Planhacker: Comparing NBN Pricing For Consumers

Planhacker: Comparing NBN Pricing For Consumers

NOTE: This guide has been superseded. Click here for the most recent version. So far, we’ve seen proposed NBN pricing from Exetel, iiNet and Internode, and last week Internode adjusted its pricing, creating a more competitive playing field. Compare all the current options with our interactive Planhacker spreadsheet.

Picture by Dushan Hanuska

NBN uptake is still very much in its early days with a handful of pilot locations being live, and there will be many more providers offering services by the time the NBN is fully available nation-wide. However, it’s still instructive to see how much the options vary at this stage. ISPs offering NBN services have to choose from a set of standard speed combinations, but beyond that they are free to set whatever policies they like in terms of download limits, shaping policy, contract length and other terms.

In the table below, we’ve listed the options available from Exetel, iiNet and Internode, the three ISPs we know of that have released general market pricing. We’ve included monthly fees; speeds; downloads limits; setup fees; contract lengths; minimum cost over the length of the contract; what speed your connection gets shaped to if you exceed those monthly limits, and whether those limits include uploads as well as downloads. Note that the setup fee doesn’t include an NBN-ready modem (you’ll have a range of these to choose from, depending on the provider).

While there are a large number of plans, you can sort and filter the table by clicking on the arrows in each column header, so that you can (for instance) only see plans running at 100/40, or sort in order of total download limits or prices.

A few notes: iiNet’s plans include matching peak (8am-2am) and offpeak (2am-8am) components. In the table, we’ve only listed the peak component. (Yes, you can schedule downloads to take advantage of off-peak, but for comparison purposes we’re concerned with connectivity you can use when it suits you.)

Exetel is the only provider which doesn’t count uploads and has the most generous shaping speed, but it also has the smallest overall download limits. Internode has dumped its previous approach of requiring a bundled phone service (though in practice bundling VOIP could be a good strategy with all providers). Internode is also the only no-contract option currently available. Its shaping speed is low, but you can pay extra for higher shaping speeds or additional data bundles, and it has the highest download limits overall.

For full details of each plan direct from the provider, hit the links below:

Any plans stand out for you? Know of others we should add? Tell us in the comments. (I’m sure we’ll be revisiting this topic again in the future as additional providers appear.)


  • agreed. The prices are not nearly as competitive as TPG. Until they can beat $60 unlimited internet + phone rental, they still have a long way to go

  • How about adding Telstra’s LTE plans (and Optus when they make it available)? The speed tests so far suggest it is comparable to 12/1Mbps and probably 25/5Mbps.

  • Internodes plans actually look really good now at the 300GB quotas. At similar price points iiNet and Exetel are only offering ~150GB compared to Internodes 300GB.

  • For shaping, I’d rather have iiNet as when your down at those speeds, upload becomes important for requesting a webpage before any actual downloading begins.

  • Would be interesting to get some sort of idea as to how these plans compare with other countries, to see if and where we are being shafted (ie: quotas, price, etc)

  • Just a question relating to the spreadsheet. Is the Upload/Download correct? From reading the column it shows for example Uploads are 12Mb and downloads are 1Mb. I thought download would be the 12Mb and upload would be 1Mb.

    Might be a bit pedantic but it seems a bit confusing.

    • I agree that the process did not seem ideal, and I hope they get much btteer at it. However, in their defense, I would say that many, many people have had similarly fraught (or worse!) experiences in trying to get ADSL or ADSL2+ connected to the house over the last decade, it might simply be the case that initially setting up/ trouble shooting these connections is sometimes challenging. e.g.:- it took over 20 days to switch from a ADSL2+ account to an ADSL2+ with home phone account on TPG, and I needed to make a line account with telstra first before they could do it, which later then got cancelled. The telstra line took over a week because the technician had accidently wired our house to the townhouse next door, so we were getting their calls (20 days without internet OMFG!).- I remember once in about 2001 having to wait months for an ADSL connection because the exchange had no spare ADSL connections available at the time.- a friend at the moment is stuck with crap internet because: his house is pair-gain wired so cant get ADSL2+, telstra cable doesnt run in his street, and optus is saying that it will cost $3k to install a new pole and cable to their house, because his pool is in the way and they won’t install cable across a pool.

  • I would still like to see some real speed tests on the 100/40 plans…

    WOuld be nice if they upped the data capps abit… How Optus and Telstra offer 500-1tb as standard these days for under $100

  • Seriously… What’s up with the caps 30GB/300GB/600GB/1TB??

    You really don’t need anything past 300, just an unlimited plan, and the jump from 30 to 300 is crazy.

  • iiNet’s plans give twice the amount of quota shown on this table due to having peak and off peak. The top end plan is 500Gb peak 500Gb off peak 100/40 for $99.95

    • The peak/off-peak distinction is mentioned in the article. As I said there, it’s not in the table as the comparison would then be misleading. (If future NBN providers also use the distinction, I’ll probably include distinct columns, but that’s overkill when only one is doing it.)

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