• Which discounts pensioners can apply for
  • How to get the cheapest broadband plan
  • Save on landline costs

At Compare Broadband, we're often asked about pensioner discounts for broadband plans.  Although concessions are available on most services for pensioners, there are no discounts available on broadband plans. However, there are a few ways to get the best value for money on an internet connection.

Telstra home phone pensioner discount

Telstra offers a pensioner discount on the home phone service, a minimum of $3 and up to a maximum of $12.25 from your bill a month. There is also a discount on any phone calls you make. If you need to get your phone line connected, there is a discount on connection charges.

If you have a landline and want to take advantage of this discount, Telstra will want your customer reference number for Centrelink or the Department of Veterans' Affairs, plus your name, date of birth and postcode. This discount will not be automatically applied, so if you are eligible but not receiving a discount, give Telstra a call.

Option #1: ADSL2+ broadband with Telstra home phone

If you are taking advantage of the Telstra discount and your line rental is around $25 a month, you can add a cheap ADSL2+ broadband plan on top of your landline.

ADSL2+ is broadband over your phone line. Unlike dial-up, it will not interfere with calls you make on the landline. If you want a wireless connection through your home, this is easily achieved by buying a WiFi modem. It's best suited for people who need 10GB of data or more, or people who want a reliable connection without drop-outs and interruptions.

As in any other industry, competition drives the price of broadband. As competition between broadband providers is stronger in some areas of Australia, so prices in these places tend to be lower than in the towns where fewer providers have set themselves up at the telephone exchange.

Understanding your situation is the first step to getting the cheapest broadband plan, and you will only find out by calling a broadband provider or Compare Broadband.

If you live in what is considered a metro area, you will have plenty of choice and plenty of cheap plans. If you don't live in a metro area, prices are going to be higher and you won't have as much choice.

For example, Dodo offers 5GB a month for $19.90 (split 2.5GB in the peak time, which is the day and evening, 2.5GB in the off peak). Call Dodo on 1300 136 793 for more details on this plan.

In some areas, Club Telco offers a $25 unlimited ADSL2+ plan. Unlimited data may seem a bit much but this is amazing value for money and you never need to worry about being charged for going over your allowance. Call Club Telco on 1300 138 155 to see if this is available in your area.

Option #2: Dump Telstra

You may find it works out cheaper to bundle both your landline and broadband plan with one provider.

Broadband providers may not offer much in the way of pensioner discounts but they do reward customers who take more than one service at a time.

For example, TPG offers a 20GB plan plus a home phone service (split 10GB in the peak times, 10GB in the off peak times) for $39.99 a month. This is better value than the cheapest unbundled ADSL2+ plan with a Telstra home phone service, even taking into account the pensioner discount.

Call us on 1300 106 571 for more details on this plan.

Option #3: Dump the landline altogether and go for Mobile Broadband

Mobile Broadband is not conveyed through a telephone line and therefore there is no need to pay for a home phone service. Although you will be paying more per GB, light users will save money overall.

Some people love Mobile Broadband for its convenience, cheap and easy set-up and no line rental.

But others have no end of frustration, experiencing constant drop outs, interruptions to their service and slow speeds. These problems drive many to seek an ADSL2+ service, even if it is more expensive.

If you have never tried Mobile Broadband before, go for a no contract or prepaid plan to test the waters.

For example, Amaysim offers 1GB of data for $9.90, which lasts for 30 days. If you are happy with the service, you can also get 10GB of data for $99, which lasts for 365 days. While this may seem pricey compared to some of the ADSL2+ plans mentioned earlier, bear in mind there is no line rental to pay and if you are only a light user, it will cost just $8.25 a month. When you run out of data, it's easy to top up. You can call Amaysim on 1300 106 571.

Choosing the right plan

It's not always straightforward with broadband in Australia. Prices and service vary drastically depending on location. The Government is taking steps to improve the infrastructure through the NBN but this service is still in its early stages. In the meantime, consumers have to battle through the system themselves to get the best deal. If you are still unsure which plan best suits your needs, give us a call on 1300 106 571 and we'll do our best to help.