COVID-19 Daily Life: Wi-Fi data and access

COVID-19 (also called the corona virus) is changing the way we all do things for the next few months, with social distancing and non-essential shut-downs our new normal. To help you move with the times, stay connected and keep entertained, the Digital Ready for Daily Life program has put together info, tips, tricks, hacks and how-to’s for all things digital in your daily life.

With many more people using the Internet during the COVID-19 through social distancing, home schooling and working from home, all of Australia’s major internet service providers have stepped up to lower the cost and increase the volume of data being provided. Having sufficient data is important for things like using video for chats and meetings, watching more online entertainment, plus sending and downloading documents. NBN Co has also increased the capacity of the network to cope with the growth in users and to decrease congestion.

So what is on the table?

If you're a Telstra customer, here's the offer:

  • Unlimited data on all home and business Internet plans for no additional cost until 30 April.
  • An extra 25GB of data for postpaid customers to use within 30 days.
  • Additional 10GB of data for prepaid customers with an active recharge of over $40 (to be used within 28 to 30 days, depending on your plan).
  • Unlimited national calls, 13/1300 calls, and calls to Australian mobiles for pensioners with a Telstra home phone plan.
  • Discounted mobile broadband plans, with no excess data charges.

In order to receive the additional data on Telstra's prepaid and postpaid plans, you'll need to apply for the extra data via the Telstra 24x7 and My Telstra Apps. You have up until March 31 to do this, and the data will be available within 24 to 48 hours.

If you are with Optus they're currently providing:

  • Additional 10GB of data for prepaid customers when you recharge $40 or more in April.
  • A one-off extra 20GB of data for postpaid customers in April.

Since Optus already offers unlimited data on their NBN and 5G home wireless plans, they've focused on delivering more value for their mobile customers. 20GB of data should give you enough for at least 20 hours of standard definition video calling, and around 10 hours at high-definition.

Vodafone's bonus offers for its mobile customers is

  • Additional 5GB of data for postpaid customers.
  • A one-off extra 3GB for prepaid customers.
  • Data-free access to the Federal Health Department and state-based health department websites.

Other smaller Internet providers have also stepped up. Aussie Broadband and Superloop are offering unmetered Internet plans for their customers. For the many Tasmanians living in regional areas with NBN satellite connection, SkyMesh and Activ8me have announced weekly bonus data blocks.

In addition to bonus data offers, some Internet providers have also reached out to provide extra help if you're going through financial hardship.

Vodafone has a range of flexible options available if you've been financially impacted both directly and indirectly as a result of COVID-19. You can contact Vodafone to discuss any issues you may be having, such as being unable to make payments, by either going through their financial hardship application online or by calling Vodafone on 1300 650 405 between 8am to 8pm AEST Monday to Friday.

Aussie Broadband has also announced a temporary stop to all service suspensions due to late payments.

Here are the bonus data offers from all providers, broken down for comparison:

https://www.finder.com.au/coronavirus-bonus-data-offers#table