One of my correspondents in Perth had posted about internet limitations in AU, which appeared to put download speeds on about par with dialup in the US. Is that generally the case? We're thinking of moving to AU from the US (we're looking at Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane) and we're heavy internet users--my business depends on it--so that's a concern.
And yes, I'll research plans and providers but I was curious about your feedback.
You can get faster Broadband, but you will pay for it. It's not as slow as dialup but probably not as fast as US DSL either. ADSL2 is faster than ADSL1, but not available everywhere (although in the major cities you listed it shouldn't be a problem). And you also buy a plan based on how many GB you want to be able to download, kind of like a cell phone plan. If you go over your download quota some companies charge you for the excess at a ridiculous rate while others cut your speed down to a snails pace until your rollover date. In the big cities you will have more variety of companies and prices so shop around, DON'T get BigPond/Telstra they are evil!
To give you an example, my house has ADSL1, 8MB max download speed (although its usually somewhere around 5 or 6), 25GB/month download for $85/month and if we go over 25GB they slow us down to 562kb.
I'm in Melbourne and our internet is pretty much the same speed as we had in the US, but as already mentioned, there is a data cap. One thing that is a big pain in the butt is that sites in the US can be pretty slow.
We've had good luck with Telstra and horrible luck with Optus. It takes about 2 weeks (at least) for installations, so keep that in mind.