Foxtel broadband vs Telstra: ISP showdown

02 February 2015

Foxtel has launched its own broadband bundle service with Telstra squarely in its sites. It’s a strange match-up, considering that the latter owns 50% of the former, but that hasn’t stopped Foxtel from offering up entertainment bundles that hit Telstra in a very specific area; its Entertainer Supreme bundles.

Telstra Entertainer Supreme

Entertainer Supreme are bundles that include home phone; ADSL2+, Cable or NBN broadband internet; and at least the entry-level Foxtel Entertainment package, complete with Foxtel iQHD set top box.

All plans are 24 months and come with a Telstra Gateway modem. If you stick around until the end of your contract, you’ll get a Gateway Max, which uses a faster WiFi standard and usually retails for $216.

Telstra waives the usual $59 home broadband activation fee for these bundles, charges $0 for the Foxtel iQHD box and delivers everything for free.

If you live in an eligible area, you can opt to get Telstra cable internet, rather than ADSL. However, not everyone can get it and it can be difficult to get installed if you rent an apartment. The same goes for Telstra NBN broadband.

You can add extra Foxtel packs on top of the basic Entertainment package, but this cannot be done on the lowest-tier plan.

The other two package options are: Entertainment + Sport, or Platinum. Both of these raise the cost. It’s also worth mentioning that the highest-tier plan doesn’t have the Platinum option, only the basic package or Entertainment + Sport.

Calls to mobiles will cost you 30c/min with 49c flagfall, capped at $2. Calls to national landlines are free on the top 3 plans, but are not included in the cheapest bundle.

Foxtel Triple Play

Foxtel’s plans are very similar. They give you home phone, broadband and Foxtel TV. Unfortunately, broadband is limited to ADSL2+ at the moment. NBN plans are on the way, but there’s no option to piggy-back on Telstra’s cable network.

There are two contract lengths: 12 and 24 months. The 12 month plans require a $110 payment for the modem – called the Foxtel Hub – and a $59 broadband activation fee. These are both waived on 24 month plans.

Other fees include $75 for the Foxtel iQHD box, a $75 TV install fee and a $59 home phone activation fee.

As for Foxtel packages, the plan pricing is based around the basic 43 channel Entertainment Pack. Further packs like Sport and Drama can be added to your plan by calling up Foxtel once you reach checkout.

All Foxtel Entertainment traffic, such as Foxtel Go^ and catch-up TV, that use your broadband connection do not count towards your monthly cap. You also get unlimited local and national calls to standard landlines on all bundles, but once again calls to mobiles are not included.

All Foxtel plans give you unlimited calls to local calls to standard fixed line numbers. Calls to mobiles are 30c/min with 49c flagfall, capped at $2 for the first 20 minutes.

The plans

Both plans have similar offerings. Foxtel 12 month plans have the extra setup fees mentioned above, but in the long run you you can definitely save some cash. The 24 month plans are closer to Telstra's setup costs and offer the same monthly savings.

Price Data Foxtel channels Calls to landlines Setup cost
$100 10GB Basic Entertainment pack Unlimited local $209*
$120 100GB Basic Entertainment pack Unlimited local and national $209*
$150 200GB Basic Entertainment pack Unlimited local and national $209*
$170 500GB Basic Entertainment pack Unlimited local and national $209*

*Setup fees may differ depending on situation. A $192 charge may apply for a standard professional installation.

Price Data Foxtel Channels Calls to landlines Setup cost
(12 month)
Setup cost
(24 month)
$90 50GB Basic Entertainment pack Unlimited local and national $303** $134**
$95 100GB Basic Entertainment pack Unlimited local and national $303** $134**
$105 200GB Basic Entertainment pack Unlimited local and national $303** $134**
$125 500GB Basic Entertainment pack Unlimited local and national $303** $134**

**Setup fees may differ depending on situation.

Foxtel may cost you a little more initially with its installation and setup fees, but it’s significantly cheaper per-month than the Telstra Entertainer Supreme bundles.

Telstra's main advantage is its reputation and its cable network. Foxtel's ADSL2+ cannot compete with cable internet speeds and those that are accustomed to cable are unlikely to take a step back to ADSL.

The third option

If this still sounds like a lot then you can always go for option C. Head over to a cheaper ADSL provider, like TPG or Exetel, and see what phone + internet bundles are on offer. Once you find an affordable one that suits your needs, you can sign up to Foxtel separately.

The Exetel 100GB broadband bundle is $39.99 a month. Add $25 to that for the Foxtel Entertainment pack and you’re sitting pretty at $64.99, or about $30 under Foxtel’s 100GB package.

TPG will give you unlimited ADSL2+ for $69.99 per month. Adding basic Foxtel to that comes to $94.99, which is the same cost as Foxtel’s 100GB package. 100GB is nice, but unlimited is much, much better.

There are plenty of other providers out there that will give you decent broadband caps on the cheap. There are even plenty more plans from the two we’ve mentioned. At the end of the day it’s up to you if you prefer to go with a big-name with a reputation, or a smaller vendor with more-attractive rates.

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