Somehow, Optus Just Became The Fastest NBN Provider In Australia

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its seventh report on real-world NBN speeds, and there’s been a bit of a shake-up. While TPG has dominated the past five Measuring Broadband Australia leaderboards, it’s been dethroned by Optus. No, really.

Optus customers were found to experience 87.7% of their plan's maximum speeds during the peak hours of 7pm - 11pm, putting it ahead of the eight other telcos covered by the report. These include Aussie Broadband, Dodo, Exetel, iiNet, iPrimus, MyRepublic, Telstra, and TPG.

Here are the full results:

Overall Poor connections excluded Peak hours
Optus 88.5% 91.3% 87.6%
TPG 87.8% 90.8% 86.3%
Exetel 86.3% 87.2% 84.8%
Aussie Broadband 85.3% 88.7% 84.2%
MyRepublic 84.9% 90.7% 84%
Telstra 85.3% 90.8% 83.8%
iiNet 83.7% 90.8% 82.6%
Dodo 79.4% 85.6% 76.4%
iPrimus 79.3% 85.6% 76.4%

It's worth noting that the ACCC’s speed test sample size isn’t huge: the program covered only 1255 NBN connections. There’s almost certainly a margin of error when it comes to this data, but at the same time, it’s not a bad indication of how Australia’s ISPs perform.

Here’s a look at NBN 100 plans from the providers in the ACCC report:

Note that Telstra doesn't have an NBN 100 plan in its core range. To get NBN 100 speeds on Telstra, you'll need to sign up for an NBN 50 plan and, if your physical connection is fast enough, you can then upgrade to NBN 100 for an extra $30 per month. If you go with Telstra’s cheapest NBN 50 plan, that brings your monthly bill to $120 per month.

Dodo and iPrimus don’t sell NBN 100 plans, and offer no option for upgrading to the speed tier.

MyRepublic is the cheapest when it comes to NBN 100 plans from the ACCC ISP leaderboard. You’ll pay $79.95 per month for the first six months, and $89.95 per month thereafter. However, you will have to sign a 12-month contract to get this price.

While TPG may have fallen from the top spot, it’s still second in terms of peak hour performance and the second cheapest plan here. TPG’s unlimited data NBN 100 plan will set you back $89.99 per month on an 18-month contract, but you can pay a $99.95 set-up fee if you’d prefer a month-to-month plan.

And here’s a look at NBN 50 plans from the providers in the ACCC report:

TPG, Exetel, Dodo, and Optus are pretty much tied when it comes to NBN 50 plans, with their plans billed at $70 per month. Well, $69.99 per month when it comes to TPG and Exetel, but 1 cent doesn’t exactly make a difference.

If you’re looking at no-contract plans, Exetel is the cheapest when it comes to upfront fees, followed by TPG, Optus, and then Dodo.


Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.

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Comments

    I find a couple things worrisome about this report.

    Firstly, "poor connections excluded"? This is about NBN speeds. There shouldn't be *any* poor connections. I'd like more information about what constitutes a poor connection and what (if anything) is done by the providers to rectify them. This is pretty important when you notice that IINET has over 7% on bad connections. That said, with a small sample size it's hard to know just how many connections that actually is...

    Secondly, it's worrisome that TPG and IINET have such a vastly different experience when they're the same parent company. It makes me worry about other TPG subsidiaries like Internode, Westnet, etc. I find it quite strange that IINET is the premium product (price wise) yet it performs worse than regular TPG. If it was the opposite it'd make sense.

      I'll tell you what Optus would do to rectify a poor connection. Absolutely nothing. I was with Optus a long time until their poor connection shenanigans began. I switched when after months of trying to solve the problem they still came up empty handed. All they can do is check your line from their end and they come up with a good connection, but on my end I can't even run 2 devices on the internet at the same time. They literally said to me to just leave, which is rare because wouldn't they want to keep me? I switched to TPG. Same line, same modem and I all of a sudden have an almost flawless connection. It literally felt liek someone at Optus just pushed the 'here's your shit internet button' on me and just forgot about it.

        That sucks. Considering the "chain" of devices that make up a connection though, the fault could be in a heap of places. Maybe switching providers meant you got a different port on a different piece of hardware way upstream that fixed the problem. Doesn't excuse Optus from failing to find the issue though.

        It does highlight the question though, if they consider your scenario a "bad connection" that would mean they're excluding it from the statistics, which to me seems like a bad idea.

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