Everyone wants fast internet, but unfortunately, getting speedy NBN isn’t as simple as it should be. There are so many factors that can affect the speed and quality of your connection, and no one wants to be stuck with a service that craps out during peak hours.
While there’s big quality differences between ISPs, some do a pretty decent job of delivering consistently fast NBN. Thanks to the ACCC’s “Measuring Broadband Australia” testing program – based on real world data from Australian households – we’ve got a good idea of who they are.
The ACCC recently released its fourth report on real-world NBN speed, and it’s actually promising. There's always room for improvement, but most fixed-line NBN customers seem to get the speeds they’re paying for. Close to, at least.
TPG came out on top, delivering peak hour speeds that were 86.1% of plan maximums on average, while Aussie Broadband followed at 84.8%. Optus, Telstra, and MyRepublic were all close behind, delivering 83.9%, 82.7%, and 82% of their maximum speeds during busy periods, respectively. Lastly, Exetel, iiNet, and Dodo / iPrimus racked up 81.7%, 79.8%, and 78.9%.
These speed reports are still pretty new; at present, they only cover 908 individual NBN connections across 15 different providers. As such, the ACCC’s testing isn’t necessarily the final world on NBN speed. But at the same time, it’s a good start; peak hour download speeds between 80Mbps and 90Mbps ain’t bad. And it’s always nice to have data from an independent body.
Here's a look at how these providers price their unlimited NBN 100 plans:
There are a few deals worth calling out here. MyRepublic is currently running a promo that gets you your first year for $79.95 per month, which makes it one of the cheapest NBN 100 plans around. You’ll pay $89.95 per month thereafter, but the plan itself is no-contract so you can leave whenever.
If you’re also keen to change mobile provider, TPG will give you three free months of mobile service when you sign an 18-month NBN contract.
Telstra doesn't sell NBN 100 plans as a standalone product. If you want NBN 100 speeds on Telstra, you'll need to sign up for one of the NBN 50 plans below first. If your physical connection to the NBN is fast enough, you'll then be able to upgrade to a 100Mbps plan for an extra $30 per month.
While Telstra might be the priciest out of this lot, it’s currently waiving the $99 connection charge when you sign-up online. You don’t have to pay for a modem upfront, but if you cancel within 24 months of connecting, you’ll need to pay a modem fee. This is based on the outright modem cost – $218 – and decreases by $9 for each month you stay connected.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.