My best friend recently moved into a Telstra Smart Community estate and I have been helping him get his telephone, Internet and TV services online. I have already posted an article on smart wiring his home, but I recently did a little more analysis on the $1,500 rebate that most Smart Community residents receive.

At first look the $1,500 - plus a $100 voucher for a Digital STB - sounds like a great deal, giving you 12 months to spend it on any Telstra service including PayTV and mobile phone. But after reviewing the first and second month bills which included all connection fees I have reconsidered the value of this package.

For my friend to move into his new home it has cost him so far:

$299 to connect his home telephone
$260 in Digital STBs for his analog TVs (Telstra only does Digital)
$349 for a Telstra WiFi Router

Now you may say $349 for a router is expensive (and that it is), but Telstra don't like BYO routers. I quizzed him over this, and he told me at no time did the Bigpond rep. offer him an option on the router; it just came with the Bigpond Velocity pack.

So before even getting started with downloading a single web page or making a call it has cost him $808 ($908 but he used the $100 voucher for a STB). He then got his $1500 rebate in the second month as per the Smart community rebate agreement.

This left him in credit for $692, which will pay for less than five months of telephone line rental and a typical 20Mbps Liberty account – provided he does not make any calls.

When you break it down, the $1,500 rebate is not that attractive, particularly when compared to the packages offered by the other FTTH providers. Most of those include a $0 connection fee and no obligation 6 months free Internet and Telephony. You also get digital and analogue Free to Air TV, so no need to buy those Set Top Boxes.


At 09 November, 2008 14:16 SyQuinco said...

I guess you need to read the fine print. If there is no obligation to buy the STB or Router from Telstra, you immediately save money. SD STB - $50, HD STB $100, router $50. As allways, if you don't ask the questions, you get no answers.

At 15 November, 2008 09:05 Stephen Davies said...

There is an obligation to purchase STBs (abiet not from Telstra), because Telstra does not reticulate the Analogue Television channels.

As for the router, I am not too sure. My friend did not ask for the router, nor was told the price or his choice on purchasing the router. It turned up and was placed on his bill.


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