Consumer watchdogs CHOICE recently published the results of their Best NBN Providers report, and found iiNet at the top of the heap. Combining real-world speed tests and customer satisfaction scores, iiNet sits in first place above TPG, Telstra and Optus - in that order.
To find the best, the CHOICE team collect speed tests from a couple of thousand volunteers who agree to install performance monitoring boxes in their homes. Over the past six-months, iiNet has come out on top, delivering an average of 75-percent maximum speed.
So iiNet is doing a good job, but how does it compare on price? Let's begin by looking at the other ISPs in the CHOICE shortlist.
NBN Standard Plus (50) Plans
In general, you'll pay extra for the award-winning iiNet performance. Optus mobile phone plan subscribers get the best deal after you deduct the $10 per month bundle discount Optus offers, and TPG is, as always, a low-cost option.
iiNet pricing isn't too far off the pace, and given that its customer satisfaction score is much higher than the competition (6 percentage points higher than the next closest), iiNet looks like a worry free option for the extra money.
NBN Premium (100) Plans
For the top tier NBN speeds, iiNet is more competitive and thanks to a current promotion, you can get a Fetch TV premium service bundled in for free.
TPG is still cheaper, and also ranks well for speed in the CHOICE test results, but has a lower customer satisfaction score.
How about everyone else?
As you probably suspected, there are even better NBN 50 speed deals if you bring in the smaller providers. One of the current limitations of the CHOICE testing is that it is hard to find representative samples of the smaller ISPs, so the focus tends to be on the major brands.
Spintel and Exetel are winning the price war for lowest cost NBN plans right now, but others like Click, Sumo and even Aussie Broadband are nipping at their heels. It's also always interesting to see how much cheaper Telstra-owned Belong is when compared with Telstra itself. I expect Belong to be cheaper, but I'm always surprised at how much cheaper it is.
Consumer advocacy group Choice keeps track of NBN performance and customer satisfaction across retailers, and this week has named iiNet the best NBN provider for the last six months. The rankings are based off speed monitoring and customer surveys, and are designed to help consumers pick a provider that won't leave them with a dodgy connection.
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.