Australia's Best NBN Plans, Ranked By Speed

Fastest NBN plans in AustraliaImage: iStock

When it comes to the NBN, we know that plans and providers are not all equal. Despite standard speed tiers, performance can vary a lot, especially during the evening peak times.

Every ISP is technically reselling access to the same network, but the way in which providers like Telstra and TPG buy capacity from NBN Co means there can be discrepancies in the speeds you’ll get from one to another. This is most noticeable during busy periods, like at night when everyone is trying to binge Netflix at the same time.

If your entire neighbourhood wants to binge the new season of Rick & Morty and your provider doesn’t have enough bandwidth, you end up with a digital traffic jam. Even if you’re paying for what you think is a fast NBN plan.

Thanks to the ACCC, NBN providers are revealing what kind of speeds you can realistically expect to get during busy hours - not just the NBN speed tier your plan is based on. The good news is there are plenty of providers who do a great job of delivering the speeds that their customers are paying for, and we'd like to call them out.

Superloop

Superloop is one of the fastest NBN providers on the block, reporting typical evening speeds of 90Mbps on its NBN 100 plans.

While it’s easy to think of Superloop as just another NBN provider, it stands out from the crowd thanks to its own robust infrastructure. It’s one of the few telcos with a physical connection to every NBN Point of Interconnect, and it has a whole lot of subsea cable capacity and domestic fibre. Other providers often need to outsource this. Essentially, Superloop has far greater control over its network than most providers, which helps with faster speeds as well as troubleshooting.

In addition, Superloop reports evening speeds of 44.4Mbps on NBN 50 plans, which is also up there with the best of the best.

Telstra

Telstra comes in on the higher side of the evening speed spectrum, which you’d hope for given the premium pricing. The telco reports 88Mbps on NBN 100 plan, 44Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 20Mbps on NBN 25 plans

There’s more to the Big T NBN story, however. In addition to typical speeds, Telstra also provides average evening speeds, based on the performance of 90% of its NBN customers.

Telstra’s most recent data comes from February, where it says it says its NBN 100 customers were getting average evening speeds of 92.74Mbps, NBN 50 customers were getting 46.50Mbps, and NBN 25 customers were getting 23.19Mbps.

The average speed reports exclude Fixed Wireless NBN customers, and all fixed line customers with a limited maximum line speed thanks to shitty copper.

Telstra NBN 100 plans are only available to customers with a FTTP or HFC connection. All other technology types are restricted to NBN 50 speeds as a maximum.

Aussie Broadband

If you're not familiar with Aussie Broadband, now is the time to check it out. Aussie Broadband is one of the few NBN providers that really seems to pride itself on doing a great job, pitching itself as the “the telco that gives a ****”. That’s Aussie’s censorship, not mine.

Aussie Broadband says its customers rarely encounter congestion - even during peak times - and to prove it, published bandwidth graphs that show how much capacity it has purchased on the network versus how much capacity its customers are using.

Aussie Broadband reports evening speeds of 86Mbps on NBN 100 plans, 43Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 22Mbps on NBN 25 plans.

TPG

TPG’s evening speeds have fluctuated a lot over the course of the last year or so. It once reported evening speeds of almost 90Mbps, but then dropped to under 80Mbps. They’ve seemingly stabilising now, with TPG reporting typical evening speeds of 85.5Mbps on NBN 100 plans.

TPG also reports evening speeds of 45.6Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 11Mbps on NBN 12 plans.

Vodafone

Vodafone is comparatively new to the NBN game, but already seems to be doing a great job at delivering on speed. Vodafone says NBN 100 customers will get typical evening speeds of 84Mbps, NBN 50 customers will get evening speeds of 44Mbps, and NBN 25 customers will get evening speeds of 22Mbps.

If you're an existing Vodafone mobile customer, you can save between 5% and 20% on a Vodafone NBN plan by bundling it with your existing service. Vodafone will add on a 5% discount to your entire bill for every plan on your account after the first, up to a maximum of five plans.

Kogan Internet

Kogan Internet is quite literally Vodafone NBN by another name. You miss out on discount bundling and 4G backup, but you’ll pay a little less per month.

Given the relationship with Vodafone, Kogan’s NBN evening speeds are identical. 85Mbps on NBN 100 plans, 44Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 22Mbps on NBN 25 plans.

Tangerine Telecom

Tangerine Telecom is a young NBN provider that's been making waves lately thanks to strong promotional offers and a 14-day risk free trial on its plans. Better yet, the company reports pretty decent evening speeds: 83Mbps on NBN 100 plans, 42Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 21Mbps on NBN 25 plans.

MATE

MATE is another reliable option, reporting evening speeds of 83Mbps on NBN 100 plans, 42Mbps on NBN 50 plans, 19Mbps on NBN 25 plans, and 10Mbps on NBN 12 plans.

MATE’s NBN plans are reasonably well priced, and you shave off a further $10 per month by bundling them with a MATE SIM-only mobile plan. MATE’s mobile plans start at $20 per month for 5GB and are powered by the Telstra network.

MyRepublic

MyRepublic also does a pretty decent job when it comes to peak hour performance. The telco says customers experience typical evening speeds of 83Mbps on NBN 100 plans, and 43Mbps on NBN 50 plans. You’ll want to avoid its NBN 25 plans however, which are advertised with typical evening speeds of just 15Mbps.

iiNet

iiNet's peak hour performance isn’t overly exciting, with the telco now reporting evening speeds of 80.6Mbps on NBN 100 plans, 43.5Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 20.4Mbps on NBN 25 plans.

