeal, TPG are a good choice in terms of reasonably high set up, but very inexpensive on a month to month basis.
In terms of the mobile: most of those providers I listed will be able to give your daughter a mobile plan in conjunction with those internet and phone bundles. Ask them about the prices and how good the coverage is in your area, and if it doesn't seem suitable, you could always just keep the mobile separately with Telstra. I wouldn't recommend going through Telstra for your daughter's fixed line broadband connection as the first option, as they are generally quite expensive without being able to offer a better connection.
I hope this helps! If you have any further questions, please feel free to give us a call on 1300 106 571.