The Best NBN 50 Plans (From ISPs You’ve Never Heard Of)

Image: iStock

People we speak with tend to think about NBN plans in one of two ways. Either they’d like to know about the fastest plans, and focus on 100Mbps, or they want to know the cheapest. Sometimes it’s a combination of both.

This overlooks a part of the market that may be a better fit for a number of people. NBN 50 plans are the forgotten middle-children of the NBN world, and as an earlier article we mentioned in, only smaller, lesser known ISPs tend to offer them.

The thing is, if your home (or business) is plugged into the NBN with a Fibre to the Node (FttN) connection, an NBN 50 plan might be your best bet. Here's an overview of the type of uses NBN plans are good for, courtesy of NBN Co:

Image: NBN Co

As you know, FttN connection speeds degrade depending on the distance your home is from the node, and many people are finding that they can’t achieve a full 100Mbps despite paying for it. As much as we’d love this to change, there’s no point paying for something that you can’t get.

So, let’s take a second to sing the praises of the NBN’s redheaded stepchildren. Neither the cheapest or the fastest and often from ISPs you’ve never heard of (and a couple you probably have). This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a closer look, though.

Cheapest NBN 50 plans with at least 100GB (and wireless modem included)

Obligatory caveat: Several of the ISPs in this list are so new that it can be hard to tell what sort of service you will get. Before diving in, you'll want to do a bit of extra research - checking out the conversations on Whirlpool is a good place to start.

Also, it's a good idea to consider a no-contract plan. Most of the smaller ISPs offer no-commitment options, and while the setup costs tend to be higher, it might be worth paying a little bit extra for the peace of mind.

Joe Hanlon is Publisher at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. He’s been writing about phones and plans for far too long.

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    I'll stick with myRepublic, their 100mbps plans are cheaper..

      Can you give me/us some more information on MyRepublic? What is their support like? What are the speeds like? What is the connection quality like?

      My mum was looking to sign up for NBN, and I suggested MyRepublic, because it was cheap, and she only wanted a cheap connection, but she could never get a hold of anyone when calling to try and sign up!

        Their customer service is notoriously hard to get ahold of. Some peeps (including me) also got terrible speeds at peak hour. To the point I had to change providers. Upload speeds were stable tho

        MR's support is horrid, not even a little bad. I mean truly terrible. You just need to look at the Whirlpool MR thread and other WP threads to see. But the price is right so people stick with it.

        I just signed up with them so ill let you know after im connected. I asked around before booking with them and have heard great things. Customer service is a little slow, as in waiting on the phone to speak to someone, but apparently drop outs are very very minimal. This is more than likely an NBN issue as most people on it are experiencing minor drop outs.

        No connection fee, $99 for router and $70 month to month for 100/40 and unlimited downloads
        No connection fee, $1 for router and $60 a month on a 12 month contract for 100/40 and unlimited downloads

        you cant beat that

        Last edited 30/03/17 8:43 am

    What's the contention ratios like? That's a much more important metric than the price.

    Also, if I'm being sold a 100Mbs NBN plan, I expect a 100Mbs service to be delivered to my house. Anything less than that I would be seeking compensation and remediation until that fault is fixed.

      Good luck.

      That's not going to happen, especially if you're on HFC connection. Every plan you get stats the MAX possible speed. If you're getting 80dn and 30up on a 100/40 plan you're doing pretty well.

      apparently most people on the 50/20 plans are getting around 45dn and 18up. Sounds pretty good to me.

        If they can't deliver 100, they shouldn't be allowed to sell 100.

          They aren't selling 100, they are selling you a max speed of 100. Its the same for every single provider. Our technology is nowhere near good enough to lock every customer at 100.

            Like I said, if they can't provide 100, they shouldn't be allowed to sell 100. If all they can provide is, say, 30, then that's all they should be allowed to charge for. You don't go to the hardware store and buy "up to" 100 bolts when they've only got 30 to sell, you get 30 bolts and they charge you for 30 bolts.

              I tend to agree with this. When you pay for water, gas, or electricity, you pay for the amount you use, and the provider must cater to that demand. Furthermore, they have to advertise to that, they can't sell you what they can't provide.

              Somehow, internet bandwidth has been allowed to be sold on the total maximum potential rather than what is actually provided. They should at least be mandated to provide averages for households or businesses in the area one is buying in. If I'm buying service in an area where the average throughput is 30% of the maximum, why would I subscribe to paying for the extra 70% I'm not going to get?

                I think you're both forgetting that they are not responsible for the infrastructure, our government is.

                There are also SO many factors that could be affecting your internet speed all the way down to your crappy router settings. Imagine the calls, complaints and refunds if they had to give you locked speeds. Its literally impossible to guarantee internet speed

                  I was making a case for more transparent numbers and pricing, not locked speeds. ;)

                  I ask again, if you were buying service in an area where the average throughput is a proven 30% (beyond the shadow of doubt) of the maximum, would you be happy to pay for the extra 70% you're not going to get?

                  That's not true at all. ISPs can deliver a specific speed to your house. What the specific speed is depends on the infrastructure in place.

                  Much the same as other utilities, there needs to be a standard set to deliver this service within an acceptable margin. If the power company only delivered 30 volts to people's houses, when they're required to deliver ~230, there would be outrage and demands to get it fixed. Same thing needs to apply here. If they're selling a 100Mbs service, then they must have infrastructure in place to deliver that service, and keep it maintained well enough to deliver it. You don't see the water companies saying "oh sorry, you can only get 1l per minute, because there's some crappy old pipes in your street", if that was the case they'd fix the pipes.

          They can't control the shitty wiring in your house/street.

            Of course they can, they own the cable!

              No, I own the cable in my house (and the bank).

                They're required to provision the service up to the demarcation point on your premises, from that point, to the POP, they have control over what speed can be delivered. If that point to the POP isn't delivering the speed you pay for, at all times, then then need to fix it.

                  I wish you good luck in getting them to lay new cable for you then.

            That's not a reasonable argument. Utility companies often don't own the infrastructure through which they provide services, but they're often required to maintain it, or at least manage repair services in order to be able to provide the efficient and reliable services for which one is paying. But ISPs have been allowed to shirk responsibility for subpar services, all the while mandating that you pay for the full service.

            Tell me how that makes sense?

    "As you know, FttN connection speeds degrade depending on the distance your home is from the node, and many people are finding that they can’t achieve a full 100Mbps despite paying for it."
    I've always wanted to know, does the speed restriction further from the node act as a maximum speed capable, or as a fraction of what you're signed up for?
    If I sign up for 100Mbps, but max out at 50Mbps, what happens if i go to a 50Mpbs service instead? Do I get the full 50, or only 25, being half, just like i only got half of the 100Mbps service?

      (Honest question, not annoyed)
      Why am I being moderated? I thought moderation was for people with consistent downvotes, but I'm not sure I've ever had negative responses to my comments.

        I asked a salesmen from internode a similar question. I said if i get 80 dn on the 100 plan can i then switch to the 50 plan and hold constant of 50? He replied by saying most people on 50 achieve something around the 45dn mark even if they get higher speeds on the 100 plan

    This list is really bad...there are very few providers in the list and there are definitely cheaper providers out there than this with better plans and better CVC capacity than some of the RSP's in this list.

    If you're one of the lucky few with FTTH or wealthy enough to pay for the tech choice upgrade shouldn't the max theoretical speed be guaranteed?
    Or is CVC just going to make it an endless lottery on which ISP doesn't skimp out.

    The number of hoops you have to go through feels like the people who designed this version of the NBN really don't want people to use the internet.

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