Optus

Optus' evening speeds seem pretty no frills at first: 80Mbps on NBN 100 plans, and 44Mbps on NBN 50 plans. But just like Telstra, Optus also provides average peak evening speed information too.

Optus' latest numbers come from February, claiming that NBN 100 customers were getting average evening speeds of 88.8Mbps and NBN 50 customers were getting 46.9Mbps. These speeds are calculated over a two-week period based on the experiences of a "representative" group of customers.

These average speeds put Optus a little closer to the front of the pack, at least when compared to the typical speeds reported by the rest of the industry.

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

This article has been updated since its original publication

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Comments

    What about 1 Gb plans for where they're available? I know they're out there, but its not easy to find them.

    And yes, I know its not something most will be able to get, but some of us did with NBN Lotto, and have it as an option.

      I didn't think there were any RSPs selling them. NBN said there was no demand. As I understand, the plans are available from NBN to the RSPs but none have decided to sell them.
      https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/02/nbn-ceo-explains-why-theyre-not-selling-gigabit-internet-yet/

        They exist, its just hard to find any info. MyRepublic were offering them here in Wollongong around the middle of last year. Problem isn't with NBN providing it, FttP has been able to deliver those speeds (and more) for years, its with ISP's buying the bandwidth and offering it as a product.

        Which has a few problems that make it more understandable, mainly around the cost of buying that bandwidth. Its not cheap, but MyRepublics plan was around $130/month from memory.

        As for there not being any demand, that's kind of like saying theres no demand for 100 Mbps because less people are connecting to that speed. Which ignores that most people getting NBN now, and connecting to it, have 50 Mbps as their highest speed, so CANT connect at 100 Mbps...

        Its a self serving argument justifying why FttN was rolled out, no more. And completely ignores that we'll need those speeds in the near future - what happens then?

          True dat. I'd go with gigabit if I hadn't moved from a FttP address to a FttN one. And don't even get me started on how many tickets/complaints/TIO escalations it took to get that to the giddy heights of 70Mbps.
          NBN's disadvantaged this country for generations to come with it's short-sighted approach. Makes me angry.

            I'd narrow it down to FttN disadvantaging this country, not NBN. Get rid of FttN, the rest works in one way or another.

            All the other options are either straight up replaceable, or upgradable. HFC will need to go eventually, but DOCSIS 3.1 can push it back a few years. FttC makes the upgrade cost relatively low, to the point the homeowner can absorb it. FttN cant be upgraded, so needs to basically be ripped up and replaced by FttP. Its the only option.

            And that's not going to happen for a generation at least.

            So looking at all the techs involved with NBN, the issue narrows down to just FttN. Thankfully, while they wont admit it out loud, they seem to realise this, and are pushing FttC where they can. Shame the damage has been done.

              Current NBN FttP is GPON (shared TDM technology) so effectively crippled

        How do they determine whether there's demand if it's not even an option? I, for one, would strongly consider a gigabit connection if it was available.

        Node1 has gigabit plans if you live close enough to the Perth CBD.

    Is it just me or are other readers never seeing the interactive tables despite waiting hours for them to load? Have tried with Firefox, Chrome, Vivaldi, Edge on a PC with Windows 7, Windows 10 and on a Surface, Mac Book Air and an iPad but nothing, zip, nada, zilch!!

    No mention of iPrimus? I'm on their unlimited 100 plan for $109 and it regularly gets into the high 90's for speed.

    I'm with TPG50, always getting 45 Mbs, so a happy customer.

    working for a small ISP currently, you need to make sure when going for an NBN plan, their contention ratio. There is no point getting a 100mbps plan when they will only provide a very small pipe for your data. These low ratios are normally found on unlimited/cheap plans.

    Also stay away from residential and move to business as they normally provide better customer service and speeds.

    The old saying goes, you pay for what you get.

      Could you explain what or how you can find “their connection ratio” please.

        Contention ratio - not connection ratio. IE how contended is the link (many people / houses sharing the same link

    I’m with AussieBB, and pretty much get the speed I am paying for.
    Their data plans are a bit miserly.

    These sort of articles are misleading, the speed is mostly reliant on your distance to exchanges and nodes, we have FTTN on Telstra and get 95% of the max speed possible because we are only 300m from the node. I know that our carrier would make no difference to that speed.

    Aussie Broadband deliver what they promise - consistent speeds at all times, and really good support. Switched from TPG when I got the NBN, and am very happy with them.

      Aussie Broadband deliver what they promise - consistent speeds at all timesTo be fair, that's a sample size of one. They'll be a fair number of their customers hampered by issues (some outside to ABB's control) that will be having a torrid time. For example, shitty internal wiring will be shitty internal wiring no matter who the RSP is.

        Make that two.

        I switched from Internode, who gave me adsl1 speeds, even though I was paying for adsl2.
        I saw no reason to trust them with my NBN connection.

        When researching, I found nothing bad about Aussie Broadband, which is why I choose them.

        The only negative thing I have to say is that their data is miserly.

        Last edited 01/07/18 2:05 pm

          agree - also with ABB, I pay for 50 get 40-46Mbps. pretty happy with that

    Been with Telstra Business since our exchange got NBN about six months ago. And at the risk of sounding like some corporate shill, I can't fault them. We get 80-84MBs during the evening and 35Mbs up. Fall-back 4G stick is incredibly useful and they've always been great with phone support.

    TPG says customers can expect typical evening speeds of 78.2Mbps, down from close to 90Mbps earlier last year. When I signed up with TPG they were claiming speeds of 83Mbps on their NBN 100 plan now it's 78.2 but if you check their plans if you are prepared to fork out an extra $20 a month then you can get back to 83Mbps or higher.......I think this is a bit of a rip off!!!

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