Hi, I’m Dave and as a Yes Crowd member who frequently reads posts of Optus customers experiences with connecting to the NBN I thought it may be interesting and, hopefully, informative if I record my experience as I transfer from ADSL2 to NBN Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC). My intention with this blog is firstly to explain my internet needs and my initial thoughts of the plan I am likely to require. My second post will be about my experience on the connection date and whether the NBN has met my expectations.
My wife and I, who are in our early seventies, live in a large three-bedroom house in the Southern suburbs of Sydney and have been with Optus home broadband for a couple of years. I have been keeping an eye on the NBN website and have regularly searched my address for when our house will be ready for connection. Three weeks ago I was delighted to read our house was ready for connection using HFC.
From the information I have read, this should give us a reliable and speedy connection. Since then, I have had an email from Telstra and a couple of mail shots from other providers informing me of their interest in providing NBN broadband to my house. This has given me the push to rethink my internet needs.
Current Broadband Connection
I have had a home broadband connection for a number of years and for the last two years, I have been with Optus (ADSL2 connection). During this time I have not had any service problems and have speeds of usually around 10-12 mbps, which has been perfectly adequate to stream videos, etc. However, occasionally these speeds do drop and then I have some buffering. This happens at the times you would expect, i.e. early evenings etc., and also when my grandson is with us watching videos or playing computer games on-line with his friends.
Our Household Needs
Usually it is a two person household but occasionally we have our 15 year old grandson staying and also the occasional guest.
We have numerous connected devices:
- Windows tablet
- iPod (used to stream radio)
- Smart phones
- Smart TV
- Fetch Box Mighty
- DVD player (seldom used)
- Google Chromecast dongles on both our televisions and Google Home smart speakers.
We stream a lot of our viewing requirements from CatchUp TV apps, Netflix, Stan, YouTube and Optus Sport. Sometimes have problems with our free to air TV reception and then we stream live TV. All our radio is streamed through the internet along with our music using Google Play Music.
We tend to record the early evening news bulletins on our Fetch Box along with some programs from BBC First and Optus Sport. We also like the ability to be able to pause and rewind live TV.
Thinking about what the NBN plan should include:
- Unlimited data – I don’t want to worry whether we are going over our allowance.
- NBN tier 50 speed - This should provide ample speed for video and gaming even when our grandson is staying.
- Fetch Top Box Mighty - Ideally, unless it was cheaper in the long run to buy either a Fetch or similar PVR.
- Home Phone - I wouldn’t bother but my wife likes a home phone even though it is seldom used nowadays.
Selection of the NBN Plan and Provider
Until I started researching for my NBN plan, I did not realise how many providers there now are so I started my search by looking at the comparison sites of which, for me, I found WhistleOut to be the easiest to navigate. Plans tended to start around $60 per month but without a Fetch Box. Looking at plans with a Fetch box I was up to the $80 mark, but this only included a Fetch mini with which you cannot record programs.
The more I researched I kept coming back to look at what Optus was offering on their $90 Ultra Entertainment Plan:
- Unlimited Data
- Mid Tier speed – 40 mbps evening speed.
- Incudes Optus Sport
- Fetch Box Mini incl. 1 channel pack - $5 per month extra for a Fetch Mighty
- Home Phone
- $10 discount as I have an eligible Optus Mobile plan.
At the moment I think I will opt for this plan as it will only cost an extra $5 per month with the added advantage of the extra data speed. Compared to other providers it also included Optus Sport which I would subscribe to if I went to another ISP. (Supported Liverpool FC for most of my life and wouldn’t want to miss this season when they win the Championship). Until I commit to Optus, I will continue to research other plans.
I don’t know and as I am likely to stay with Optus, I will wait for them to contact me. Once they do, I will post my second blog in the series to keep you informed about my connection experience.
I would be really interested in your thoughts on requirements you think I have missed, your choice of plans, and when you swapped to the NBN. Please comment below.