- Telstra's new low-cost brand debut
- Flexible no-contract options
- Now available across Australia
Late in 2013, telecom giant Telstra quietly lit the fuse on a new streamlined, low-cost internet service provider via their new “Belong” brand. Since last October, Belong has been offering no-contract broadband solutions in the Sydney region, and has recently expanded across Australia.
Telstra has had a low-cost alternative in the works for some time now. Telstra digital executive director Gerd Schenkel, in an interview with the Australia Financial Review in late 2012, explained that Telstra was shifting their fixed-line broadband strategy away from network construction to focus on improving customer service. Mr Shenkel stated that Telstra’s goal was to “…lead the core business into a lower-cost world [because] ultimately the whole company needs to become lower cost”.
The origins of Belong lie in Telstra’s unsuccessful attempt to purchase the South Australian Adam Internet brand mid-2013. The purchase of Adam internet proved unsuccessful due to objections from rival internet providers and the ACCC, but just three months later Telstra, in a dynamic move, launched the Belong brand with the slogan “Dance to your own beat”. The launch was accompanied by a low-key social media campaign, encouraging users to post “killer dance moves” with the hashtag #DanceToBelong on their social accounts.
Belong’s mission statement describes the service as “a new way to get broadband in Australia, one so ideal that it doesn’t need to lock people in to a long term contract; people belong because they want to.” Belong offers 24/7 support, including chat support on the belong.com.au website. Feedback on the popular Australian broadband forum Whirlpool supports this- with many users posting positive feedback describing increases in speed and customer service, amongst other benefits to the service. Hit the jump to view the thread and see some more detailed consumer opinions.
The major draw of Belong is the simplified pricing structure, offering just two separate plans- Regular and Large. Regular offers 70GB of ADSL2+ per month for just $50 per month, or $70 including land line rental. The Large plan offers a whopping 250GB ADSL2+ per month for just $60, or $80 per month including land line rental. The land line service offered with the Belong bundles offers unlimited local calls and 13/1300 numbers
Belong commits to no hidden costs and simple, ‘what you see is what you get’’ services - once you reach your quota your service is slowed down to ADSL1 speeds, roughly 5-10% of average ADSL2+ speeds, for the remainder of the month. Both of these offers are contract-free, and Belong is waiving the $80 activation fee for new customers in addition to discounting the cost of their $99 Belong ADSL2+ modem to just $1. This offer lasts until the end of May 2014.
Altogether Belong is shaping up to become a major player in the ISP industry, and seems to be the provider of choice for consumers seeking a flexible, budget conscious broadband solution. If you’d like to know more about Belong or check their availability in your area, give them a call on 1300 652 369.