CHOICE rates the nation’s best and worst internet providers

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Is your internet provider the worst? Consumer group CHOICE rates the nation’s best and worst internet providers, based on connection reliability, value for money and customer support.

To make a comprehensive comparison of Australia’s leading internet providers, CHOICE asked customers about their experiences with their Internet Service Provider (ISP) including any problems they made have had or positive feedback they could make.

Currently, 32 per cent of Australians with internet are on ADSL2 or 2+ connections, 14 per cent are on ADSL, 28 per cent are on the NBN, 12 per cent on cable, eight per cent on mobile broadband and three per cent on fixed wireless.

Around 37 per cent use Telstra as their main ISP, with Optus a distant second at 18 per cent, 11 per cent use TPG and 10 per cent go with iiNet.

Almost half of the respondents have stayed with their current provider for more than five years, with 59 per cent of Telstra customers sticking around for more than five years.

CHOICE also asked people what their reasons for changing providers would be. Around 29 per cent would switch to a cheaper plan, 27 per cent for more data, 23 per cent because of the NBN and 21 per cent due to better connection speeds.

So, which company fared worst overall?

Australia’s leading internet provider seems to lead in more ways than one. Telstra ranked worst or second worst in all categories.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • iiNet (78), iPrimus (75), Optus/OptusNet (75) and TPG (74) perform above average (73) for overall satisfaction.
  • Telstra (70) and Dodo (69) received scores which were lower than the average overall satisfaction scores for the category (73).
  • Telstra also scores the lowest for value for money (66); significantly lower than TPG (80), iiNet (78) and Optus/OptusNet (74).

Overall, Internode and iiNet were the two highest ranked ISPs in all categories.

Customers using the NBN expressed dismay for the new service, mainly with its connection speeds and reliability. About 60 per cent of those on the NBN had issues with their provider in the past six months – 44 per cent were related to very slow speeds

One NSW customer ribbed Telstra for its poor customer service and unfair charges for an inferior product:

“Telstra sold us a modem and told us when it needs to be repaired that it wasn’t their modem. Since getting NBN, internet connection has been slow and keeps dropping out. Telstra said that they cannot do anything to fix the problem, yet they still charge us when we haven’t had any connection for a couple of months.”

Read more at CHOICE

So, how does your ISP rate? Are you happy with your internet provider? Do you worry about having to switch to the NBN?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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28 Comments

Total Comments: 28
  1. 0
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    Telstra are OK with us. NBN is not earth shattering, but we have no complaints. Telstra have always responded promptly and courteously to any issues. And, importantly, do not patronise us because of our age!!

  2. 0
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    I suspect Telstra is using overseas call centres as I have a problem understanding their staff and they with me.Any Australian company not using Australian workers will not get my support.

    • 0
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      They ALL use overseas call centres (out of greed): incomprehensible Indians (often unhelpful and not very bright) and, less often, from the Philippines. Terrible!

  3. 0
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    Telstra are crap! They have little or mo respect for their customer base and can only think of the $$$$ for them. Choice is not wrong, I shoved Telstra after 30 odd years of being overcharged and messed about, for some people they fit well, for others they are utterly hopeless.

  4. 0
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    Started with Telstra many years ago, pre NBN absolutely hopeless, joined up with Skymesh and have been happy ever since now I have satellite NBN which is reliable and fast.

  5. 0
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    Here’s a Pandora’s Box leon.

    Currently with Iinet. Before that Optus….who cut off our service due to its own negligence and refused to put on again not very long ago. This went on for MONTHS and eventually when the Ombudsman’s Office (aligned with telcos as this is a business, not a regulator put there by the government) and the Mininster became involved they fixed the problem. The they refused to pay the legislated compensation and claimed an MSD (Mass Service Disruption). For over 2 months? And no proof offered…because this was a lie!

    We had years of trouble free service from Optus before this happened. Users of this ISP need to be aware and you think our experience was an isolated experience then check out this link:

    ProductReview/Optus

    Check out the summary at the top. Frightening. Around 70% of the many comments in the worst category.

