Planhacker: Every NBN Price Compared

Planhacker: Every NBN Price Compared

NOTE: This guide has been superseded. Click here for the most recent version. Optus has announced its pricing plans for NBN customers, which means there are now four major companies vying for your NBN custom. We’ve got all the pricing in one handy and updated Planhacker spreadsheet so you can compare what’s available.

Note that you can still only get the NBN in pilot locations (currently Townsville, Armidale, Kiama, Brunswick, Scottsdale, Midway Point, Smithon and Willunga). The NBN continues to roll out to more locations, and there will be many more providers offering services by the time the NBN is fully available nation-wide, but competition is definitely starting to heat up. (Tasmania’s NBN sites don’t necessarily get the full choice; Optus, for instance, isn’t running there.)

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, peak and off-peak availability, contract length and other terms.

In the table below, we’ve listed the options available from Exetel, iiNet, Internode and Optus, the four ISPs 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 generally doesn’t include an NBN-ready modem (you’ll have a range of these to choose from, depending on the provider, and some will make them free depending on the length of the contract).

While there are a large number of plans, you can sort and filter the table by clicking on the column headers, 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 important notes: iiNet’s plans include matching peak (8am-2am) and off-peak (2am-8am) components, while Optus’ also have variable amounts of peak (12pm-12am) and off-peak (12am-12pm)options. 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.)

Optus customers adjust speeds by adding speed packs to their basic plans ($10 a month for 50/20, $20 a month for 100/40), which we’ve reflected in the table. Note that the $39.99 plan is only available if you have an Optus mobile; other plans may have discounts if you’re already an Optus customer. Optus’ $64.94, $109 and $129 plans (at 25/5 speed) also include phone service, so be cautious in directly comparing them to other options.

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. Optus’ offer of free installation is handy and we like that it doesn’t have contracts; there’s no guarantee that will remain the case in the future, but if you’re signing up now it’s very appealing. For full details of each plan direct from the provider, hit the links below:

Tempted by any of these? Want different options? Share your ideas in the comments.

Lifehacker’s weekly Planhacker column rounds up the best communication deals.


  • The NBN plans for Internode seems reasonable. I pay $90 for the 200gb plan with them and I haven’t had any problems so far. To save $5 for the 300gb 50Mbps plan looks mighty attractive.

  • love how the shaping speeds aren’t proportional to the upgrade in service speeds… can you imagine going from those broadband speeds down to 128kbs… fk…that!

    • This may surprise you, but you’re not suppose to like it.

      Having the stark difference in speeds helps the ISPs in two ways:
      1)Encourages people not to flog the heck out of their connection, thus helping manage overall contention ratios.
      2)Up-sells the customer to the next plan, “Just in case we go too hard one month”.

  • No-one in their right mind will pay $150 for a terabyte of data when companies like TPG are offering unlimited high(-ish)-speed internet for a third of that cost… And the rise of 4G/LTE will soon make things like the NBN completely redundant.

      • For somebody going from a TPG plan to the NBN, it’s like going back in time… a lot more for a lot less!
        The speeds in some of the more affordable plans (which give you minimal downloads) is no better than a good ADSL2+ connection so I don’t believe the bed time stories we were told about how we won’t be paying more and it would just be an upgrade at the same price.
        Seems more like another expensive Telstra monopoly that only caters to customers who have lots of money to spend for a service they will not really utilize.

        I love the NBN concept, minus the huge monopoly rip off it is going to be when copper connections are taken offline!

  • would love lifehacker, to have a look at FIBRE TO THE HOME, which is being rolled out in southbrisbane areas…
    im in this area and feel like im about to get ripped off once it gets activated, we’ve had the cables laid in the street just waiting on connection to the house

    • Im in the same area Ross,
      I had mine activated a week ago and I want to go back to my old copper.
      Im with TPG and I used to have their unlimited ADSL2+ for $60/mo.
      Now Telstra have made them cap their plans at a maximum 300gb, though their speeds are meant to be 32/4, the max download I can pull at the moment is ~230kb/s. I’m honestly hoping that this is to do with their hardware at the exchange not being fully installed otherwise I’ll be on the phone to them until it’s fixed.

    and that’s from Tassie.

    I’m on a 300gb plan with Node, with NodePhone bundled as well, and I guarantee I’ll be getting FetchTV Full when they enable Multicast over NBN.
    Service is phenomenal, you get that speed no matter where you are and all of the time. I think I’ve got a good few years before I even have to think about getting worried about congestion issues.
    Gaming is fricken nuts, most mainland BF3 servers get between 18-30ms pings, and I can have 5 or 6 torrents running at the same time, missus using the phone and streaming youtube content as well and still game. Try doen that on ADSL.

  • My $49.99 TPG plan 250GB+250GB ADSL2+ connecting at 15.5Mbps sounds like a better deal to me, I guess I will end up paying more for less also:>(
    I’m all for fast internet, who isn’t? but the price should be going down, not up

  • A number of these plans seem similar in price, speed and data volume to plans that are comparable to present ADSL2+ offerrings.
    I imagine (perhaps hope) that competition may have some influence on these prices when services actually become available.
    If the plans that become available end up similar to ADSL2+ then the cost of the NBN ($40bn+ in my taxes) may well have been expended to principally benefit those users located in regional areas that represent < 20% of the market.

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