Planhacker: NBN Price Roundup February 2012

Planhacker: NBN Price Roundup February 2012

NOTE: This guide has been superseded. Click here for the most recent version. It might be a while before the NBN is arriving in your area, but the pricing options and plans continue to evolve. Planhacker brings you an up-to-date guide to what you’ll pay for the NBN.

We’re updating this Planhacker listing to reflect recent price changes by Exetel, which has cut prices on some plans but also ditched many of its options. (Optus also announced small business NBN plans this week, but Planhacker only covers consumer plans, not business options.) In response to reader request, we have also separated peak and off-peak download limits.

Note that you can still only get the NBN in pilot locations. We’ve rounded up the expected rollout schedule for this year, and as the service expands, there should be many more providers. In particular, we’re waiting to see what Telstra comes up with.

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 for consumers. We’ve included monthly fees; speeds; downloads limits (peak, off-peak and total); 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. We’ve listed each separately, but recommend careful consideration before taking up a plan . (Yes, you can schedule downloads to take advantage of off-peak, but it’s better to have 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. When it first cut back on its range of plans, it didn’t offer anything with more than 100GB, but after adding a 300GB plan for $70 a month, it comes out looking pretty impressive.

Internode is 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, though there’s no guarantee that will remain the case in the future.

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

One final point: every time we write about the NBN, some commenters will point out that they can get a bigger download limit from their existing provider for less money right now and argue they don’t want to change. It’s worth remembering that not everyone is blessed with the same choices you are, and that no-one is being forced yet to switch to the NBN in areas where there are a large range of providers. By the time it hits your area, the pricing will certainly be different.

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


  • As someone who is paying 60/month for unlimited adsl2+ (and getting around 3.5Mb for it) I would consider the new exetel plans, 100Mb for 60 a month, although 150gb is a bit low, the throttle speed of 1Mb could be bearable (at least coming from my current connection)

  • I recently decided to see what else was available instead of iPrimus’s “Big Kahuna plus” and was pleasantly surprised when they offered me the “Platinum Max 500” on ADSL2+. I’m currently getting around 10/11 mbps, no off peak. So pretty sweet deal for me. If NBN can improve on that I will be very happy.

    • Actually I see it as $+ since the tax payer will be getting a return on investment. Meaning that money will go into more services for me simply paying what I already do for internet.


    • … Seriously, there’s sheeple that still think like this? It’s an investment into economic/social/education infrastructure that pays for itself through a customer base. WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?! DAMN IT!

      P.S. We need this given how we’re currently stuck in the 70s technology… This shit needs to go!

  • I’m currently with the Internode Gold – 50/20 Mbps 300gig plan. Can’t quite bring myself to bring myself to pay the extra $10 for double the speeds but I’m hoping the iiNet buyout will move the price in the right direction.

    Unfortunately, I am not a fan of the onpeak/offpeak of iiNet. Given the speeds at which content can be downloaded, if I want something now, it’ll be done in minutes, not hours and during that time I’ll still be able to browse/play online games fine. No more setting downloads for after 2AM and leaving my computer on all night, now I’ll download BF3 at 4MB/sec and still be able to play some WoW with a good ping

  • I can’t even get ADSL2+ i my area as there are no ports available in the exchange and no plan for NBN in the next 2 years and I’m 35 km from Brisbane CBD. What a joke

  • I’m ON BP Cable Ultimate 100Mbps yes I do touch 10.1MB/s+, with 200GB(not enuf), but I would see why we need to move on(infrastructure), i was on an ADSL2+ Naked iPrimus Unlimited plan, struggling to get 3-4Mbps, drop outs and nightmares ! lol

    NOW, I’ve pretty much done everything I need to in 1-2 hours and stare at the PC for the remaining 8hrs+… LOL (jokin), I play BF3 like MAD/CrAzY !!! 😉

  • I wish I could even connect to the Internet!! I just finished building my new house 45 minutes out of Melbourne and get told that there is no available ports. NOT HAPPY!!! (btw I’m in Wallan)

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