Most of the best cable broadband plans have a fiber connection available, which means it’s possible to upgrade the Internet speed with less hassle and installation time. Internet speed can go as much as 100 mbps download and 20 mbps upload with up to 1 TB data available at any time (no peak or off-peak allocation). Monthly price is more expensive than ADSL, but it can begin at 69/month with a 2-year lock-in period.
Cable broadband offers the fastest Internet connection speeds in Australia with speeds up to 100Mbps.
- Available in most major cities
- Highest speed Internet access
- Home phone bundles available
currently offer cable broadband plans and they're one of the most popular providers in Australia.
Information on Australia’s Cable Broadband
Cable broadband is among one of the several technologies used to deliver Internet to both homes and businesses. Cable broadband is a different technology from ADSL2+
, and it is incompatible with other broadband services.
Cable does not use the copper telephone lines that are used for ADSL2+. Instead, it is delivered over Hybrid Fibre Coaxial cable. This cable is the same cable that is used by Foxtel to connect homes to subscription TV service. If you have cable Foxtel then you are eligible for cable broadband.
There are not many HFC cables in various neighborhoods of Australia. Telstra and Optus began rolling out cable, but have not gotten very far. They are currently the only suppliers of cable broadband.
To find out if you live in a cable area, check with each supplier’s website. They will be able to identify if the broadband option is available for you.
Quick facts about Cable Broadband:
- Cable speeds vary up to 100Mbps
- Cable requires an HFC connection that needs to be installed by a technician
- Most of the homes connected to the cable network are in capital cities
- These plans cost the same as ADSL2+ plans, but the cost of a speed boost is about $20 extra per month.
Best Cable Broadband Plans Compared
HFC cable does not only deliver Pay TV in Australia, but also delivers high-speed Internet. Here are a few things to consider before signing up for this cable plan.
How does HFC Cable Broadband work?
HFC Cable, which is also known as Hybrid Fibre Coaxial cable, uses the infrastructure established by Telstra and Optus for subscription television to deliver high-speed broadband.
This cable connection goes through a connection in your home and then to a modem, which is provided by Telstra or Optus. Over time the HFC cables will be integrated into NBN.
How fast is HFC Cable?
HFC Cable is known to deliver fast broadband speeds with two speed tiers for current cable providers on the market. The base line for an HFC cable plan will provide speeds of up to 30Mbps. You can also get a speed boost of up to 100Mbps.
However, HFC Cable is not capable of matching these speeds for uploads. The typical upload speed is up to 2Mbps.
HFC is a shared spectrum product, which means that the speed available to you is also dependent on the other users accessing it at the same connection point as you. You could see a dip in speed during peak usage times.
Where is HFC Cable available?
Telstra and Optus currently have cable plans in the metropolitan areas only because they have not continued to roll out cable in other areas. With the NBN rollout progressing, though, telcos are not promoting their cable products.
Compare HFC Cable Plans
There are only two tiers of HFC Cable products. The lower tier offers up to 30Mbps. You can also have an optional speed boost, which will maximize your speed to 100Mbps. Upload speeds, however, not be affected.
The same with a broadband plan, you pay for what suits your needs. If you do not need an extensive amount of data, you can get a smaller plan. However, it is important to note that since there is not much competition among HFC Cable, there is not really a “budget” HFC plan.
Optus and Telstra differ with their HFC Cable plan. All of the Optus plans, except the entry-level plans come with unlimited data bundles. Telstra, on the other hand, has fixed data quotas for all of their cable plans.
With the NBN now including HFC cable broadband, you can expect some other providers to offer standard speeds, as well as speed boost packages.
Will I need a new modem for HFC Cable broadband?
Optus and Telstra use specific modems. They both currently use Netgear modems that work specifically with the respective cable services, but Optus includes a phone port for phone services.
The modems are provided by both providers with the contract cable plans. Optus supplies a list of modems that can be compatible with their cable network. Telstra does not have a model list.
You can also opt to connect a regular router to the supplied cable modem if you feel that the wireless part is lacking. However, if you choose to do this, Optus and Telstra will not provide any support.
What other extras should you look for?
- Bundled extras - Optus often bundles their Fetch TV set top box with its HFC Cable plans, which offer many channels, some of which are free on higher tier plans.
- Discounts for bundling - Since HFC Cable is only offered by Optus and Telstra, it’s worth seeing if you can get a discount on your plan by bundling your services. Depending on the deal you currently have, you might not be eligible for anything, but it is worth asking, especially when you have a two-year contract.