Telstra or TPG: Who Has the Best NBN Plans?

Telstra or TPG: Who Has the Best NBN Plans?
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW - prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Telstra and TPG are Australia’s largest internet providers, but they’re essentially polar opposites. TPG built its reputation as a budget broadband provider. Telstra is anything but cheap.

Unsurprisingly, this is reflected in both telco’s approach to NBN. Telstra plans come with a few extras and perks, while TPG’s are simpler and more affordable. However, at the end of the day, you’re still shopping for an internet connection. If you’re tossing up between the two, here’s a look at how Telstra and TPG NBN plans compare.

Typical evening speeds

Typical evening speeds are one of the main differences between NBN providers, serving as an indicator of what kind of performance you can expect during the busiest parts of the day.

Here are the speeds Telstra and TPG report across each speed tier they offer.

NBN 1000

NBN 250

NBN 100

NBN 50

NBN 25

NBN 12












Telstra now ostensibly reports congestion-free evening speeds when it comes to NBN 100, NBN 50, and NBN 25 speed tiers. This means you should be able to get the speed tier’s maximum potential no matter what time of day.

TPG’s plans’ evening speeds tend to move around a bit. While it was previously reporting 85Mbps on NBN 100 plans, it’s dropped down to 85Mbps on that plan tier. 48Mbps on NBN 50 is certainly respectable, however.

In addition, Telstra is now offering NBN 1000 and NBN 250 plans. TPG hasn’t made these available to its customers yet. Telstra does however have the fastest NBN 1000 plan around, and reports solid evening speeds on NBN 250 plans, reporting 700Mbps and 230Mbps across plan tiers.

Contracts and setup fees

All Telstra NBN plans are sold on a no-contract basis, and the company will waive the $99 setup fee if you sign-up online. The plans are bundled with a second-generation Smart Modem, which will give you 4G backup in case your NBN carks it. It’s valued at $216. Just be aware that if you leave within your first 24 months, you’ll need to pay out the modem’s pro-rated value. This is equivalent to $9 for each month remaining in your two-year term.

With TPG, you can pick between signing a six-month contract or going contract-free. If you’d prefer to avoid a contract, you’ll pay a $99.99 setup fee which covers your modem. No matter which you pick, you’ll also need to pay a $10 modem delivery fee.

NBN 50 plans

When it comes to NBN 50 plans, TPG is $20 per month cheaper than Telstra. You’ll pay $69.99 per month for an unlimited data NBN 50 plan on TPG, or $90 per month for an unlimited data NBN 50 plan with Telstra.

NBN 100 plans

Telstra and TPG are both running promos on their NBN 100 plans. You’ll pay $79.99 per month for your first six months with TPG, and $89.99 per month thereafter. Committing to a six-month contract will save you paying any setup fees, and you can always leave once the discount expires and your term runs up.

On the other hand, you’ll pay $90 per month for your first six months on Telstra, and then $110 per month. While the plan is contract-free, remember you’ll need to pay out a modem fee if you leave before two years. You can’t just get the discount and dash.
At present, Telstra is only offering NBN 100 plans to customers with FTTP, FTTC, and HFC technology types. FTTB and FTTN customers can’t currently get a Telstra NBN 100 plan.

TPG doesn’t have any restrictions as to which fixed line NBN technology types can sign up to its NBN 100 plan.

Plans faster than NBN 100

Telstra also offers NBN 250 plans and NBN 1000 plans, which TPG doesn’t currently have in its roster. On NBN 250, you’ll pay $90 per month for your first six months and $140 per month thereafter. For NBN 1000, you’re looking at $130 per month for your first six months and $180 per month thereafter.

NBN 250 plans are only available to FTTP customers and 97% of HFC customers. NBN 1000 plans are only available to FTTP customers, and 58% of HFC customers. NBN Co hopes that all HFC customers will be able to sign-up for an NBN 250 plan by the end of June, and that 94% will be able to get an NBN 1000 plan by the end of the year.


Telstra NBN plans cost a little more than TPG, but they include a few perks that could make them more attractive. To start, Telstra plans come with a modem with 4G backup. If your NBN goes down, you’ll fall back onto Telstra’s 4G network with download speeds of up to 25Mbps.

Big T customers also get access to the Telstra Plus perks program. Telstra Plus members get:

  • $12.50 standard movie tickets for Event and BCC cinemas. A $3 surcharge applies after 5:00 pm on a Saturday and on public holidays.
  • Free popcorn and drink large combo upgrade when you book a movie ticket through Telstra
  • Discounted tickets to select sporting events
  • Presale tickets for select concerts and events

You’ll need to join Telstra Plus to get these offers.

Telstra Plus membership also earns you 10 points for every dollar you spend on your monthly bill as part of a Frequent Flyer style rewards scheme. These can then be redeemed for gadgets or discounts on devices.

By comparison, TPG’s NBN plans are a “just internet” affair.

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

This article has been updated since its original publish date.


Log in to comment on this story!