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A decade after it was first announced and the NBN rollout is almost complete, so there’s a very good chance that wherever you are in Australia, you’ll have access to the nation’s high-speed network.
While different areas will have access to different connection types, some of the trickiest choices you’ll need to make are deciding which internet service provider to go with, which speed tier you’ll need and how much data you’ll use.
Here, we’ll drill down on the best NBN plans currently on offer, whether it be the most affordable option, the highest speeds or the best overall value. Along with our handpicked plans, you’ll also find a live tracker featuring the best NBN plans as, and when, they’re put on offer.
The price for NBN50 plans is steadily creeping up but this one from Tangerine is the best value right now. Starting at a little under AU$60 a month for the first half-year, you'll get unlimited data and no lock-in contract. You'll need your own modem though, or alternatively you can pay AU$119.90 upfront to get the same plan but with an included modem.
Total minimum cost is AU$59.90View Deal
Tangerine had long held our number one pick for best NBN100 plan, but itâs now been dethroned by this killer deal from Mate. For AU$79 a month, youâll get unlimited data and typical evening speeds of 83Mbps â excellent value for a premium plan. Thereâs no setup fee, and youâll have the option of using your own modem, or you can pick up a preconfigured one from Mate for AU$165.
Total minimum cost is AU$79View Deal
Before rushing to sign up to a high-speed NBN1000 plan, there are a couple of caveats you should be aware of. This tier is only available on two types of NBN connection – fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) and hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC). And while all FTTP connections can sign up for 1000Mbps, that speed will only work with a select subset of HFC installations – estimated to be roughly 7% of the total.
Aussie Broadband was the first in the market to offer NBN1000 to residential addresses, but that didnât stop the telco from offering an incredibly competitive plan. For download speeds of up to 1Gbps and upload speeds approaching 50Mbps, youâll pay just AU$149 a month. Aussie has rightly cautioned potential customers that itâs yet to determine definitive numbers on peak evening speeds, though itâs put forward 215Mbps as its baseline, so youâll at the very least get that.
If youâre happy to sign up to an NBN1000 plan with a 3000GB data limit, you can opt for this limited time deal with Superloop, where you can save AU$10 each month over your first year â thatâs AU$139 each month. That discount is available with the code Whistleout10FOR12 until September 30.
Total minimum cost is AU$149View Deal
We wonât beat around the bush, Australiaâs top telco doesnât have the cheapest NBN options around. But what Telstra offers in exchange is high quality, reliability and extras such as a three-month free trial of Binge. With this NBN50 plan, you can expect unlimited data with typical evening speeds of 44Mbps. And if you have a landline, youâll get unlimited calls to Australian mobiles and standard lines at no extra cost. New Telstra customers will have their connection fee waived, and if you stick with them for 24 months, you wonât have to pay for the Telstra Smart Modem either (usually AU$216).
Total minimum cost is AU$306View Deal
If youâre looking to go with a trusted telco, but are hoping for a competitive price, then this NBN50 plan from Optus offers value for money. For AU$75 a month, youâll get unlimited data and typical speeds of 44Mbps during the busy evening period. Optus Sport is also included as standard, and the telcoâs modem comes with 4G backup. Itâs worth noting that thereâs an additional AU$99 upfront fee to get started, and if you stick with Optus over 36 months, you wonât have to pay for the modem (usually AU$252).
Total minimum cost is AU$426View Deal
TPG is a favourite for delivering solid, reliable speeds at a bargain price. The ISP typically ranks well in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissionâs (ACCC) quarterly report, delivering typical evening speeds of 46Mbps. If you sign up for 18 months, TPG will waive the usual AU$99 setup fee. However, note that a AU$10 delivery fee applies, as well as a AU$20 home phone deposit. While this plan is much cheaper than whatâs on offer from the big telcos, be mindful that you could face a contract payout fee of up to AU$350 if you decide to leave early.
Total minimum cost over 18 months is AU$1,289.82View Deal
Australia’s NBN was first proposed as a high-speed network of fibre-optic cable that would reach every home in the country. Following a change in government, that’s not what we've ended up with, with the final rollout combining a mix of old and new technologies.
While the NBN is made up of a multi-technology mix, it’s important to know that you don’t have a choice in what technology is available to you. Different connection types have been built in different areas, so it’s entirely dependent on where you live. Below, we lay out the connection types across the network, and what they mean.
FTTP is a fibre-optic line that runs directly to your home, and therefore is the best type of connection you can have. It requires a device to be installed in your home, and is what was originally intended for every household in Australia when the NBN was first announced.
An FTTB connection is most commonly used for connecting apartment blocks and similar buildings to the NBN. In this instance, a fibre-optic line runs to the building’s communications room, and existing technology such as copper wiring is used to connect each apartment from there.
Hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC)
An HFC connection uses existing pay TV (Foxtel) or cable network as the final connection to households. The HFC line will run from your home to the nearest available fibre node.
FTTC is when the fibre-optic cable extends a little closer to your home by connecting to a distribution unit located outside on the street. From there, it uses the copper phone line to run the last leg into your home.
The majority of Australian households – around 4.7 million – are using FTTN technology. This connection type uses existing copper phone wire to make the final connection to the home from a central node in your neighbourhood. The distance of your home to the node will affect the average speeds you can reach, so if your home is more than 700m from the node, it’s not advisable to choose an NBN100 plan.
Fixed Wireless connections are used to reach regional and remote areas. Homes in these areas will access the NBN from a transmission tower through an antenna installed on their roof.
Sky Muster satellite
The NBN’s Sky Muster satellite technology is also used to reach regional and remote communities. It requires a satellite dish to be installed on the premises, to which the NBN is received through satellite.
It’s important to note these recommendations do not take into consideration other factors which could make certain deals a better option for you. For instance, do you already have a Telstra or Optus mobile plan and home phone line? If so, sometimes combining them with their respective NBN plans could save you some money.
When applying for a new NBN deal, make sure you’re not already signed up to a contract you can’t get out of – most contracts are on 12 or 18 month terms, so it’s important to contact your current provider before committing to anything else.
Another thing worth noting is some services may not be available in your area. If a particular deal seems good to you, head over to the provider’s website to find out if it’s available at your address.
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