Who Needs A 1TB Broadband Plan?

Who Needs A 1TB Broadband Plan?

It’s a familiar complaint: you’re only part way through the month and you’ve already used up your download limit, leaving you with either a slow shaped connection or big excess usage fees. But just how large an allowance do you need? Is 1TB more than enough for most of us?

Terabyte picture from Shutterstock

I’m musing on this after iiNet chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby raised the issue during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit yesterday. When asked if iiNet would offer an unlimited plan, Dalby noted that there wasn’t much demand for iiNet’s largest plans as it is:

iiNet already offer a 1TB plan and less than 5% of our customers have signed up for it. If the demand increases and costs keep falling, we’ll keep reviewing our plans and consider offering more quota.

As other commenters pointed out, the fact that iiNet divides allowances into peak and off-peak periods makes comparisons with other providers tricky. It’s also probably true that many people would like to have an unlimited plan, but don’t want to pay the price associated. The 1TB plan from iiNet costs $100 a month on a naked plan.

Carriers that do offer “unlimited” plans generally rely on most users not actually downloading enormous quantities, and usually include a “fair use” clause that lets them boot off excessive downloaders.

Still, I’m wondering: who out there amongst Lifehacker readers actually needs 1TB a month at home? Tell us in the comments. (And for more of Dalby’s comments on the NBN and piracy, check out Gizmodo’s roundup.)

Steve Dalby AMA [Reddit]


  • I got capped last week on my 1TB plan, still have two days to run before the month rolls over.
    A couple of Netflix marathons were probably the main culprit.

  • I’m on a 1TB plan, it’s hard to manage your data on a smaller plan when you’ve got NBN speeds, for me at least. HD everything!

  • Carriers that do offer “unlimited” plans generally rely on most users not actually downloading enormous quantities, and usually include a “fair use” clause that lets them boot off excessive downloaders.Whats the point of having an unlimited plan if you can get booted for excessive usage..? Seems like an Oxymoron, to me…!

    • it is and its been a pretty big issue in the US with mobile data for the last couple years

    • I have “unlimited SMS” on my plan, yet when I text like a madman, I get a warning after a while too, having “used up half my allowance”. How much is half of unlimited?

      • It should be written down on the critical information summary before you sign up with them. Like some RSP they’re offering unlimited local calls to local but if you reach 2500 minutes then it will be per call or per minute rate. So make sure you read all the critical information summary before signing up a contract.

  • The peak/off peak crap is the only reason why I went unlimited with Dodo.
    Basically all my netflix streaming , youtube watching ect happens during peak time and usually gets around 100gb over the month.

    I just hate the idea of making sure im watching things at certain times so I went the no fuss unlimited plan , but i never use over 250gb a month

    • iinet haven’t had peak and offpeak for over two years now. It’s now called “anytime” and the whole quote can be used any time of the day/night.

      • Yeah but the the biggest “Anytime” plan is 100gb right ? With netflix and other internet use I would risk going over that.

  • Shared houses often need 1TB. Multiple housemate all sharing one connection for game downloads, youtube, movies and tv shows really adds up

    • Exactly. We have the 1TB plan between 3-4 people all doing different things. We’ve yet to reach 1TB in a month but come close.

  • Best thing I absolutely ever did – ever, was leave Internode and join TPG unlimited.

    No regrets. Best decision ever.

    • Yep moved from iiNet to TPG unlimited.
      Great not having to worry about download caps and stuff.

    • Same here. Not having to watch the (quota) clock has been so emancipating. Watch whatever, do whatever – hard drive failed and need to restore entire photo collection back from the cloud? No problems! In-laws visiting from overseas and keeping them entertained with Netflix running practically all day? No problem! Go crazy on Steam Summer/Winter sale? No problem! (Although these can be unmetered with some ISPs).

      Now if only I had a decent connection where I could actually stream at HD instead of SD…

    • I love Internode. I have been with them for almost 7 years and have had to call them maybe 5 times in that period. And only once about a fault with my internet.
      They might charge a bit more, but not having to speak to machines when I call, or hardly having to call at all more than makes up for it. I am on the 400gb plan and have never needed more.

      They don’t have peak/off peak hours either, and none of this “fair use” “unlimited” stuff.
      They update their plans several times a year, and sometimes upgrade your quota for free without you having to do anything.

      I might sound like a commercial but Internode is #1 for me, and the people I have convinced to sign up.

        • No, Internode are owned by iinet. There is a difference.
          Internode runs independently from iinet.

      • This! It is my exact reasoning for always going with Internode. I left them once for Telstra because I wanted to get the foxtel for xbox without it being on my data usage and I instantly regretted that (Don’t advertise an NRL channel if its only playing replays of games with a min. of 24 hour delay)

        It’s even the little things they do. “Thanks for calling Internode unfortunately there is a queue, do you want us to call you back?”

  • I use 1Tb plan’s in several of my Client offices in order to sync their Backups either offsite or from offsite. Kinda handy having a ADSL2 connection dedicated to that service if they have another service for their work traffic. I have a 200/200Gb iiNet plan and am yet to go over and I download Torrents, Netflix it up etc

    • You really aren’t a power user then (unlike how you try to portray yourself).

      1TB is very easy.

      • You can easily fill the TB, no doubt, big question is always: Do you want to? There is only so much you can watch & download, after a while, you’ve seen it all, even pr0n.

  • Steam sale just finished. I spent about 100 bucks, but that totalled about 500 gigs of downloads, including loading some old games. Not a monthly need, but if my PC crashes and I need to reload all of them again, it would easily fill a terrorbyte. The real issue is that no matter what they say, with the speeds I get, I don’t think I could actually download that much in a month regardless. I’m on exetel FYI, not complaining about them, more so no NBN.

