Whether you like it or not, the NBN means you'll have to have change your internet plan sooner or later. If you don't switch to the National Broadband Network within 18 months of your area going live, there's a good chance you'll lose your traditional phone and internet services.
Today, just under six million premises are able to get NBN, but only around half of these have actually taken up a connection. This means at least three million Aussies are staring down the barrel of the cut-off.
Switching to the National Broadband Network might seem like a lot of effort - especially if you're not expecting wildly better performance - but to help out, we've picked out some of the cheapest plans across the four main speed tiers: 12Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps, and 100Mbps.
A cheap NBN plan can be a very attractive option, but there are two points worth considering. Firstly, cheaper plans can be more prone to congestion during peak hours, but we've heard reports of larger telcos' customers experiencing similar problems.
Secondly, cheaper plans can often attract setup fees, especially when they're not on a contract. Some providers charge as much as $200 to setup your connection, which makes your total cost over a year much higher than a low monthly fee would suggest.
We've tried to look for plans with no setup fees, but these require you to bring your own modem. As such, we've also picked out a couple of no-contract plans that include a NBN-ready modem for each speed tier; the minimum total cost for these is listed under the monthly fee.
WhistleOut's own research shows the majority of us are now opting for at least 500GB of data, so we've used this as a minimum allowance for the plans in this comparison.
NBN 12 plans
NBN 12 connections are very much the bare minimum when it comes to NBN, offering ADSL-like download speeds of up to 12Mbps and download speeds of up to 1Mbps. These connections tend to be the absolute cheapest you'll find, and in most cases, start around $60 per month. Amaysim is an outlier thanks to a promo where you'll get your first six months for $40 per month.
The cheapest NBN 12 plans (no modem)
The cheapest NBN 12 plans (with a modem)
NBN 25 plans
NBN 25 is a standard no-frills internet connection. With download speeds of up to 25Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5Mbps, it's just fast enough for 4K streaming. Amaysim is again a winner here thanks to promo where you get $20 off your first six-months. However, if you need a modem, you'll pay a little less upfront on your first month if you go with Belong.
The cheapest NBN 25 plans (no modem)
The cheapest NBN 25 plans (with a modem)
NBN 50 plans
While NBN 50 plans aren't always commonly offered, they're a nice middle ground if you want something faster than 25Mbps but don't want to spring for a 100Mbps plan. You can expect download speeds of up to 50Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. If you don't need an NBN-ready modem, Aussie Broadband is your cheapest option at $75 per month. Barefoot and Mate come in second at $89 per month each.
The MyRepublic NBN 50 plan might be the cheapest option below to include a modem, but the telco also has an NBN 100 plan for the same monthly price.
The cheapest NBN 50 plans (no modem)
The cheapest NBN 50 plans (with a modem)
NBN 100 plans
NBN 100 is the fastest widely available NBN product, offering download speeds of up to 100Mbps and upload speeds of up to 40Mbps. These kinds of plans will start at around $75 per month, with MyRepublic currently offering the cheapest month-to-month rates. If you'd prefer a different provider, Amaysim is a good middle ground, offering unlimited data for $90 per month.
The cheapest NBN 100 plans (no modem)
The cheapest NBN 100 plans (with a modem)
Of course, there's plenty of other ways to save money when it comes to NBN plans, including opting for a lower data allowance or signing your soul away for a 12 or 24-month contract. If you've found an NBN deal that you love, let us know in the comments.
Alex Choros is Associate Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. All his useful knowledge has been replaced with fun facts about mobile and broadband plans.