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With the NBN’s rollout across Australia almost complete, it’s more important than ever to take the time to find the most suitable plan for your needs which is available in your area. You can do just that with Savvy, as you can compare a range of offers from trusted Australian providers based on their speed capabilities, pricing, data allowance and more. Start comparing with us today!
What is the NBN?
The National Broadband Network (NBN) is a high-speed broadband network infrastructure initiative established in Australia. Its primary goal is to provide faster and more reliable internet access to homes and businesses across the country. The NBN project was launched to replace the existing aging copper-based network with modern and advanced technologies to meet the increasing demand for high-speed internet services.
The network aims to bridge the digital divide by providing equitable access to high-speed internet across urban, suburban and rural areas. It offers various speed tiers to cater to different user needs, from basic web browsing to streaming, gaming and running online businesses. The rollout has been a complex and ongoing process, involving collaboration with different telecommunications companies and local communities.
The NBN infrastructure is regulated and managed by NBN Co, a government-owned company responsible for the deployment, maintenance and expansion of the network. Individuals and businesses can choose from a range of NBN plans offered by various internet service providers (ISPs) that utilise NBN infrastructure.
Overall, the NBN represents a significant effort to modernise our internet infrastructure and provide improved connectivity to citizens all around the country.
How do I choose the right NBN speed tier plan for my needs?
There are six speed tiers when it comes to the NBN, so it’s important to understand how each of them works and whether they’re the right option for you when deciding on your internet plan. The different speeds available are as follows:
The slowest available NBN plan, NBN 12 (also known as Basic I) is also often the cheapest available. This connection offers download speeds of up to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps, making it most suitable for very light use from a single-person residence.
The next step up is NBN 25 (Basic II), which is capable of reaching download speeds of up to 25Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5Mbps. This could be the tier of choice for households of one to two people with slightly higher internet usage than NBN 12.
With maximum speeds of 50Mbps and 20Mbps for downloads and uploads, respectively, NBN 50 (Standard) plans are by far the most popular among internet users in Australia. This is down to its versatility, being suited to a mid-sized family of light to medium users or a one to two-person household of heavy users.
Like NBN 50, NBN 100 (Fast) plans are more versatile than the lower speed tiers. Through its 100Mbps download and 20Mbps to 40Mbps upload speeds, it can be useful for large families or smaller ones with extremely heavy users.
NBN 250 (Superfast) was one of the two additions to the initial NBN speed tier lineup, enabling users to potentially reach maximum speeds of 250Mbps and 25Mbps for downloads and uploads, respectively. These plans are more expensive and can be useful for large families or sharehouses of moderate to high users.
The most powerful and expensive NBN plan currently available on the Australian market, NBN 1000 (Ultrafast) is theoretically capable of reaching download speeds of 1Gbps and upload speeds of 50Mbps. However, such fast downloads usually aren’t possible in peak times and aren’t accessible Australia-wide yet. Those who rely on consistent high-quality streaming and online gaming may prefer the greater power associated with these plans.
How do I compare NBN plans?
There are many areas to consider when comparing NBN plans, including the following:
- Speed tiers: identify the available NBN speed tiers in your area. Consider your internet usage needs and match them to the appropriate tier.
- Data allowance: check the data allowance offered in each plan. Consider how much data you typically use per month for activities like streaming, gaming, browsing and downloads, as this will help you avoid catching yourself short or paying for data you don’t need.
- Monthly cost: compare the monthly costs of different plans across providers. Take note of any promotional pricing and be aware of whether the price will increase after a certain period.
- Contract length and terms: determine the contract length (such as 12 months) for each plan or if there are no contract terms. Be aware of any early termination fees if you decide to cancel the contract early.
- Installation and setup fees: look for any upfront fees associated with installation, setup or equipment rental. You may prefer plans which offer waived or discounted setup fees.
- Equipment provided: check if the ISP provides a modem as part of the plan or if you need to purchase your own. You may be able to save by buying your own modem or taking advantage of a free modem through your provider.
- Additional benefits: explore any additional perks offered, such as streaming service subscriptions, to determine if they’re worth it.
- Upload speeds: evaluate the upload speeds offered by each plan, especially if you engage in activities that require uploading large files or video conferencing.
- Peak and off-peak speeds: research whether the plan has consistent speeds during peak usage times (evening) and off-peak hours, as these may give you an idea of the top speeds you’d be able to access.
- Coverage and availability: confirm the provider offers services in your area and check for coverage maps to ensure a reliable connection.
- Flexibility to upgrade/downgrade: check if the ISP allows you to easily upgrade or downgrade your plan based on changing needs.
- Data speed guarantees: some providers offer data speed guarantees, meaning you’ll never experience speeds below a minimum level.
Why compare internet plans with Savvy?
What NBN connection types are available?
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
FTTP involves laying fibre optic cables directly to homes and businesses. It provides the highest possible speeds and reliability.
How it works: fibre optic cables transmit data using light signals, allowing for extremely fast data transfer. These cables are connected to an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) inside the premises, which converts the light signals into electronic data that can be used by devices.
The pros and cons of NBN plans
Faster and more powerful than other connections
In terms of its maximum capabilities, the NBN blows other connections, such as ADSL, mobile broadband and home wireless, out of the park with its potential speeds.
Less variable speed
NBN plans are more reliable in terms of expected speeds and often come with less variation than you might see with a mobile or home wireless broadband plan.
Unlimited data options
Unlike some home or mobile wireless connections, many NBN plans come with unlimited data usage, which can bring peace of mind that you won’t run out.
Choice of speed tiers
Six options for the speed you’re able to access is a significant amount of choice to provide customers as they choose which internet plan is best for them.
Limited by where you live
The type of connection and its strength could be heavily impacted by where you live or work, with less choice of connection coming to those in certain areas.
Still using copper cables in most cases
Although the network was rolled out to replace copper cables, budget limits have meant that the Australian Government is now incorporating these cables into NBN connections.
More complex setup
Unlike home wireless or mobile broadband connections, which essentially only need to be plugged in or turned on, the process of installing NBN is much more complicated.
Top tips for improving the speed of your NBN plan
Confirm that you're subscribed to the appropriate NBN speed tier for your usage needs. Upgrading to a higher speed tier can provide faster download and upload speeds if your current plan doesn’t meet your requirements.
Minimise the number of devices connected to your network, especially those which are actively using bandwidth-intensive activities. Disconnect devices from the network when not in use and ensure your router's firmware is up to date.
If you experience slower speeds during peak hours (usually evenings), it could be due to network congestion. Contact your ISP to inquire about peak usage times and whether they offer any solutions for managing congestion.
Place your router in a central location within your home to ensure better coverage. Avoid placing the router near walls, large metal objects or electronic devices which could interfere with the signal.
Frequently asked questions about NBN plans
Helpful guides on internet plans
Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of internet plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an internet plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.
Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an internet plan. For further information on the variety of internet plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.