Telstra Bigpond Pre-paid Wireless Broadband Review

Bigpond Pre-paid Wireless Broadband is a broadband package in which you buy a modem and can then recharge in the same manner that people recharge a mobile, by going to a licensed Telstra dealer and paying for a number that you enter to recharge. This sounds like a great idea, and has potential, but as I found out it does not work quite as well as would be hoped. The review will be split into hardware, software and service.

The Hardware

The hardware itself worked wonderfully and instantly. It basically is a USB modem that can be plugged into any spare USB port, then proceeding to install itself. This all worked as well as can be expected, with the whole operating going smoothly on my Windows Vista laptop. Since using it, not once has the hardware had any issues whatsoever the only minor issue that has arisen is overheating. Furthermore, it is a small device that can easily be used on the move and most closely resembles a USB flash drive.

The Software

The software that installs itself when the USB modem is attached, named the ‘Telstra Turbo Connection Manager’, works pretty well overall. I personally had no issues whatsoever getting connected to the Internet with it, once the Internet was activated. Unfortunately, I did have a few problems accessing information in one of the panels as it kept saying an error had occurred when I attempted to look up the balance. This was resolvable by going back and then retrying the connection, but ultimately should have been easier to use.

The Service

Here is the part of it that the whole matter falls to pieces, the service itself. The biggest problem with Telstra Bigponds Pre-paid Wireless Broadband is simply that it costs WAY too much. The cost of this service is significantly over what it should be, with prices from 8c per MB to my price of $1.00 per MB. I was told that it would be cheaper, but it does not seem to be. In fact, I cannot think of anyone outside of those working in business that should reasonably acquire this. To add further to this problem, when the pre-paid amount is spent it begins to charge the user with a bill rather than stopping or shaping the Internet. This really makes the whole deal come off as some attempt at theft by Telstra.

Another problem with the service is that it requires a phone to activate it. You basically need to ring Telstra to get started, which is quite a nuisance as the people in need of wireless broadband are possibly in a situation where they do not have a phone either. This may be an legal business practice that is unavoidable, but it would have been nice if it just worked straight away instead of mucking about.


While it is hard to rate the overall deal given the quality of the hardware and software, the service lets the whole thing down so badly that it really is not a very worthy deal.

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