013: Choosing a broadband plan


Mia and Dinah talk about switching broadband plans to save money and improve their service.

There are more than 35 internet service providers in Australia, with an array of ever-changing offers and promotions. This, combined with advancements in internet technology such as the NBN and improved modems and routers, and the changing use of technology by households, means that most of us should be reviewing our internet service plans to make sure we are getting the best deal.

The key criteria for selecting a plan are:

  • Data needs – do you need unlimited or will a smaller plan be enough for your household usage?
  • Cost – what savings are worth it for you to switch?
  • Provision of equipment – will they provide the latest modem router to maximise your connection speed?
  • Network performance – is uptime and speed important for your family?
  • Customer service – is help at hand when you need it?  
  • Contract length – are you willing to lock in for two years, which is the most common contract length?
  • Bundles – do you want to bundle with other telephony or streaming services?
  • Ease of activation – do you need to make appointments for a technician to visit?

To compare broadband plans:

  • Confirm your current monthly costs, plan details and monthly usage history
  • Decide what criteria are important to you
  • Speak to your current provider to see if they can improve your current deal
  • Use comparison sites to shortlist providers based on your criteria
  • Compare the providers for your key considerations
  • Phone your preferred provider to confirm their offers and then switch.

LIFE ADMIN HIGHS OF THE WEEK

  • Mia talks about how she has moved from Microsoft Outlook to Google Calendar  for her household’s shared calendar, which has fixed synchronization challenges and provided a seamless experience across iOs and PC devices.
  • Dinah talks about how she has added her To Do List app (Wunderlist) and shared family Google Calendar to her daughter’s phone, which has allowed some more delegation.

LIFE ADMIN LOW OF THE WEEK

  • Mia talks about how her son’s passport has expired and that she procrastinating about renewing it.
  • Dinah talks about the fact that the Google Photos app does not work effectively for sharing photos and she needs to research an alternative app.

POWER TOOL

  • WhatsApp – great for group chats and voice messages. Also you can use Siri to send a WhatsApp for you when you need to be hands free, such as in the car.

RESOURCES

Choice Magazine – consumer advocacy group that surveys members to publish independent reviews and ratings. Free online access may be available through your local library.

Canstar Blue – broadband comparison site, whose annual survey of providers is supported by referrals to advertisers

Whistleout – broadband comparison site, with paid referrals to advertisers

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