HomeTechnologyNBN set for five-times faster downloads – but at what cost?

NBN set for five-times faster downloads – but at what cost?

Internet speeds are set to skyrocket within the next 12 months as NBN Co announces proposed upgrades that will see some Australian households enjoy three- to five-times faster NBN download speeds1.

But the upgrades don’t apply to everyone. And While NBN Co has said the speed upgrades will come at no extra wholesale cost to retailers, Australian households could still be forced to pay more for faster NBN.  

Will faster NBN actually make a difference to me?  

First off, it’s not going to come in immediately – some parts of Australia may not see these faster speeds until well into 2025. But it’s definitely needed. Australia’s average internet speed is the 95th fastest in the world, behind Mongolia, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan. That’s because so much of Australia’s broadband infrastructure is copper, and it takes time and money to convert this to faster fibre.

NBN Co is set to provide five-times faster download speeds to customers on its popular NBN Home Fast product (from 100/20 Mbps to 500/50 Mbps). The company says it’s in response to big changes in technology. 

The average household has a massive 22 internet connected devices, which puts a huge strain on internet speeds. And that’s only going to grow. NBN estimates we’ll have 33 devices connected to the web by 2026 as we upgrade to more fancy 4K TVs and online gaming.

Even if you’re not a heavy internet user, more and more devices have web connectivity. Washing machines, toasters and other white goods can now go online. Whether this is useful is another question – although some people have even hacked their fridges to play computer games on them.

The company has announced it will also triple the wholesale download speed of its NBN Home Superfast product (from 250/25 Mbps to 750/50 Mbps), and NBN Home Ultrafast will also get faster (from 500-1000/50 Mbps to 750-1000/50-100 Mbps).  

So what does that actually mean? NBN Co has said a 25-gigabyte download, which would typically be used for streaming and downloading TV shows, takes 36 minutes on the current NBN Home Fast tier, but would take just seven minutes when the new speeds kick in. And that goes down to just five minutes on the NBN Home Ultrafast tier. 

Will the NBN speed upgrades cost more? 

NBN Co has confirmed it will provide the speed upgrades at no extra wholesale cost to retailers. But, crucially, there’s no word as yet that retailers may still have to pay higher transit fees to third-party transit providers in order to deliver the speed upgrades. 

That means the retailers could pass on these extra costs to Australian households. And we don’t know what prices the retailers will set. As ever, it’ll be worth looking at any offers closely if you want faster internet.

Who’s eligible for the NBN speed upgrades? 

NBN Co will only provide the speed upgrade to households that have Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) or Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) NBN connections1.

You can check if your home is served by FTTP or HFC connections at nbn.com.au/fibreupgrade

Would you be willing to pay more for faster internet? Do you already have NBN? Are you happy with it? Let us know in the comments.

Also read: Watchdog urges households to check their internet costs

Shane Conroy
Shane Conroyhttps://compareclub.com.au/expert-analysis/author/shane-conroy/
Shane is a freelance journalist, editor and copywriter based in the beautiful Bega Valley. His background is primarily in business, travel and entertainment feature writing for many of Australia’s leading print magazines. He has also worked on copywriting projects for a number of well-known brands such as Virgin Australia, SBS, Toyota and Foxtel.


  1. Does that mean that those that already have access to the fast internet (FTTP) get the even faster speeds, and those with FTN, with the sh!tty old copper to the premises, have to put up with the slower speeds, dropouts when it rains etc.
    Most of my neighbors have internet via microwave links, therefore I almost have the copper to myself, but it is still sh!tty, I am extremely luckyif I get a download speed over 15Mbs, and I am supposed to be on a 50Mbs plan !!!!
    I used to get over 40Mbs until a service “upgrade” several months ago.

  2. NBN company is busy rolling out fibre to replace the copper as fast as they can. They rolled it out past my place a couple of months ago and I was told FTTP would be available by the end of this year.
    I currently get about 100 down and 20 up over my FTTN connection but you need the latest technology modem and an element of luck to get that sort of speed over FTTN copper. I am about 250 metres from the node.
    So data rates are not much of an issue for me however the young gamers in my household want the faster ping rates only available on FTTP. FTTN, wireless and satellite can not ping fast enough to fully satisfy high speed gamers as they want it to bounce at well below 20 m/s.

  3. Don’t assume that you will automatically get the faster speeds even if you have NBN fibre to the premises. We had one of the earlier fibre to our home, internets supplied by Telstra. At the beginning we had adequate speed for video downloading but after we got used to it Telstra said we’d need to pay extra or have the speed reduced. So we bought an Optus pocket modem which is faster than the NBN at peak times like Fridays and weekends. It also provides six hours against two hours for NBN of internet coverage when the power goes down as it frequently does.

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