Australia is a highly connected country, with the majority of households and businesses having access to the internet. If you are new to Australia or just looking to connect to the internet for the first time, there are a number of different options available to you. From traditional broadband connections to mobile data plans, there are a range of services and providers to choose from. In this guide, we will provide an overview of the different ways you can connect to the internet in Australia, as well as some tips for get savings from the internet plans.   

Internet options in Australia

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is a type of broadband internet connection that is widely available in Australia. It works by using the existing telephone lines to transmit digital data. ADSL internet in Australia typically offers download speeds of up to 24Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1Mbps.  

One of the key advantages of ADSL internet is its availability in many areas, even in regional and remote locations where other types of broadband may not be available. However, the speed and quality of the connection can vary depending on factors such as the distance from the nearest exchange, the quality of the phone line, and the number of users sharing the connection. 

Cable internet in Australia is another type of internet connection that is delivered through the pay TV network. Cable internet can offer download speeds of up to 100Mbps, although actual speeds can vary depending on factors such as network congestion and distance from the exchange. Cable plans also often come with higher data allowances than ADSL plans, making them a good choice for heavy internet users or households with multiple devices. 

Cable internet in Australia is currently available in select areas of major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. It is primarily offered by two major providers, Telstra and Optus, although other providers may also offer cable plans in certain areas. 

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is a government-owned wholesale broadband network that is being rolled out across Australia. The NBN is designed to provide faster and more reliable internet access to homes and businesses across the country. Once the NBN is available in an area, households and businesses can sign up for an NBN plan with a retail service provider. NBN plans are available at different speeds and price points, depending on the needs of the user. 

Mobile broadband internet is a type of internet connection that allows users to access the internet using a wireless connection from a mobile device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or portable hotspot. Mobile broadband uses cellular networks to transmit data, similar to how mobile phone calls and text messages are transmitted. 

Mobile broadband can be a convenient option for people who need internet on-the-go, such as when travelling or working remotely. It can also be a good backup option in case of a home internet outage. However, mobile broadband may not provide the same speeds or reliability as fixed-line broadband connections, especially in areas with poor network coverage or congestion. 

It’s important to note that not all internet connection options, such as ADSL, cable, and NBN, may be available at your address. Before selecting an internet plan, we recommend checking the internet provider websites to see which types of connections are available in your area. 

Popular internet providers and plans

Internet providers 

Australia’s internet landscape is dominated by several major providers that offer a variety of plans and packages to suit the diverse needs of students. Among the most popular and affordable are Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, TPG, and Dodo. With a range of packages available, including high-speed broadband, mobile internet, and wireless internet, these providers offer competitive prices and reliable connectivity across Australia.  

Internet plans 

  • Price: Internet plans offered by different providers can vary in price depending on the type of network and speed, typically ranging from $50 to $100 per month for landline connections. While prices for ADSL, cable, and NBN packages within the same data allowance range may not differ significantly, we recommend choosing the NBN connection as it is considered the most stable option for both work and entertainment purposes. 
  • Plans: There are two kinds of internet plans – one comes with unlimited data and the price usually from $65 – 100 per month, depending on internet speed.  Another one comes with limited data allowance, usually mobile internet, pricing from $20 per month.  
  • Things to consider: When selecting an internet plan, the most important factors to consider are internet speed and data allowances. While some plans may offer an affordable price (even with unlimited data plan), their internet speed may slow down significantly during peak hours. If you don’t require a lot of data for activities such as video streaming or gaming, you may want to consider opting for a limited data plan. These plans often come with a high-speed internet connection, even during peak hours, which can be suitable for general browsing and email usage. 

Saving plans for students

Internet plans for international students in Australia can vary depending on the provider and location. However, here are some general options and considerations: 

Student-specific plans 

Some providers offer special internet plans for students that include higher data allowances, discounted pricing, or flexible contract options. Please don’t forget to ask your provider if the concession discount is available. Below are among common discounted plans for students. 

  • Optus offers a student plan with unlimited data for $55/month on a 12-month contract. 
  • Vodaphone: usually have a discount of 10% for students with mobile and internet plans. Currently, Vodaphone is launching attractive packages to welcome new student customers, which are only $45 per month for 80BG, $55 for $300 and $65 for 600GB for mobile broadband plans.  
  • Dodo also usually runs a campaign giving a special deal for students. Currently, Dodo offers mobile plans with no lock-in contract from $10 per month.  

Please note that the promotion from internet providers keep changing, it is advisable to keep an eye on their website to keep updated.  

Bundle plans  

Bundle plans mean you use two or more services of a provider and then you will get discounted. The common bundle plan is internet and electricity, internet and mobile.  

  • AGL – you only need to pay $59 for unlimited internet when combining with AGL electricity or gas plan.  
  • Vodaphone – you will get $15 discount per month one home internet if you already have a phone plan with them.  
  • Dodo – provide internet and energy services, you can ask for a bundle discount by calling 13 36 36.  

Shared plans 

If you’re living with other students, consider a shared internet plan. This can be a cost-effective way to split the bill and get a higher data allowance. However, it’s important to have clear communication and agreements with your housemates about usage and payments. 

Price Negotiation  

If you are currently using a service provider and discover that another provider offers the same speed and data allowances at a lower price, you have a couple of options. First, you could switch to the other provider. Alternatively, if you prefer to remain with your current provider, you could try negotiating with them to match the lower price you found with the other provider. 

Documents required to connect to the internet

The process of connecting to the internet in Australia is relatively straightforward, and the documentation required to connect to the internet is quite simple, which includes:  

  • Your ID (Passport or Australian Driver License)  
  • Your evidence of your address   
  • Your student ID card  
  • You bank account if you choose the direct payment 

What to do when waiting for the internet connection?

If your address is already connected to an internet network, the installation process can be quite fast, and you may be able to access the internet within a week. However, if your address is not yet connected to the internet landline, or if telephone/cable lines are unavailable, you may need to wait for a technician to install the landline, which can take up to 3-4 weeks. 

The wait for internet services to be connected can be frustrating. In the meantime, you may want to consider using a no lock-in mobile internet plan for temporary use. Once your home internet is activated, you can then discontinue the mobile internet plan or switch to a cheaper plan to save on living costs.