Beginners guide to broadband

If you are new to broadband, the initial setup of your broadband internet connection can be a little confusing.

Deciding which plan is right for you

A broadband internet plan will give you fast broadband speeds and an internet connection that is always on. This saves you time waiting for web pages to load as well as the cost of a local call every time you connect a dial up internet connection.

There are many broadband plans on the market from a range of Australian broadband providers and the number of different options can be confusing to first time broadband users.

The first thing you will need to do is decide what speed is right for you. If ADSL2+ is available in your area then this will offer a super-fast broadband connection that is often cheaper than an ADSL connection.

Compare Broadband can help you calculate what monthly download limit you will need with our usage calculator. This will help determine how much you are planning to use your broadband connection and let you know what you will need to spend each month.

Signing up to a Broadband internet plan

Once you have browsed broadband internet plans from Australian broadband providers at Compare Broadband you will be sure you have found the best deal for you. You will then need to sign up for a plan. You can do this by calling the contact number next to the plan you have chosen and advising the operator of your choice. You can also sign up online from Compare Broadband and fill in the application form.

You will usually need to set up a direct debit from either a bank account or a credit card when applying for a broadband internet plan. Most providers will require a direct debit for the monthly payment of the service. This is usually a fixed monthly cost as most providers will slow your speed if you exceed your monthly download limit. You will need to check any additional costs that may apply to the broadband service before you sign up to ensure you know exactly what your monthly direct debit will be.

Most Broadband internet providers will also charge a setup fee, which will differ depending on the type of service applied for and the length of the contract.

Line Activation

The activation of an ADSL, ADSL2+ or Naked broadband plan varies between providers. For most ADSL services with Exetel, TPG or Netspace it can take up to five working days to establish the broadband connection on your phone line. Connection times can be longer for ADSL2+ and Naked DSL services.  A TPG Naked broadband connection for example, usually takes up to 10 working days.

Before your line is activated with the broadband codes you will need to make sure there is a line filter on any appliances connected to your home phone line. This includes home phone, fax machine and back-to-base alarm systems. Broadband codes can interfere with theses appliances. Line filters can be purchased from your internet service provider or from a local electronics store.


In order to use your broadband internet plan you will need to purchase a modem. Some providers such as Telstra Bigpond, Optus or iPrimus may include a modem when you sign up for a 24 month contract. Other providers, like Netspace and iiNet will offer discounted modems depending on the length of contract you sign up for.

You can also purchase a modem from your local electronic store but you will need to be aware that most providers don’t offer technical support for a modem not purchased through them. If you are a beginner to broadband it is advisable to purchase a modem from your broadband provider to ensure you have access to technical support.