As we're all aware - and probably sick of hearing — NBN speeds are a contentious topic. Picking an NBN plan should be a simple equation where we weigh up the speed and data included in a plan versus the price you pay. But it hasn't turned out to be so neat and tidy.
Instead we find ourselves digging through the fine print of ISP websites and various consumer reports to get an indication of how fast our internet might be if we choose a certain provider. Netflix is one source of speed data, and though it isn't measuring NBN performance exclusively, it's not a bad proxy for finding which providers are doing a good job.
In the most recent Netflix Speed Index report for August, Telstra takes the crown for the third month running and has been among the top performers for most of 2018. Exetel and Optus are neck-and-neck for second and third, while iiNet, TPG and Dodo fill out the table.
Telstra NBN Plans
Telstra advertise 20Mbps typical evening speeds on NBN Standard Plans (NBN 25) and 40Mbps on Standard Plus (NBN 50) plans. Also, you won't find Premium plans on its site, but you can speak to them about an upgrade after you've been connected and they've had a chance to line test your connection.
Optus NBN Plans
One of the best things about Optus NBN plans is how simple they are to compare. Every plan has unlimited data and there's only two speeds to choose from: Standard Plus or Premium. Plus, if you have an Optus mobile phone plan, you can trim $10 off your bill each month.
Like Telstra, Optus advertise 40 Mbps typical evening speed on its NBN 50 plans. If you step up to a Premium speed plan, Optus claim speeds of at least 80Mbps, with its maximum off-peak speed sitting at a respectable 93 Mbps.
Exetel NBN Plans
Given that Exetel NBN plans are some of the cheapest in market, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the quality of the connection isn't particularly good. According to the Netflix Speed Index, it is one of the best.
Exetel plans are pretty flexible too. You get a choice of data inclusion, a choice of Basic, Standard Plus and Premium speed, and there are no contract options, too.
iiNet, TPG and Dodo NBN Plans
iiNet, TPG and Dodo are the best of the rest, according to the Netflix numbers, and when you take a closer look, the speeds of these three are not too far behind Optus and Exetel. As a counter claim, TPG adertises that it was in top spot in the ACCC speed report from July this year, and claims to deliver 46 Mbps on its Standard Plus plans, which is an impressive average during the peak hours.
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.