8th May 2012

Senior discounts on broadband plans

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Most people consider an internet connection to be an essential service, especially as many organisations now encourage customers to manage their accounts online instead of a traditional bill through the mail.

So it may come as a surprise that there is not much in the way of assistance when it comes to paying for an internet connection for seniors.

But there are savings to be made on broadband and home phone plans if you know where to look.

Senior discounts on broadband

The Government no longer offers a telephone allowance for pensioners but does have a Pension Supplement instead. If you are not already receiving this payment, check with your local Centrelink office to find out if you are eligible.

Telstra offers a pensioner discount on home phone lines but not on broadband plans. The maximum discount is $12.25 a month. Telstra will only offer this discount if you ask for it so, if you have a home phone line with Telstra and do not already receive a discount, call the helpline number on your bill and ask for this discount to be applied.

A word on senior plans

Optus and ONESeniors are two Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that offer special plans for over 55s. However, just because a product is labelled as 'senior' don't assume it is better value. Choose a plan based on what you need, not on the marketing.

Buying broadband

There are three important decisions to make when buying a broadband plan: which type of broadband you would like, which provider you would like to sign up with and which plan you would like from that provider.

Mobile broadband or ADSL?

Mobile broadband is comparable to a mobile phone, while ADSL is comparable to a home phone. Similar to a mobile phone, mobile broadband can be used anywhere it can find a signal, but as with a mobile phone, mobile broadband suffers from dropouts and is not as reliable as a home phone. ADSL on the other hand uses the same copper as your home phone. You can't take this type of internet connection outside the home, but it is fast, reliable and usually better value for money than mobile broadband.

Choosing the right broadband provider

You may be wondering what the difference is between Internet Service Providers (ISPs), especially when some appear to be much pricier than others. Essentially, your speed and connection quality should be the same no matter who you go with. Speed really depends on your distance from the telephone exchange. The cheaper ISPs make their savings by cutting back on extras, such as the ability to run a fax machine over your line and by outsourcing customer service overseas.

How to choose the best value broadband plan

As previously mentioned, mobile broadband is not great value for money so let’s focus on broadband over the phone line, or ADSL2+, to give it its technical name.

Bundling is a good way of getting a discount on your broadband plan. A bundle is when you sign up to a home phone and broadband service from the same provider. Be aware that if you decide to bundle your services with a provider other than Telstra, you will be losing your Telstra pensioner discount, however with some deals it may be worthwhile.

If you are thinking about a broadband plan, or you are curious to know if you are overpaying for your current set up, comparison websites such as CompareBroadband.com.au can help you choose the best plan for your needs. It's an easy, free way to compare plans from different providers so you know for sure you are getting the best deal on the market.

This article was kindly provided by Sarah McDonald, Online Editor for Compare Broadband, the independent broadband comparison website. Compare Broadband offers advice to find the best broadband plan, both online and over the phone from its Melbourne-based call centre. Call 1300 764 000 to find out which broadband plans are available in your area.





COMMENTS

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textappa
30th Jun 2012
5:19pm
I don't have a landline connection, so use a 3G broadband modem. Have a 12 month contract with Crazy John's (Vodafone is their carrier, but CJ's is cheaper).which costs $29 per month postpaid for 6 Gb plus 1 Gb bonus on plans $29 and above.

7 Gb a month gives me the freedom to do as much work online as I want (do a lot of paid surveys and enter countless competitions), download music videos, and deal with about 80-90 emails a day. All this without fear of overrunning my 7 gigs. Excess is charged at 2 cents per Mb - which works out at $20 per Gb excess charge. But with 7 Gb at my disposal never overrun

For strength of signal/reception cannot more highly recommend a booster cable for your modem. I use a 5 metre 2.0 USB active cable ($35 at Dick Smith's) which enables me to hang the modem in the window 2 m above the floor. Sheer MAGIC - never drops out or disconnects !!!

Hope this has been helpfull :-)))
RichF
22nd Aug 2012
4:17pm
You say that mobile broadband is not viable or at least too expensive. Depends on what you want I suppose. My wife and I are with Virgin and use prepaid. We each buy a 365 day package which, depending on when you buy, will give you something between 10Gb and !2Gb. The cost is about $150 each or less, again depending on when you buy so look out for deals. At our usage rate this will easily last us 10 months at least and usually a bit more - last year I still had a couple of gig left at years end. O.K., it won't suit manic downloaders but it does the job for us and works out at $25/month for two people. At that price why not go for ADSL? Simple. We can't get it -- too far from the exchange.

Just a thought. We would really like to see the NBN in this neck of the woods; roughly the same price as ADSL2+ and much much faster.
textappa
22nd Aug 2012
5:18pm
`Couldn't agree more Rich, "Depends on what you want I suppose." says it all. My CJ's deal costs me $348 pa and for that I get a total of 84Gb (7Gb pm). It's exactly what I need, fullfills all my requirements and is very affordable. For anyone to say that mobile broadband is neither viable or affordable, you have to wonder who they've been talking to as not everyone actually wants a landline.


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