    Good luck with Optus. Also beware that other companies which use the Optus network still use the Optus network. We changed to the NBN. Gone!

    • 0
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      Another thing that may go unreported is that many people ONLY have Telstra as an option.

    • 0
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      It takes a bit of work to look past the masthead leon.
      Telstra and Optus have their hooks into much of the telecommunications market. That’s why we went NBN after the Optus saga.
      My understanding is that I am supporting neither Optus or Telstra now. Starting to sound like my position on politics………where are the smilies mate.

  6. Profile Photo
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    To begin with I was with Optus and they were terrible. Just started with a new connection.Had problems connecting.Had numerous friends and even a technician in.They would not listen even to the expert who said that the modem was a dud.Other issued cropped up such as Optus and Telstra would not listen to each other Long waits on the phone to speak to a call centre.Not impressed Due to moving shifted over to Telstra. Not too bad internet charges too steep.Now with an arm of Tesltra called Belong.They are great. Available 24 hours a day and you can speak to a real person. Waiting for NBN to mess us up.

    • 0
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      Our friend Malcolm Turnbull and his sure fire great NBN has done a pretty good job of messing up the NBN KB. Now it costs more than the original project and we do not get real fibre optic speeds. Sad for the poor souls who believed what they were told before the election.

  7. 0
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    I use ADSL2+ 100GB Belong broadband plan which uses the Telstra network, It costs me $40 per month for 100GB (which is plenty for me). I’m quite satisfied with it for some strange reason; a couple of times I’ve needed to restart my PC to get it activated (possibly my fault).

  8. 0
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    I wonder if Choice did their homework by following Whirlpool, Australia’s largest discussion forum. If they did, they would have come to the conclusion that, currently, there is one company that stands out from the others. That company is Aussie Broadband. They only employ Australian workers and are committed to providing customers with the speeds and reliability they are paying for. Read the Aussie Broadband discussion thread and you will see lots of happy customers.

    For those who want fast speeds even at peak times, the first rule is not to sign up for an unlimited plan or a plan that includes Netflix (i.e. Netflix data does not count towards your quota). Aussie Broadband does not do unlimited neither does it do uncounted Netflix data. What you will get is a fast connection you can rely on any time of day.

    ABB currently have a Whirlpool special going for those who are interested: https://forums.whirlpool.
    et.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2623849

  9. 0
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    We became internet users in 1999 with Telstra dial-up. Slow but reliable. Moved to ADSL2 in 2013 with a download speed of about 8mbps which we found met our needs. The NBN is with Telstra and the changeover was seamless and the speed is averaging 22mbps. Our plan with Telstra suits our purposes and we are not thinking about changing.

    • 0
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      My understanding (?) is that the NBN is the NBN and other companies sell subscriptions. If I am incorrect please let me know as I have to admit I have not done too much research on this.

    • 0
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      I wouldn’t have a clue MICK, I have a plan with Telstra for ‘phone and internet and I rang them when the NBN became available. Somebody sent the modem and the instructions but who that was escapes me. I haven’t yet had any problems so I haven’t needed to ring to find out with whom I have to deal. Prior to getting notified about the NBN, our letterbox was stuffed full of offers of the world and half of Tasmania if we signed up with their company for access to the NBN. Sorry I’m so vague.

  10. 0
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    No mention of Vodafone?! Or should I say VodaFAIL? My experience of them is 1000% negative, and they’re a rip-off. Their website is the pits – you can’t find what you need – and they send contradictory or downright wrong information in terms of how much data you have left. They mislead in this regard, and then have the gall to charge the rip-off of $10 for 1 GB if you have a data over-run – even if it’s their fault. AVOID VODAFONE LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

    • 0
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      Yes, I was surprised too. I believe only those with 30 or more subscribers were included in the analysis – maybe Vodafone didn’t qualify – it sounds like the market agrees with you.

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