In response to an NBN story we ran over the weekend, Ausdroid reader Helen Draper gets in touch to ask about migrating to the NBN from her ADSL connection. Helen asks:

I was under the impression that we were promised that we wouldn’t be paying any more for NBN, I’m currently paying $54.80 for phone rental and unlimited ADSL. I do not require a landline with NBN so I’m at a loss to understand why every deal I look at will definitely cost me from $15.00 per month more??? I’m a pensioner and $15.00 is not chicken feed so why, without a landline rental am I expected to pay more?

Good question Helen, because while the NBN delivers the potential for much faster speeds and a broader range of functions than ADSL ever could, not everyone wants that. Price changes for some are felt much more than they are for others, and there’s definitely a huge part of the broadband marketplace served by lower cost plans.

Unfortunately with NBN, there’s been much rationalising of the broadband space, and so while there is increased competition between retailers, they are all – ultimately – selling access to the same network, and there are minimum costs to keep in mind.

That said, it’s definitely possible to get NBN plans at a lower cost than what you’re paying for ADSL now – $54.80 per month, bundled with a phone line that you may or may not separately use. That phone line is – most likely – part of your provider’s revenue model for your plan, so we’re going to compare apples with apples. Unfortunately, this means you’re not going to “save” that $15 a month, but you should be able to get equivalent service for the same price.

Do bear in mind that these plans don’t take into account your particular location; NBN Satellite services are listed, which aren’t generally available in metro areas or regional hubs – they’re generally only available ab it further out, so your service needs and options may vary.

Both Tangerine and Spintel offer unlimited NBN Basic plans (12Mbps speeds) at this price point which are approximately equivalent to most ADSL plans. There are a couple of others which offer plans around the same price, or slightly dearer:

Despite having unlimited ADSL, if you don’t actually use that much data in a month, you can save a bit of money with lower-end caps too. Most of these don’t charge you extra if you go over, instead slowing your service until next month:

If you want slightly faster speeds with unlimited data, there are a couple of NBN Standard (25Mbps) plan options below $60 a month too:

If you really want to squeeze every cent of value out of your $60 a month, though, Exetel’s plan offering is hard to beat – for $59 you get unlimited data on a NBN Standard Plus speed (50Mbps) plan, which is roughly twice as fast as the absolute best ADSL speeds available:

If you really do want to knock that $15 off your monthly price and spend around $40-45 on your NBN bill, you can – Spintel offers a $45 a month plan at the moment with 500GB data on NBN Basic speeds. In my opinion, though, you’re better off spending a few extra dollars either for unlimited data (if you really use your connection a lot), or spending a little extra to jump up to NBN Standard speeds which are much quicker.

Thanks for writing to Ask Ausdroid, Helen, and we hope that this information has been helpful for you and for others as well!