Choosing an NBN plan seems easy — and it should be — but the NBN is an unruly beast and, as loads of people are finding out, it can be hard to get what you pay for.
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Issues with congestion and the limitations of FTTN technology can mean that while you may sign on for a 100Mbps NBN plan, there are a number of factors that determine how frequently you’ll get 100Mbps, if at all. This isn’t to say you should avoid the NBN, just that it is worth dipping in a toe before you dive in headfirst. No contract NBN plans are the solution.
Just be aware that many no contract internet plans have high setup costs. You might not sign a contract, but handing over a couple of hundred bucks upfront may mentally lock you into a plan all the same.
To help you out, the tables below order the plans based on the cheapest first month of service, rather than the cheapest ongoing monthly cost.
No contracts, no setup fees
Above are NBN 12 plans with no setup fees, and therefore the lowest cost for the first month of service. Be aware that these plans don’t come with modem at this price. In most cases, the setup fee goes towards paying for the modem the provider sends to you.
There are several options costing about $60 for the first month, which is as cheap as you are likely the find at this point in time.
If you’re looking for the cheapest monthly fee, that prize goes to Dodo with it’s $29.95 plan with just 10GB data per month. But Dodo also charge a hefty $232 setup cost, meaning your first bill will be for $262.85. Doing the math, you’d have to stay with Dodo for more than 8-months before the plan works out cheaper than any of $60 options, and you'd only get 80GB of data during that period.
NBN 12: Unlimited Data (incl. modem)
Like the first table, this is table features NBN 12 plans, but all plans here include an NBN-ready modem, which is probably important if you are moving from an old ADSL to the newer technology.
Telstra-owned Belong comes out looking pretty good here, being nearly $30 cheaper upfront than its nearest competitor for the first month, though Spintel has the lowest ongoing monthly fee and is also a good option.
If you want a big brand, Optus sits just outside of the group in the table above, with its $60 unlimited data plan. Click here if you want to see more details about it.
NBN 100: Unlimited Data (incl. modem)
Belong features strongly here as well, while MyRepublic is cheapest from month to month. Amaysim is a good middle ground, with an ongoing price of $90 per month.
Of course, these are just a few suggestions for plans you might consider. If you want to take a look for yourself, you can start your own search right here on Lifehacker.
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.