Not all internet providers are equal – especially when it comes to the NBN.
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There’s about a million different factors that can affect the speed and quality of your connection, which can make signing up for a new plan feel a bit like wandering through a minefield. No one wants to get stuck with a dud service.
Thankfully, some providers have been doing a bang-up job of delivering high quality NBN, and thanks to the ACCC’s “Measuring Broadband Australia” program – which relies on real world testing data from Australian households – we’ve got a better idea of who they are.
The ACCC released its third report on real-world NBN speeds at the end of last year, 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.
TPG came out on top, 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. Lastly, Telstra and MyRepublic racked up 83.5% and 82.1% of their maximum speeds during busy periods.
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 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.
If you are keen to go with Telstra, the good news is it's waiving the usual $99 connection fee when you order online. Unless you want Telstra TV bundled with your NBN, this is the best option right now.
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 for these is similar to the previous plans, but there are a few offers worth mentioning. SpinTel will do a 500GB NBN 100 plan for $74.95, provided you’re happy committing to 18 months. This is one of the cheaper NBN 100 plans around; especially when you factor in the $59 credit that it currently comes with.
If you don’t want to sign a contract, Vodafone's $69 unlimited plan is pretty hard to beat. Normally this plan costs an extra $20 per month - the reduced fee is only available for the first six months. (Offer ends 31 July.) Since the plan is available with no-contract, you can always leave after the promo runs out.
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.