Optus NBN Pricing Includes Free Hardware

Optus NBN Pricing Includes Free Hardware

Optus this morning announced its consumer plans for accessing the National Broadband Network (NBN). It joins Exetel, iiNet and Internode in offering NBN services, but how do its prices stack up? The hardware is free, which is nice, but there are some fiddly rules around peak and off-peak usage.

Picture by Alpha

Optus is offering seven plans in total, with a mixture of standalone and bundled packages. The cheapest plan is $39.99 a month for 40GB a month at 12Mbps download/1Mbps upload, split into 20GB peak and off-peak. If you exceed either cap, you’ll be shaped to 256Kbps. You can only sign up to this plan if you have a post-paid mobile contract priced at $19 a month or more. This is one of the cheaper plans on the market, but Exetel still undercuts it.

All other plans run at 25Mbps download/5Mbps upload. $59.99 gets you 120GB (divided into 50GB peak and 70GB off-peak), $69.99 scores 150GB (75GB each for peak and off-peak) and $79.99 gets you 500GB (250GB each for peak and off-peak). These plans drop in cost by $10 a month if you’re also an Optus mobile customer, and also get shaped to 256Kbps once you exceed either peak.

MORE: Planhacker: Every NBN Price Compared

If you want bundled services, the $109 ‘yes’ Fusion plan includes 500GB of data, and the $129 plan includes 1000GB (both have no peak/off-peak distinction and unlimited calls to Australian numbers). The cheaper $64.94 120GB Home Phone Bundle is also offered, with 50GB peak and 70GB off-peak, plus $30 of call credit. Once again, you get shaped to 256Kbps once you’ve exceeded your quota.

Across all plans, you can pay an extra $10 a month to upgrade to 50/20, or $20 to upgrade to 100/40. (Optus doesn’t actually describe the exact speeds in its announcement, but I’ve confirmed those speeds with the company.)

All Optus plans can be signed up for on a month-to-month basis, though I’m guessing contract enforcement will come when the NBN is more widespread. What does look like good value is the inclusion of a free Wi-Fi gateway to access the service, which is supplied and installed free even if you go with the month-to-month option. (The free installation deal runs out on January 12 2012.)

The plans will be available at the currently-active mainland NBN sites from November 21 (which suggests Tasmania is being left out for now). What’s your take on Optus’ pricing? Tell us in the comments. Update: We’ve now added the pricing to a fresh version of our NBN planhacker spreadsheet.


  • your view of being capped for exceeding either peak is a bit off.

    like their current plans, if you exceed your peak usage, you are shaped 24×7, and lose any remaining off peak. however, if you exceed your off-peak, then you just use your peak usage across the whole day/night.

    many, many of us on Optus have been doing this for years, making sure that we use all the off-peak first, and then use the peak. it must be said though that people have found out the hard way that it doesn’y happen in the opposite direction.

  • I thought the NBN would bring in cheaper prices, bigger download limits and something abit better than a 256kb cap speed. ADSL2+ still sounds the best and cheapest option by far.

    • Really? You’re blaming the NBN? All those decisions sit squarely on Optus and on any other RSP who makes the same decisions. Why is this so hard to understand for so many people?

  • These plan prices should save me a heap of money. No line rental for a start saves $30 odd dollars. I can then get 25/5mbps with 150gb d/l for the price I am paying now for 4mbps on ADSL2. The sooner we get the NBN the better!

    • Except for the guaranteed 25/5 speed, compared to the average ADSL2 speed of 8-10/0.8.
      So for no price difference, you get a rather large speed increase, as well as increased reliability.

      And as for shaping, would you rather a large bill at the end of the month, or be slowed down for a while?

      • NBN was suppose to be faster and cheaper. So far it’s only faster. I don’t download torrents or movies 24/7. It’s going to take a lot of usage to exceed 500gigs in a month. So yeah, I’m still disappointed. And excuse me for expecting more as promised.

          • Like all other things, I can see the price dropping as uptake climbs. ADSL2+ prices have dropped substantially since I signed up for my current plan 14 months ago; and the price I signed up for then was lower again than what I was paying prior…

            I myself don’t recall seeing anything published claiming the NBN would bring cheaper services than existing infrastructure; I was always of the understanding that it would provide a faster alternative with more scope for future use, while still remaining “affordable”.

  • what is everyone on about. You tell me where i can find 1TB at 25Mpbs right now for $129. Hell even Telstras 100Mbps Cable for 500GB is $149.

    People are such wingers

  • Unfortunately, what the general public fail to realize, is big companies like Optus need to fork out Millions to get NBN enabled. That is fine, but the problem is the rates NBN charge.

    NBN as a delivery method costs the ISP almost double what it costs to deliver an adsl service. THEN the ISP needs to put ‘bandwidth/Internet’ onto that connection. Bandwidth is still not cheap in Australia so it actually costs ISP’s alot more with alot less margin on each connection. (less than a few %)

    Unfortunately, the ‘Shock of whats to come’ is going to ruffle a few feathers. As NBN becomes more available, the cost to the ISP;s is going to go up, (you cant hook people up on 100Mbit plans unless u have the bandwidth yourself) so as people swap from ADSL/NBN the ISP’s margin will decrease, adsl will no longer be ‘filling the gap’ or ‘paying for NBN’ and the NBN prices will go up…

    and this will happen when ADSL is no longer an option, so users will have to pay the increased NBN pricing or result to a Wireless stick from one of the two big boys.

    And when this eventually happens, it wont be the fault of the ISP, people need to remember that ISP’s are businesses too… just like maccers, prices go up, not down. the eventual explosion of NBN pricing will happen out of the badly designed and unfair NBN wholesale pricing structure and most likely telstra pulling the wool over the NBN…

    (telstra has a gag order for a reason, the NBN knows that if telstra charges more for NBN and then 20-50% less for its wireless products, what do you think people are going to chose….. As a business, telstra if charging 50% less for a product on its own network would probably make 300% more than it would on a NBN product.

  • It’s pretty much the same pricing as their current ADSL 2+ plans. Some welcome improvements in speeds and so forth but essentially the same deals as they offer at the moment. Some of which are quite good value. But they’ll now be available in places their current ADSL/cable schemes aren’t.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!