Hi, I'm looking for a cable internet provider in Melbourne, the cable provider is Foxtel, so does that mean my only option is Telstra?
Or, are there other options, because I am looking for a 6-month contract and Telstra doesn't have one?
There are two main cable broadband providers in Australia, being Telstra BigPond and Optus. If Telstra BigPond is not an option for you, Optus (1300 137 897) does have a professional relationship with Foxtel as well.
However, it looks as though Optus cable broadband plans are also on longer 24-month contracts. If you really need a 6-month contract, your best bet will be to get Foxtel via a cable, but get your broadband internet on an ADSL2+ connection, which runs through your phone line.
ADSL2+ runs at similar speeds to coaxial cable broadband, but as there is much hotter competition in the ADSL2+ market, it's a cheaper option, as well as having numerous different contract lengths available to suit the needs of different people.
The main question for you is whether or not you'd like to bundle your phone line with the ADSL2+ connection, or if you'd like to keep your landline with the current provider (presumably Telstra). If you take the latter option you will need to use a phone provider who uses the Telstra network, as nearly all ADSL broadband providers (bar Optus) use Telstra infrastructure. Getting a bundle usually reduces your overall monthly expense.
Also important to think about is how much data you need. Here are a few good ADSL2+ plans on 6-month or month-to-month contracts that may be suitable for you:
TPG has an ADSL2+ bundle plan with 100GB (30GB in peak time, 70GB in off-peak) for $19.99 plus $30 for the phone line rental per month, on a six-month contract. As it's a short contract the set-up cost is $129.95. Phone calls are charged on top of the monthly broadband quota and landline rental. When you reach your monthly quota the speed is shaped to 256kbps.
Some companies have month-to-month contracts on ADSL2+ plans, but beware, as there can be cancellation fees if you leave before six months have passed. As you desire a 6-month contract, this shouldn't be an issue for you.
iiNet (1300 106 571) has an ADSL2+ bundle with 20GB (split 10GB in peak and 10GB in off-peak) for $29.95 per month, plus landline rental. Landline rental costs $29.95 for 20 cent calls, or $31.95 for 17 cent calls.
If you get a VoIP-enabled modem you can also pay $9.95 for unlimited local and national calls on iiNet's Netphone service. Set-up is charged at $79.95, and your speed is shaped to 256kbps if you reach your monthly data limit.
If you just want a stand-alone ADSL2+ plan (keeping your phone with the current provider, bar Optus), here is a good option you can go for:
Westnet (1300 768 134) has a stand-alone ADSL2+ plan for $39.95 with 20GB (split 10GB in peak and 10GB in off-peak). Set-up costs $79.95 on the month-to-month contract, and your speed is shaped to 256kbps when you reach your monthly quota. Uploads are free on all Westnet plans, and its customer service is ranked highly amongst Australian providers.