Australian ADSL providers with unlimited downloads

by ron on February 19, 2007

frustratedLast month I hit my monthly download quota for my current Internet Service Provider account and ended up getting throttled down to a measly 64 kb. It’s funny how infuriating it can be when you’ve been throttled down and you know that there’s nothing you can do until the following month. It doesn’t matter how many times you kick that DSL router, it just doesn’t go any faster….and you can just tell that it’s laughing at you behind your back.

In trying to remedy my frustration I started looking around for an Internet Service Provider which offered ADSL service with unlimited downloads.

In doing so, I came across a very useful tool from Broadband Choice, which allows me to enter all of the criteria I wish, and then searches all of the Australian ISPs for a match to my listed criteria.

The query above asks for all ADSL providers in NSW, with unlimited downloads, at least 512 Kb download bandwidth, and costs no more than $150 per month, sorted by download speed.

You’ll still then need to go through the list of ISPs looking for ones that say that they give you unlimited downloads, but in reality give you a fixed amount of gigs you can download and then throttle you down to 64 Kb or so.

I’m personally not looking to spend more than $100 per month, and narrowed it down to the two following providers:

  • TPG 512/128 Kb unlimited business plan for $80/month. This plan seems to have no fine print. You truely do seem to get unlimited downloads. Note that TPG also have a 1500/256 Kb unlimited business plan for $150/month.
  • AustraliaOnline 1500 Extreme package, with unlimited downloads, costing $95/month. The fine print states that during peak time (a few hours at night), users who have downloaded more than 30Gb in that month, will be throttled down to 56 Kb for the duration of those peak hours. If we assume that 30% of the time we are at 56Kb and 70% of the time at 1500Kb, then that averages out to just over 1000Kb. So for an additional $15/month, we would seem to be getting twice the speed offered by TPG. The only risk is that their “peak periods” could increase and you could potentially be throttled down to 56 Kb far more frequently, after you’ve downloaded the initial 30Gb in that month.

After doing some further digging I found a recent post from an AustraliaOnline user recommending people against joining up.

I’ve personally been with a TPG ADSL plan for the last 4 years and have been quite happy with them. Their helpdesk is terrible, just like every other internet provider out there, but once your modem or router is up and running there’s really no further need to contact them.

So my advice to anyone joining up (for any ISP) is to purchase a preconfigured modem or router from the ISP you decide to join. Yes, it will end up costing you a bit more, but it will potentially save you many long hours of frustration in dealing with helpdesk staff that don’t have a clue.

If you have any suggestions for good (or bad) ISPs with ADSL plans that have no download limit, please let me know in the comments below.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron Bertino February 22, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Hi Michael

I guess my problem is that I’m a download junkie 🙂

I’m currently with TPG on an ADSL plan which allows me to download 40GB per month, for around $80/month.

Last month was the second time that I’ve hit that limit and then got throttled down.

I’m not sure whether I’ll keep going over the 40GB limit on a frequent basis, but I don’t like being restricted to just 64Kb if I do cross the line.

I’m thinking of switching over to the business unlimited packages that TPG have, once I can justify the extra cost.


Michael February 21, 2007 at 9:00 pm

I pay $64 a month to Primus for 12GB a month and have no complaints. We have two computers connected to broadband via wireless and haven’t crossed the limit since upgrading. I download a few ISOs too.

Came across your web site via the WP Designer forum. I’m currently using the same theme.


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