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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need the internet. I admit it.

Just looked at the Broadband Options in Australia and my head hurts...
In the States we have basically a few options - dial up (who uses that any more), dsl and cable, and for the people who live in the boonies satellite. All unlimited essentially. And we have monopolies so there's rarely more than 3 providers to chose from in any area...

Why bundles and caps? Anyhow how much do I actually need 6GB, 20GB, etc for email, skype, facebook, some youtube if I'm bored... This part really confuses me. My other issue is that I'm first moving into a temporary situation first for a couple of months until I can find a place I like. Is that what they mean by single service transfer OR is that when you stay at the same place but change ISPs?

For the record, I did look at the Whirlpool site but that's like throwing a kid into Disney World. Sensory overload. Used the search but would like to narrow it down further from the 15 plans that fit. Another poster mentioned avoid Telstra, recommending Internode. Any other thoughts? Good basic providers? Don't need hosting, email, anti-anything...

Alex

Ps Writing this reminded me of the beeps/hiss of the old fax modems. To think of how far we've come. Shudder to think if we had to surf that way still. I'm old. :(
 

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Hi Alex,

I know what you mean since the internet is certainly different from what I left behind in the UK too.

I originally went with Telstra Bigpond since I could set it up from the UK for the house we had bought and they were okay but other providers offer more Mb usage at a lower cost. A few months ago I changed to Internode and I'm very happy with them. I'm on a 40Gb ADSL plan and that's fine for me. I do watch the occasional Youtube video and I do upload and download documents as part of my web design business too. I can also buy more Gb if I need them (which Telstra Bigpond stopped).

I'm in a regional area so we are still waiting for ADSL2 but metropolitan areas already have that.

Regards,
Karen
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Karen!

I think 40GB a good number to start with. Like I mentioned in the states, for home usage there are basically no caps. You 'chose' who provides your internet and that's it. I've lived up and down the east coast and I swear the choice was more if you wanted dsl or cable, there was one provider for each. I guess I'll call when I get there to see what they can do with my move from interim to permanent.

I would love to hear more opinions. Thanks.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry for the extra post.

I guess the other thing is are there any cafes that have internet while I get settled.
For example, at Starbucks US you get 2 hours free Wifi daily with drink purchase.
Obviously not for everyday but in a pinch.

Alex
 

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In Perth, there's a 24-hour McDonald's on Leach Highway (in Booragoon) that has free wifi. Other Mcdonald's may, too. Here in Virginia some McD's do offer it, and others don't. Probably the same there.

I use starbucks wifi fairly often myself, but I can't for the life of me remember if places like the Dome have wifi or not.

Freemantle cafe district has free wifi that seems to cover a broad swath of the area.
 

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NYC_Native, would love to know what you end up with and how it's working out. We're moving to Perth in a couple months and I had the same questions. It all seemed very complicated compared to here. I am just assuming that my laptop will pick up a wifi connection the same as it does here. Cell phone plans look equally complicated :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
NYC_Native, would love to know what you end up with and how it's working out. We're moving to Perth in a couple months and I had the same questions. It all seemed very complicated compared to here. I am just assuming that my laptop will pick up a wifi connection the same as it does here. Cell phone plans look equally complicated :)
Cool, more Americans!

I'm headed there end of the month. I'll keep this post updated once I settle down. I didn't even look at cell phone plans yet. I am still recovering for the internet headache! :D

The funny thing, I'm on the subway on my last days here in the States and bam there's metroPCS ads for cell service with Unlimited call, texts and web for $40/month flat INCLUDING taxes. I was thinking I need some ad like this when I touch down in Oz!!!
 

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An update as promised.

Per cowboy's suggestion I've been hitting the McDonald's daily. The McCafe's by me are open 24 hours, wifi (though slow) is free.

I'm currently in a temporary housing situation so I'm opting for mobile broadband at the moment, or attempting to. I went to a Crazy John's in the mall by me and the plan they thought most appropriate for me was a Vodaphone 6GB plan. It is $40, plus whatever they add on top but free modem. All the carriers can look up your address to see what kind of coverage you get. For example, with 3 in the sticks where I currently live it would have been slower than dial up. Is that possible? Telstra has good fast connections everywhere but you'd have to sell a kidney for service. I'll let you know how the Vodaphone actually works when I get it. Keep in mind for temporary residents you need passport, visa details, and a bank letter with address.

I did see a billboard for TPG 130GB landline based ADSL for $50. I'm going to look into that when I move to my permanent house.
 

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Another update...

For Crazy John's who acts basically for all the phone companies they carry you will need proof of address in addition to visa and passport. They are very picky with the POA. For example, you can have a bank letter, you need a statement. You can't have private medical insurance, only gov't stuff counts, etc...

I finally picked up my Vodaphone Plan and it doesn't work in the sticks where I currently live. I have to be in the driveway to get sub 30kbps peak. In real world terms that means you have 50:50 chance of sending an email before time out. Now I have to first get a trouble ticket which I kindly sat through the tech man guiding me to poor service for 40 minutes.... it's in the boonies, it's not cause I don't know how to use the modem! Hopefully it'll get cancelled soon enough after the Easter break.

