Are you on the right broadband plan?

  • 15GB average
  • YouTube, IPTC and Skype use a lot of data
  • TPG, Dodo and others offering big plans

Around 40% of Australian broadband users should consider upgrading their plan, according to a poll looking at monthly usage habits.

Compare Broadband asked site visitors, "How much of your data quota do you use each month?" The biggest response was 'all of it', with 38.5%, or 172 out of 447 voters.

Around three quarters of allocated data was the second most popular option, with 19.5% of votes, while 13.4% of people use about half their quota. 16.6% use a quarter of their data, and just 12% didn't know, which suggests Australian households keep a close eye on their data usage.

Internet activity in Australia is increasing every year, as data-hungry applications like YouTube, internet TV and video calling become more widely used, and as ADSL2+ becomes available in more areas.

According to figures from the Australian Communications and Media Authority in December 2010, there were nearly 10.4 million active internet subscribers in Australia using fixed and mobile wireless services.

On average, 18.8GB of data was downloaded per internet subscriber in Australia during the December quarter of 2010, compared to 14.6GB downloaded during the same quarter in 2009.

With internet habits changing so quickly, many broadband customers may find their current plan is no longer suited to their needs.

Compare Broadband General Manager, Scott Kennedy, said: "Fortunately, it's a simple process to upgrade a broadband plan. Customers can call their provider and request an upgrade. Plans change all the time and your broadband provider may not call to tell you about a better plan. They usually leave it up to the customer to ask.

"If your current broadband provider cannot offer you a better deal there are plenty of others out there who want your business. If you shop around, you could find a plan with more data, for a better price."

Several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have released unlimited and terabyte plans over the last year in response to the trend for higher data plans. TPG, iiNet, iPrimus, Dodo and Internode all now offer plans with 1,000GB or more for people to use each month.