The ACCC released its third report on real-world NBN speeds at the start of this month, and the results were mostly good. While there's always room for improvement, most fixed-line NBN customers are consistently getting close to the speeds they're paying for.
Of course, not all internet providers are equal.
TPG came out on top this time around, delivering peak hour speeds that were 88.4% of plan maximums, while previous champion Aussie Broadband followed at 85.8%. iiNet and Optus were close behind with 84.8% and 84%, respectively. Last but not least, Telstra and MyRepublic racked up 83.5% and 82.1% of their maximum speeds during busy periods.
While NBNCo would like us to all wait patiently for their trucks to roll along our streets and connect us to the national network, the reality is that a combination of impatience and mixed reports of network performance have many people considering the alternatives. While the NBN garners lots of attention and a connection to your home is mandatory, you don't actually have to use that connection. There are alternative services that mean you can sidestep signing up with the NBN/RSP combination. Here are some of the alternatives.
These speed reports are still quite new, and only encompass 790 individual NBN connections across 15 internet service providers, so they're not necessarily the be all and end all. At the same time, they're quite encouraging; it's hard to complain if you’re getting peak hour download speeds between 80Mbps and 90Mbps.
Here's a look at how these providers price their Premium Evening Speed NBN 100 plans:
Telstra doesn't actually sell NBN 100 plans as a standalone product. To get NBN 100 speeds on Telstra, you'll need to sign up for one of the NBN 50 plans below. If your physical connection is fast enough, you'll then be able to upgrade to NBN 100 for an extra $30 per month.
If you are keen to go with Telstra, it's waiving the $240 fee on month-to-month plans up until Christmas. Unless you want Foxtel Now and a Telstra TV bundled with your NBN, this is the best option if you're considering Telstra.
Since the current scope of the ACCC's speed monitoring is a little bit limited, here are a few more NBN plans from providers not currently included in the report.
Pricing sits in a mostly similar ballpark to the previous plans, but Sumo and Click Broadband have some of the cheapest NBN 100 offers around thanks to deep discounts for the first six months. Both plans are available with no-contract however, so you can always leave after the promo runs out.
Wouldn't it be great if you could try an NBN plan before you buy it? It turns out you can. 30-day free trials are everywhere these days, but they haven't quite made their way to the world of telco. This is a bit of a shame when it comes to the NBN; while all providers are technically reselling access to the same network, they're far from equal.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website. He's now had far too many phone plan related dreams.