NBN Co has announced plans to increase speeds for some customers by 2023. However, if you're currently saddled with a fibre-to-the-node (FttN) connection - like most residential NBN users - there are no plans to upgrade the bandwidth for the next four years. Guaranteed speeds won't exceed 25 Mbps, even in 2023.
Choosing an NBN plan is a bit like playing Russian roulette - while the odds are generally stacked in your favour, there's a pretty big chance something horrible will happen. It therefore pays to look at what other customers are buying to get an idea of what's popular. With that in mind, here are the top five NBN plans according to around a million WhistleOut users.
NBN Co's Corporate Plan 2020–2023 was released on 30 August and outlines what the NBN has in store over the next four years. It plans to deliver full completion of the network by the end of 2020. Right now, 5.7 million premises in Australia (approximately 86 per cent) have access to the NBN.
The report promises to increase bandwidth for customers using FttC (fibre to the curb) and HFC (hybrid fibre coax) while there are no plans to upgrade it for FttN customers.
"We expect 90 per cent of FttN customers will reach speeds of 50 Mbps, and we guarantee 25 Mbps to all of them," NBN chief executive Stephen Rue said during the plan's announcement.
"Our priority now is to complete the rollout, which we are on target to do by June 2020. The best way to ensure we can invest in future the network will be to generate a strong cash flow."
The problem is, around 1.1 per cent of NBN customers are connected to FttC while 2 per cent use HFC. Conversely, 3.3 million of the projected 8.6 million NBN's customers by 2023 will be using FttN, which will not have any upgrades until at least 2023.
Australia ranks second in the world for mobile broadband speed test, according to Ookla's Speedtest Global Index in July 2019. When it comes to fixed broadband speeds, however, Australia drops out of the top 50 to 60th position.
If the bandwidth for FttN remains the same over the next few years, it's unlikely Australia's position on the global internet stage will improve any time soon. For the Australians actually using the service, however, a stagnation of internet speeds in a world requiring more sturdy connections could turn them to other options like the burgeoning 5G network.
Optus released its first 5G home broadband plan to customers in August 2019, promising customers minimum speeds of 50Mbps for around the same monthly price as fixed-line NBN broadband. If customers can prove they aren't achieving those minimum speeds, they'll be able to cancel without fees. That's more than the NBN is promising Australia right now.
With all that said, the NBN rollout technology is only part of the puzzle. Whichever version you're connected to, your chosen plan is going to have a drastic affect on speed. With that in mind, here are the best Premium Evening Speed NBN 100 plans you can get right now. (Click on our interactive table to learn more about each option.)
Optus is finally rolling out 5G home broadband to suburbs that are covered by the network. Prices start at $70 per month - and they come with unlimited data. If you're considering this as an NBN alternative, here's an extra incentive to help get you over the line: if your plan doesn't receive the speeds promised by Optus, you can instantly break contract without any cancellation fees. Here are the details.