Telstra or TPG: Who Has the Best NBN Plans?

Telstra or TPG: Who Has the Best NBN Plans?
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Telstra and TPG are Australia’s largest internet providers, but they’re polar opposites. TPG built its reputation as a budget broadband provider, while Telstra is on the far side of the premium spectrum.

Unsurprisingly, this is reflected in how these telcos sell NBN. Telstra plans come with extras and perks, while TPG’s are simpler and more affordable. Of course, at the end of the day, you’re still shopping for an internet connection. If you’re tossing up between the two, here’s a look at how Telstra and TPG NBN plans compare.

Typical Evening Speeds

Typical evening speeds are one of the main differences between NBN providers, serving as an indicator of what kind of performance you can expect during the busiest parts of the day.

Here are the speeds Telstra and TPG report across each speed tier they offer.

  NBN 1000 NBN 250 NBN 100 NBN 50 NBN 25 NBN 12
Telstra 700Mbps 250Mbps 100Mbps 50Mbps 25Mbps
TPG 250Mbps 200Mbps 90Mbps 50Mbps 25Mbps 12Mbps

Telstra now ostensibly reports congestion-free evening speeds when it comes to NBN 250, NBN 100, NBN 50, and NBN 25 speed tiers. This means you should be able to get the speed tier’s maximum potential no matter what time of day.

TPG does the same on its NBN 12, NBN 25, and NBN 50 plans, but only reports 90Mbps on its NBN 100 plan. That’s still pretty respectable, however.

Both providers are now selling NBN 1000 and NBN 250 plans. Telstra is a clear winner here, as aforementioned, advertising typical evening speeds of 250Mbps on its NBN 250 plan compared to TPG’s 200Mbps. The gap is larger when it comes to NBN 1000, with Telstra reporting 700Mbps – the fastest of any NBN 1000 plan – and TPG reporting 250Mbps.

Contracts and Setup Fees

All Telstra NBN plans are sold on a no-contract basis, and the company will waive the $99 setup fee if you sign-up online. The plans are bundled with a second-generation Smart Modem, which will give you 4G backup just in case your NBN goes down. It’s valued at $216. Be aware that if you leave within your first 24 months, you’ll need to pay out the modem’s prorated value. This is equivalent to $9 for each month remaining in your two-year term.

With TPG, you can pick between signing a six-month contract or going contract-fee. If you’d prefer to avoid a contract and still get a modem from TPG, you’ll pay a $99.99 setup fee. No matter which you pick, you’ll also need to pay a $10 modem delivery fee. TPG also has a BYO modem option.

NBN 50 plans

When it comes to NBN 50 plans, TPG is $25 per month cheaper than Telstra. You’ll pay $69.99 per month for an unlimited data NBN 50 plan on TPG, or $95 per month for an unlimited data NBN 50 plan with Telstra.

NBN 100 plans

Telstra and TPG are both running promos on their NBN 100 plans. You’ll pay $79.99 per month for your first six months with TPG, and $89.99 per month thereafter. Committing to a six-month contract will get you a free modem if you need one, and you’re always able to leave once the discount expires and your lock-in runs out.

On the other hand, you’ll pay $95 per month for your first six months on Telstra, and then $110 per month. While the plan is contract-free, remember you’ll need to pay out the prorated modem fee if you leave before two years. You can’t just get the discount and dash.

NBN 250 plans

Telstra and TPG are also doing discounts on NBN 250 plans. On TPG you’re looking at $94.99 per month for your first six months and $124.99 per month thereafter. On Telstra, you’ll pay $125 per month for your first six months and $140 per month thereafter.

NBN 250 plans are only available for those with FTTP and HFC connections.

NBN 1000 plans

Similar holds true when it comes to NBN 1000. TPG is charging $114.95 per month for your first six months and $144.99 per month thereafter. Telstra is pricier at $165 per month for your first six months and $180 per month thereafter.

NBN 1000 plans are only available for those with FTTP and around 90% HFC connections.

Extras

Telstra NBN plans may cost more than TPG’s, but they include a few perks that could make them worthwhile. To start, Telstra plans come with a modem with 4G backup. If your NBN goes down, you’ll fall back onto Telstra’s 4G network with download speeds of up to 25Mbps.

Big T customers also get access to the Telstra Plus perks program. Telstra Plus members get:

  • $12.50 standard movie tickets for Event and BCC cinemas. A $3 surcharge applies after 5:00 pm on a Saturday and on public holidays.
  • Free popcorn and drink large combo upgrade when you book a movie ticket through Telstra
  • Discounted tickets to select sporting events
  • Presale tickets for select concerts and events

You’ll need to join Telstra Plus to get these offers.

Telstra Plus membership also earns you 10 points for every dollar you spend on your monthly bill as part of a Frequent Flyer style rewards scheme. These can then be redeemed for gadgets or discounts on devices.

By comparison, TPG’s NBN plans are a “just internet” affair. You can however save between $5 and $10 per month on TPG SIM-only mobile plans if you’re a TPG internet customer. Discounted pricing is as follows:

25GB Mobile Plan: Usually $25 per month, just $20 when bundled
45GB Mobile Plan: Usually $30 per month, just $25 when bundled
60GB Mobile Plan: Usually $40 per month, just $30 when bundled

Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.

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