24th October, 2017 | 3 minutes

1.3 million Aussie homes with NBN experienced issues moving across

by Laura Crowden
iSelect Corporate Affairs Manager

Over one million (45%) Australian households who have connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN) experienced issues when transitioning across to the service.

While over half of the Australian population is now able to connect to the NBN[1], the Galaxy Research study, commissioned by iSelect to assess the attitudes of Australian households towards broadband services[2], found that just over a third (36%) of Aussie homes have actually made the move across.

However once connected, those homes with an NBN connection were slightly more satisfied with their internet service. Just forty-four per cent of homes with the NBN said their home internet was meeting their expectations and allowed them to ‘do everything they want online’, compared to 40% of those using ADSL2+ or other connection types.

The iSelect Galaxy Research also revealed that many Australians are very confused by NBN speed tiers despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s recommendation for internet providers to move away from unclear language such as “up to” when describing NBN speeds.

Laura Crowden, spokesperson for iSelect Broadband, said the arrival of the NBN means customers now need to take speed into consideration when choosing the right broadband provider and plan.

“Aussies are used to choosing a home broadband plan based primarily on price and data allowance. For households moving across to the NBN, it can be really confusing to understand what the different NBN speed tiers mean and decide which one is right for them.”

Laura welcomed the ACCC’s request for retailers to make it clearer for what speeds customers can expect during peak periods.

“This is definitely a step in the right direction but there remains a lot of variation between providers in terms of both their speed ranges and the names they use to describe them,” Laura explained.

“Terms like ‘boost’, ‘max’ or ‘superfast’ do little to clarify what speeds customers can realistically expect during busy times such as evenings.  It’s no wonder that many customers remain bamboozled by what the different NBN speed tiers will actually mean for them in reality.”

Internet providers have designed their plans around the NBN’s four speed tiers (12, 25, 50 & 100 megabits per second) but the NBN Co. does not consider 12mbps plans to be superfast broadband.

Many households are automatically opting for the cheaper NBN 12 plans without realising they are likely to be similar – or possibly slower – than what they experienced on ADSL2.

“Both our demands and expectations of home internet has shifted in recent years, with the number of connected devices increasing dramatically in many homes. The right speed tier really depends on your internet needs and how many people and devices are connecting simultaneously,” Laura explained.

“Households that have embraced internet streaming services such as Netflix, have multiple connected devices or regularly work from home really need to look at a NBN 25 speed tier plan or above to their expectations are met in terms of speed and reliability.”

While Aussie households may still be grappling with the different speed tiers available under the NBN, reliability remains their single greatest priority for their home internet connection (31%), followed by price (27%) and speed (26%).

The research revealed that Aussies were most annoyed by connection delays (41%) or interruptions (38%) to their internet connection.

Just over half (57%) of Aussie homes have experienced problems with their home internet speed or reliability in the past six months, with those already on the NBN slightly less likely to experience issues (54%).

This highlights the importance of seeking expert advice to find a broadband plan that offers the right balance between price, and speed and reliability.

iSelect’s broadband experts can cut through the complexity and choose you choose the plan best suited to your individual needs, and also help pave the way for a smooth transition across to the NBN.

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iSelect does not compare all products in the market. Not all products are available at all times. Any advice provided in this content is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice we give you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on our advice or purchasing any product.

[1] NBN Co Media Release, ‘One in two Australians now able to connect to  the nbn network’, 10 July 2017: https://www.nbnco.com.au/corporate-information/media-centre/media-releases/one-in-two-australians.html

[2] In September 2017 iSelect commissioned a nationally representative consumer research study with Galaxy Research to assess the attitudes of over 1,000 Australians household decision makers towards the broadband internet services.

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