A Netflix binge is one of the more demanding ways you can use your internet connection, and it sure sounds like we’ll all about to be streaming a lot more in the near future. If you're not confident in your connectivity, you may want a more robust plan to keep up with your attempts to not go mad when social distancing or self-isolating.
There are a couple of ways to gauge NBN plan performance. The ACCC has a quarterly report, providers self-report evening speeds, or you could check out what Netflix has to say. Each month, Netflix releases a speed index report comparing prime time streaming performance across some of Australia's largest internet providers.
Rather than looking at overall internet speeds, the leaderboard details how well these telcos keep up when everyone is trying to binge Netflix during the busiest hours of the day. These are still a pretty reliable proxy about how a provider should perform in general.
Netflix has now published results for February, but before we look at the data, it's worth noting that some providers have separate rankings for NBN performance and non-NBN performance. Other telcos have their NBN and ADSL speeds combined into a single result.
Here are the full results from February:
And here's a look at some plans from these providers:
NBN 100 plans with unlimited data
Chart-topper Telstra is unsurprisingly the most expensive option here, charging $110 per month for its NBN 100 plan. This plan is, however, only available to those with an FTTP or HFC NBN connection. All other connection types are restricted to NBN speeds.
However, Telstra could be alluring if you're wanting to expand your streaming horizon. If you sign up before 30 April, you can nab a three-month free subscription to Foxtel Now. The subscription includes access to every Foxtel Now pack, which is valued at $104 per month. After the three-month offer expires, you'll be bumped down to the $25 per month "Essentials" pack unless you specify a different bundle or cancel your subscription.
Telstra will also waive the $99 connection charge for new customers. The plan is technically contract-free, but you'll need to pay out the pro-rated value of the included modem ($216) if you leave within your first 24 months.
For comparison, Optus, which ranks behind Telstra in the latest Netflix Speed Index, will charge you $100 per month. Aussie Broadband is just a hair behind in the index but one of your cheapest options at $89 per month. With Optus, you have the choice of committing to a 24-month contract or paying a $200 setup fee. Aussie Broadband plans are all contract-free with no setup fees.
NBN 50 plans with unlimited data
When it comes to NBN 50 plans, MyRepublic is your cheapest option here at $69 per month. Pricing for plans from TPG, Dodo, and Optus is almost identical however, coming in at $69.99 per month, $70 per month, and $70 per month again, respectively.
Speed leader Telstra is again the priciest at $90 per month, but the Foxtel Now promo is also eligible here. Most other plan options from providers on the Netflix index sit between $70 and $80 per month.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.
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