The best NBN plans

Leading consumer advocacy group CHOICE has compared the best top-performing NBN plans across the network to see if they live up to their self-proclaimed maximum speeds. They measured cable (HFC), fibre to the premises (FTTP) and fixed-line fibre to the node (FTTN) NBN plans from providers including iiNet, TPG and Telstra.

There are three main types of NBN connections:

ssCable (HFC)
A fibre connects an HFC node near you to the NBN. Your home is connected to the node by a coaxial cable that looks like a TV or internet cable. This will connect to a cable inside your home, which may be pre-existing or require installation, and a socket that isn’t connected to your walls or old wall sockets.

Fibre to the premises (FTTP)
Your home is connected by fibre to your street cabinet, which is then connected by more fibre to the NBN. You’ll have two side-by-side boxes mounted on an interior wall in your home, and one on an outside wall of your house.

Fixed-line fibre to the node (FTTN)
A FTTN uses a fibre to connect the NBN with a nearby street node, and pre-existing copper lines to connect to your home. Inside you’ll have a modem that connects to pre-existing phone wall sockets.

There are three main speeds for NBN plans:

NBN standard (25/5)
This means 25 megabits download per second, and five megabits upload per second. Plans of this speed are rarely offered any more, and so were not tested by CHOICE.  

NBN standard plus (50/20)
This means 50 megabits download per second, and 20 megabits upload per second. This faster plan is a popular plan among customers, and often the slowest offered by providers. If you are a small household with maybe two screens streaming at the same time, this plan is probably right for you.

NBN premium (100/40)
This means 100 megabits download per second, and 40 megabits upload per second. If you are in a large household, have a big family or use a lot of internet, you may require a plan this size.

CHOICE notes that it is easier to upgrade rather than downgrade a plan, so it may be best to start small and work your way up. You will also need to choose how much data you will need each month. It’s best to look at your past usage and plan around your maximum usage.

Cable (HFC)

Standard Plus (50/20)

Premium (100/40)

1.

Optus Standard Plus

Optus Premium

2.

iiNet Standard Plus  

Telstra Premium

3.

Telstra Standard Plus

Aussie Broadband Premium

Fibre to the premises (FTTP)

Standard Plus (50/20)

Premium (100/40)

1.

Optus Standard Plus

Telstra Premium

2.

Telstra Standard Plus  

iiNet Premium

3.

Internode Standard Plus  

Aussie Broadband Premium

Equal 3.

TPG Premium

Fixed-line fibre to the node (FTTN)

Standard Plus (50/20)

Premium (100/40)

1.

iiNet Standard Plus

TPG

2.

Optus Standard Plus

Telstra

3.

Telstra Standard Plus

Aussie Broadband Premium

Equal 3.

iiNet Premium

CHOICE also compared data from February and March this year, to learn if COVID-19 had affected NBN speeds. It found that there was a higher demand on NBN during social isolation restrictions. However, NBN decided to increase the bandwidth it provides to internet service providers, effectively meeting this demand.

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Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Written by Liv Gardiner

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