With a wide range of broadband providers and plans available, you should consider a number of factors when deciding which one to choose
When you are deciding on a plan, it is important to consider how much
data you think you will need each month.
Different broadband types and plans suit different users. In order to work out
what plan is best for you, you need to consider how you mainly use the
If you mostly browse online, send emails and use social media you will probably
only need a small data cap and most broadband plans should suit your
If your household is frequently streaming TV or videos online, gaming and
downloading large files you will need a much higher data plan. Many
providers now offer “unlimited” plans without a monthly data cap.
Click here to learn more about the different types of broadband and what will suit your
The speeds at which you connect with the internet can vary markedly depending on the type of broadband technology you’re using. Speeds are based on the megabits of data that can go across your broadband connection every second. They range from a few megabits per second (Mbps) up to 1000 Mbps (also known as 1 gigabit per second).
Speeds for fibre broadband tend to be more consistent and are geared to the speed of the connection that your broadband provider purchases from the fibre network company in your area. Speeds for copper or wireless broadband can vary according to factors such as the quality of the broadband connection where you live, the type of broadband technology being used, and overall network demand (speeds may fluctuate more during peak demand periods).
You should also consider how many people and devices in your home or business will be connected to the internet. The more devices using the broadband connection at the same time, the faster the connection needs to be. For example, a single PC might operate well on a slower connection (and use much less data), but a home where there are smart TVs streamlining videos, multiple computers, and several smart phones or other devices will need a faster connection.
When choosing your broadband plan, consider whether you also want to have a landline phone connection or whether you want to have broadband without a phone line.
You may also want to integrate specialised services such as security systems or medical alarms with your broadband. Check with your broadband provider whether these will work with a particular plan.
Choosing a broadband provider
When you are deciding on which broadband service provider to use, 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. These will be accessible on the service provider's website.
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 broadband 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.