Foxtel Broadband: Why It's A Bad Deal

Does it make sense to buy your broadband and home phone line from Foxtel? Planhacker crunches the numbers and says "probably not".

Picture: Getty Images/Brendon Thorne

After hinting at its plans to offer broadband and phone calls on top of its existing pay TV subscriptions last year, Foxtel today has officially launched its broadband deals. (Telstra already offers plans which bundle Foxtel access with landline and mobile; these bundles come direct from Foxtel itself.)

The first important point to note: Foxtel Broadband currently offers ADSL plans that use your phone line, not high-speed cable options (even if you're using cable for the TV itself). So if you already have cable broadband, these plans would absolutely be a step backwards. Foxtel says it will offer National Broadband Network (NBN) plans later this year, and those are likely to incorporate cable, since it is due to be incorporated into the multi-technology mix used for the NBN.

The basic deal from Foxtel is this: if you're an existing customer, you can add an ADSL broadband package to your package. You have to sign up for a 12- or 24-month contract. You also get unlimited calls to Australian mobiles and landline numbers. If you're not a Foxtel customer, you can sign up for a bundle that also includes Foxtel pay TV access.

Either way, you'll get the "Foxtel Hub", which is the branding for Foxtel's router/modem. On 12-month contracts, you'll have to pay an additional $110 for the modem. You also have to pay a $59 installation fee. If you're a new customer, you'll pay $150 for TV service installation too.

Data usage on Foxtel's own online services -- Foxtel Go, Presto, Anytime and Play -- doesn't count against your monthly broadband allowance. If you're consuming a lot of online TV via Foxtel's services, that could be tempting. If you aren't, it's less relevant.

Here are the full pricing details. For existing customers, the minimum total cost is for broadband alone -- you'll also have to pay for your TV access. For new customers the bundle price will vary depending on which TV packages you select -- we've listed the cheapest available option.

Data per month Contract (months) Price (existing) Min total (existing) Price (new) Min total price (new)
50GB 12 $65.00 $949.00 $90.00 $1,458.00
50GB 24 $65.00 $1,619.00 $90.00 $2,369.00
100GB 12 $70.00 $1,009.00 $95.00 $1,518.00
100GB 24 $70.00 $1,739.00 $95.00 $2,489.00
200GB 12 $80.00 $1,129.00 $105.00 $1,638.00
200GB 24 $80.00 $1,979.00 $105.00 $2,729.00
500GB 12 $100.00 $1,369.00 $125.00 $1,878.00
500GB 24 $100.00 $2,459.00 $125.00 $3,209.00

The simple fact is these aren't very competitive prices. If your mobile phone already offers unlimited local calls, then the phone bundle is irrelevant.

More tellingly, the data inclusions on the cheapest plans are expensive compared to rivals. Foxtel charges $65 a month for 50GB. iiNet will sell you the same allowance for $40. Exetel will offer you 100GB and a phone line for $40.

The one possible exception is if you are making heavy use of Presto, Go or Play at home. Under those circumstances, having your data usage not counted against the service would be (potentially) beneficial -- but even that will depend on your overall usage.

We're always cautious when it comes to bundles -- while it can seem convenient to just be paying one bill, the benefit to the provider is even greater, since you're locked into a long-term contract. Given the competition in ADSL broadband, it's likely you'll do better with a different deal.


    Just FYI, Foxtel Play and Foxtel Go are already unmetered for BigPond customers - which does offer Cable.

    Unmetering 'Presto' is the new one.

      And Telstra are in negotiations to unmeter THAT as well

    I am not sure I am following the deals right but don't they include the basic Foxtel set of channels ($25p/m)?

    I have Fox with Sport, Docs and Drama (HBO) which is $90p/m and I get Cable net (100Mbps/500GB) from Telstra for $123p/m, so $213p/m. I don't think moving to this would work out better, I would get slower Internet but would be paying $190p/m, so for an extra $25 I get much better net. Maybe when they get the NBN it will be worth it.

    Im guessing these prices dont include the cost of these extra services, which to me, would make a lot more sense in terms of a "bundle".

    I think foxtel are in complete denial about the massive changes that are going to sweep this nation regarding how people view television in the next 12 months. They have had every chance to maintain market share and even be the "Telstra" of television viewing as all the new players roll out their new offerings. Surely a business of Foxtel's size and backing could not have been niave as to the changing market. i will be kind and say perhaps a little. But I think the biggest contribution has come from arrogance and greed.

    This time next year, I will be very surprised if Foxtel exists in its current form.

      While i wholeheartedly agree with your theory, i think your time line is way off. Foxtel has such a strangle hold over the pay tv segment it will be a decade, or decadeS before viewing habits dictate they change structure.

