With a range of broadband plans available, it can be difficult knowing which one to choose
Speed, usage and data
Key considerations are access speed and data caps (how much data all your devices will use in total per month). Also consider whether you have and want to continue using a landline phone connection or whether you want to have broadband without a phone line.
Different broadband suits different users. Consider, how you use the internet?
If you mostly browse online, email and use social media you will only need a small data cap and any broadband should suit your needs.
If however, your household is frequently streaming TV online, gaming and downloading files you will need a fast connection and a much higher data plan.
Also consider how many people and devices need internet connection? For example, a single PC will operate well on a slower connection and use much less data then a home where you have two PCs, a tablet and three smart phones connected at the same time.
Consider which category your use falls into:
- Light use - email, web browsing, social media.
- Medium use - email, webs browsing, social media, media streaming, gaming and file downloading.
- Heavy use - email, web browsing, social media and more frequent media streaming, larger file uploads and downloading in addition to multiple device usage.
Choosing a service provider
When you are deciding on a preferred ISP/service provider it is helpful to compare their services.
To help you, the TCF has developed the Broadband Product Disclosure Code and the 'Offer Summary' which is a standard format to help you make direct comparisons between service providers and their broadband plans.
The Offer Summary provides key information about each broadband plan such as pricing, data charges and key terms. The service overview details what the plan includes; its availability, geographic limitations, technology related coverage, service charges, additional data charges and set up charges.
A section on broadband performance information details access type and estimated speeds. Other information included is the contract terms, early termination fee, notice period, traffic management policy, fair use policy, effects on other services, any other additional charges and disputes procedures.
Use the information from service provider Offer Summaries to help inform your decision making on the best broadband plan for you. Note that if your service provider is not a Member of the TCF, they may not have Offer Summaries available.
Another consideration when choosing a service provider, is selecting one that is a member of the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution scheme (TDR). They help resolve consumer complaints.