Crazy John's was nice. Not their fault there's no reception even though it states on the map I'm in a 3.6Mbps area....
 

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[
I use starbucks wifi fairly often myself, but I can't for the life of me remember if places like the Dome have wifi or not.


I know the Northbridge Dome (on James Street) has WiFi, I guess just ask whenever you're somewhere, it doesn't hurt.

Next time you're thinkng about getting an internet connection, just ask the provider first what type of line you'll be getting for your area. And YES, telstra costs an arm and a leg even though they have the best coverage.
 

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Re-read the post above. It should say you can NOT have just a letter on bank letterhead. It needs to be a statement. Really specific stuff for temporary residents.

Vodaphone still 'working' on my trouble ticket. I have to say I'm really disappointed. I drove into the CBD and still was managing only 2 bars out of 5. Seriously??? In the heart of the city. The best reception I got oddly enough was in Dunsborough down south. Weird.

Is Telstra THAT much better that it justifies the significant price difference?

Yeah, yeah I should be enjoying life outside but I need access to keep international contacts. I cannot even remember a time in the last 15 years where I had to wait for a simple email to download. Even the landlines are slow...
 

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Are you in an area where you can get bigpond DSL? I don't have much experience with the internet in Perth, but I did set up a Slingbox for one of my wife's uncles that lives in Hong Kong on his father's DSL link in Perth. That was a bigpond DSL account, and it was fast enough to allow Uncle Russ to watch his slingbox in Hong Kong in time for the AFL Grand Final.

Do you watch much TV? By that I mean have you explored the Cable/Satellite options yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am in the process of looking for a permanent residence. I have access to temp housing at the moment. Once I do find a rental I will need TV. Any thoughts welcome there as well. Combo packages, etc.

I went mobile broadband because I'm moving around but today I was in Belmont or something and couldn't get a signal. Or most times it will connect but not load pages. Really??? Ugg.
 

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I am in the process of looking for a permanent residence. I have access to temp housing at the moment. Once I do find a rental I will need TV. Any thoughts welcome there as well. Combo packages, etc.

I went mobile broadband because I'm moving around but today I was in Belmont or something and couldn't get a signal. Or most times it will connect but not load pages. Really??? Ugg.
New Yorkers can't migrate to Perth. I'll be interested to see how you feel about Perth in a years time!
 

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New Yorkers can't migrate to Perth. I'll be interested to see how you feel about Perth in a years time!
Haha. I've been here two weeks and it's... different. Mall closure at 6pm and not even open on the weekends!!! I expected country but this was more than I expected... I'm a trooper though. The funny thing was in getting a license for my job there are 2 free counseling sessions for suicide prevention. Maybe I'll take them up on it. ;)
 

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For the benefit of those few who are following this saga... This is my interpretation of the procedures, if they are incorrect please Aussies correct as necessary.

The Vodaphone mobile thing didn't quite work out and they have acknowledged that where I was there was no service. Like I said, the only place I got even close to the advertised speeds was in Dunsborough of all places. Not Perth metro anywhere. They offered me a free two months while they 'updated' the towers but I declined. I sent back the stuff so aside from time wasted nothing lost. Most of the people working on it were helpful and nice.

I'm finally moving into the CBD. There is no cable broadband at the new address so I phoned TPG having been drawn by their adverts of 130GB ADSL for $49 or something. However the rep told me that I had to first call Telstra, get a phone line then call TPG back to transfer the service, then cancel my account with Telstra.... Ummm What!!!! (I believe you still have to rent the line from Telstra no matter who you chose as your provider.) Uggg. Anyhow I proceeded to ring Telstra, was informed I needed to subscribe to a land line to be eligible for Big Pond DSL whether I wanted to or not. Isn't that then NOT naked DSL? Semantics. The very kind rep in Melbourne read out to me the terms of the phone - $59 set up, $20 a month, $.30 local calls if within 50km of exchanges, $.37 per minute to Telstra mobiles, $.42 per minute to other mobiles, $.35 if 7pm - 2am and the north star is out, $.2845 if waves of the indian ocean are southeasterly... I'm being facetious now... it was a long ass list... Back to the point. The internet was on special because I got this unneeded phone line. $0 set up for 25Gb on the Elite plan at $50 per month if I understood correctly no restrictions but on 24 month contract. At this point an hour into it, I was exhausted and just succumbed into signing with Telstra. Their adverts say they service 97% of the AU population and their street cred is high so I guess it justifies the high price.... And I just physically could not do that again. The rep was dying as he had been overseas and agreed AU was complicated. Why not the simplicity of No caps, unlimited calls, downloads, etc... Important to note that the land line plan I got specifically states that I can NOT use another DSL provider as it was the budget special...

So that's it. Everything is set for when I move. Hopefully it works as advertised.

Heard on radio, poll ranked AU 58th in internet speed globally...
 

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If anyone can explain the caps thing with mobile top-ups that would be good - we're very confused by it all, still - seven months in! In the UK you would top-up £10, and that would get you £10 of credit. But here $10 might get you more than that, and mobile internet usage is separate...so confusing.
 
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