Moving to Telstra Cable

Telstra Cable Modem

After 8.5 years of ADSL2+ and around 10 years with Exetel, my household has finally decided to move onto the next stage of broadband connection.

Provider Connection Bandwidth Actual Monthly Data Monthly Cost
Old: Exetel ADSL2+ 24Mb Down/1Mb Up 6.5MB Down/0.75Mb Up 230GB Down/Free Up $43
New: Telstra Cable 30Mb Down/1Mb Up 36Mb Down/1.2Mb Up 200GB $80

Note:

  • My Exetel plan has long been grandfathered, and 230GB/month data consists of 50GB peak (4PM to 4AM) and 180GB off-peak.
  • Monthly cost includes telephone rental, although I rarely use the phone as most my out-bound calls are on VoIP.

Another advantage of my old Exetel connection is having a static IP -- something that was useful when I was hosting websites on my ADSL connection but I have long moved on from that. So with almost half the price, more data, being a customer for a decade and have recommended it to half a dozen others -- what makes me moving back to Telstra? The last time I was a Telstra customer was when my home Internet was a Telstra Direct 56k dialup connection (1999-2002).

Bandwidth. Speed. Here is my speedtest.net result

SpeedTest.net Result

At 36Mbps down and 1.2Mbps up Telstra Cable is faster than advertised speed. If I ever crave more, I can always spend another $20/month to get onto 100Mbps down and 2Mbps up. I know it is not faster than a full 100Mbps/40Mbps NBN FTTH connection. However with the current political climate, I am not sure when a fibre-to-the-home would ever be a reality. So instead of continue to suffer under my worsen ADSL connection, I finally decided to bite the bullet.

Yes, the home broadband connection has got worse. From my old post when I first got ADSL2 it sync'ed at exchange at 12Mbps down/0.8Mbps up, and actually downloads at 9.7Mbps down. 8.5 years later due to reasons unknown the sync speed has degraded to around 6.5Mbps down and 0.75Mbps up over the last couple of years. Worse still, the actual download speed can't seem to go above 5Mbps. Exetel also has its own problems during peak hours (part 2 of that discussion on Whirlpool) that caused some overseas video streaming service unusable between 7PM and 12AM.

As of Telstra Cable -- so far so good, other than

  • Application was submitted to Telstra in early February. Somehow there was a glitch so it didn't get into the queue until I called again in early March.
  • Installation was scheduled to 25 March -- 6 weeks after ordered.
  • Took about an hour and half to actually have the cable installed, as the "Professional Installer" didn't want to crawl under my house to move the outlet to another room, citing workplace safety issue. The old outlet was for Foxtel from the previous owner of the house (more than 10 years ago) and the cable has already been cut. I ended up have to go under the floor myself to pull the cable into the right room.
  • The modem I got (NetGear CG3100D-2BPAUS) is pretty basic -- mediocre wi-fi performance, no SNMP, etc. I'll probably go and get a better wireless router in the future.

So far so good with the bandwidth. Internet can stall every now and then although I suspect that it could be modem issue -- something I will need to track down later on.