      What's more likely is that they'll grow even bigger and start (or buy) a service that resembles Netflix/Hulu in the States if viewing habits move that way.

      Last edited 02/02/15 4:56 pm

    How the fuck can you get 500gb a month with Telstra for 100 bucks? Show me right now so I can upgrade to it from this shit 200gb a month plan I am paying 90 bucks for.

      $113p/m for 500GB (Cable or ADSL depending on your location). If you get Cable you can spend $20 extra and get 100Mbps down, otherwise it's 30Mbps down.

    The unmetering of certain products from data usage is anticompetitive behaviour which should be investigated by the ACCC. In the US I believe there was a ruling very similar, saying that ISP's couldn't include their own services outside of data caps.

    The 100 dollar 500gig a month plan seems pretty good value to me. I can only get the off network plans on iinet so im paying 90 a month for 150 on peak and 150 off peak. I do get the 24 megabit connection speeds because my RIM has a tophat, would be interesting to see if I kept those speeds or would go back to 8 megabit.

      Exetel my friend...
      500Gb/month for $60/month (on a Telstra port) including line rental.

      Last edited 04/02/15 11:58 am

    Anyone wishing we had got the real know, the one that would have resulted (in a very short time) in the crash of the price of data leading to untold benefits across the board?

    We were so close and we let Tony's Murdoch Govt crush it.

    So sad, too bad.

      Yep, was a sad moment in our history. I am lucky enough to be in a FttP area, so I pay $100/month for unlimited @ 100/40 Mbps.

    Just linked to foxtel broadband yesterday....well linked is not exactly the right word as we are only gettng intermittant access so very upset and phoned for technical support which we were told by the cheery girl on the sales line would be 24/7 only to be told they were busy and someone would be back to us within 24hrs!!!..not good enough and I regard this behaviour as breach of contract so if they do not get us fixed up today we will be cancelling the service and going to new provider.

    Sweet Jesus! can someone just tell me what the speeds are like!?? I've searched the internet high and low for the speeds. I live in St Kilda Melbourne. I do not live in an NBN capable property. Money is not really a problem I just want good speeds. Is this going to be quicker than ADSL2+ with telstra through a LAN connection( obviously via copper)??? OR If I chose to use the cable connection with Big pond (instead of foxtel) will it be quicker than ADSL2+ through a LAN connection( obviously via copper) ??? It's killing me i need to know. In the above article it mentions it's "ADSL" does this mean it's not ADSL2+??

    I recently had to move house so I shut down Foxtel a couple of months before the move. Once moved it was time to investigate what is the best option. My ISP (Exetel) had put their prices up recently by around 40% and they decided that it was a good idea to charge me $200 for the relocation so had to look further. Not much joy until I decided to look at Foxtel. They were just about falling over themselves to get me back on board. All the installation fees waived (except the $59 connection for Telstra) and a cheaper rate for internet than what is on the website.

    The end result is way cheaper and I expect speed should be reasonable as the exchange is only 500m away. I am paying less than I was before and get an iq3, HD and phone on top. Therefore, if you have Foxtel ring up to cancel and see if they can make it worth your while to stay. I think they have a pretty good idea now of the total cost for people and at the moment they seem to be coming to the party.

    We have just joined Foxtel broadband (still waiting for the internet connection actually) mainly because every single other ISP in our area has said they cannot connect us. Foxtel are willing to try right now and if they can then awesome.

    Replying to an old story incase anyone reads this from a google search (that's how I found it)

    Foxtel broadband is a much better deal now, and the price has reduced significantly. They now charge $95 a month for unlimited broadband (for Platinum HD customers), a price that is only $5 more expensive than Optus, on a service with far more bandwidth available.

    Thing is you don't need to pay $135 a month for platinum HD either. Anyone can ring up, speak to the retentions team and get a $89 a month Platinum HD deal for a year ($46 a month off) which brings your total broadband + TV package to only $184 with unlimited broadband and every foxtel channel.

    You certainly can't get that with Telstra.

    They now allow NBN connections too, as you'd expect.

    Last edited 12/04/16 9:14 am

    Not even close to reasonable, in the UK it is between A$50 (with loyalty discounts or first 6 months) up to A$100 (equivalent) absolute max a month for broadband, TV (circa 100 channels) and landline phone all in with 100-200Mbit downstream with unlimited data. Australia unfortunately still has a very long way to go on the world scale. Even better value in the US. they (in the UK) use a completely separate broadband line for your IP TV so your broadband does not affect your ability to watch non terrestrial TV like I know Optus does not do. I do not know how Telstra manages it but that's what brought me to this page, as I am trying to find out if Foxtel TV runs on a separate pipe to the Foxtel/Telstra broadband and therefore your TV or broadband do not run down the same bandwidth and affect each other? If anyone knows and could confirm that would be great? Thanks.

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