    • I had to rebuild my PC and basically scrapped my program files/steam directory. I re-downloaded a LOT of games during the Steam sales so I could idle in them to get cards. I’m pretty close to 500 gig on that, now.

      But that’s an edge case and wouldn’t happen every month.

    • The Steam folder is pretty easy to move around. Doesn’t really need to be installed just copy paste and run. I just dump mine onto an external HDD every once in a while. If PC ever dies I can just copy it back over, massive time saver.

  • I have a 250gb monthy plan with iiNet and would consider myself a moderate to heavy user (download games, movies, music). My allowance normally gets me thru the entire month. Wouldn’t mind test riding a 1TB limit! I reckon you would run out of things to download though…

  • I was on their 1tb plan but at the time my shitty flaky ADSL connection really couldn’t deliver stuff to me fast enough that I even scratched the sides of it. So 1tb was basically an ‘unlimited’ plan for me.

    I’m on Telstra HFC now though, on their 500gb plan and I’ve come close to that limit a few times. A year or two from now I could definitely see wanting a 1tb plan. I’ve gone basically all digital for newer games recently, and for example Wolfenstein on Steam was a 50gb download, that’s 10% of my monthly limit blown very quickly. Most games aren’t that big at the moment but I could easily see it becoming commonplace sooner rather than later.

    My connection’s shared with several family members who are also heavy users of the internet and the switch over to Cable meant we’re all using the connection a heck of a lot more than we were before as well. I’d imagine NBN would be the same.

  • On Internode’s 1.2TB plan. Need it as their next one down is 400GB – not enough for us.

    Came from Dodo Unlimited. Beware of anything with ‘unlimited’ in it’s name. Speed on Dodo gets worse and worse if you download more than 300GB for month (according to personal experience and Whirlpool users). We were sitting on 14Mbps at the start, and that dwindled to less than 1Mbps 12 months later. Now back on Internode and getting 15Mbps. The horsecrap Dodo told us that our line had something wrong with it that they couldn’t identify was just that – horsecrap.

    • Eh, not all “unlimited” plans are scammy. I’m with TPG. My downloading habits change, but some months, I download a few TB. Speed has always been about the same, for as long as I’ve been with them.

    • Hmm dud call on the Internode.

      Internode is so 2003. Flatrate was good, went down hill after that. Even guessed they would finally include uploads they were going downhill that bad.

      • Is internode really that bad, I signed up for their 150gb naked plan at $60 a month, other than the allowance would I gain anything by switching to TPG.

        Either way we have no phone line so it has to be naked

  • We are on an iiNet (TransACT) FTTH 100/40 1TB plan now.

    At our old place, we had a 16Mbps ADSL2 connection and our average monthly usage was about 300GB.

    iiNet doesn’t offer an FTTH plan between 200GB and 1TB, so that’s why we’re on the 1TB plan, but a 500GB plan would be perfect. Though, the peace of mind of having more than double our average usage available is great. We won’t be decreasing our plan any time soon.

  • Gee how lucky are you all…..Try living in the country and only having either mobile broadband access or Satellite access. I have mobile broadband and have to get by on 15gb per month…..So stop complaining about getting booted off when you are on 1TB or unlimited plans

  • Having an unlimited data allowance monthly will just increase the traffic on the net and risk for congestion. Some providers inform customers that it’s unlimited but in reality it’s not since there’s a maximum cap and when you reached your cap then shaping will happen.

  • I run over 1Tb frequently.

    7 People in house, 5 of them Kids @ 15,14,13,11,4. Plus I run an IT Business from home.

    With Teen kids, Youtube, Facetime, Skype, QuickFLix, Foxtel Streaming, etc. And and IT business doing remote monitoring, backups, cloud services, etc.

    And on top of that, when we go on holidays etc, everything is setup for remote access too.

    Very easily hit 1Tb+

  • How is it legal for ISPs to sell something as “unlimited” and then refer to a clause somewhere in the T&C that let’s them boot the least profitable customers?
    Sounds like a perverse way to do business to me.

  • I’m an iiNet “Fibre 3 (100/40)” customer and have been for over a year now. Why do I need 1TB of quota? It’s simple really.

    My wife and I both enjoy our online entertainment and the speed of our FTTH Internet connection allows us both to enjoy HD content and online games simultaneously (whenever we like) – something that was not possible on our older and slower ADSL connection.

    Most of our monthly 1TB quota goes to the ever increasing bandwidth requirements of online games, including the constant and often very large updates that are needed just to play the games. If you have a large number of online games that you like to play, like I do, then playing them and keeping them updated can consume hundreds of gigs a month, easy.

    Add to this our preference for streaming HD content from Netflix, Hulu and Youtube, all of which consume approx 1GB an hour per stream, and another couple hundred gigs a month are gone.

    And finally, add to that the constant Microsoft and Anti-Virus patches, general software updates, and the random download of free things when you have time to burn and nothing to do (ie. Linux distros, opensource alternatives to commercial software, random free games from steam, etc) and you quickly run out of quota each month.

    Saying all that, I’d have to say that the only real reason I am on iiNet’s 1TB plan is because of how the iiNet plans split the quota between peak and offpeak periods. To enjoying all of the above consumes between 300GB and 500GB a month, and that’s during peak periods.

    To ensure I have 500GB of quota during peak periods, I need to be on the 1TB plan.

  • I have just reached 1TB on 27 days with my slow 5mbps.
    If I have a 20mbps bandwidth plan. I can easily pass throught that limit. This line belong to myslef and I am the only one using it.
    Yes, It does reach 1TB easily nowadays.

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