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Australia’s largest telecommunications infrastructure project to date, the National Broadband Network (NBN) is replacing our existing fixed line broadband network. The NBN is a multi-technology mix (MTM) designed to future-proof our internet access.
The ultimate aim of the NBN is to provide fast, reliable internet to each and every Australian, whether they live in inner or outer suburbs, centrally or remotely. This will mean easy access to streaming, banking, shopping and communicating with loved ones.
Finding a suitable NBN plan for your household might seem daunting at first, but rest easy, it’s pretty simple if you stick to these three steps.
Firstly, there’s connection speed. Depending on the number of people in your household and the various requirements of each individual, you’ve got five speed tiers to choose from with a fixed line NBN connection.. Each provides increased potential for faster download and uploads, and come with a higher price tag each level you go up. We’ll go through NBN speeds in further detail a little later in this article. There are also two extra tier levels for ‘power users’ but those won’t be necessary for the majority of Australian households.
Second, is price. The reason we started with speed and not price is that choosing the cheapest NBN plan without considering your needs could end up with you running out of data or being unable to use your NBN service as you require. It’s a good idea to first work out your speed and data requirements and then shop around the best deal to suit.
Lastly, that brings us to internet providers. Once you know the speed you need, and your budget, it’s time to find a suitable provider. It’s always good to research yourself, but if you want to cut out some of the hassle and talk it through, our team at iSelect is always happy to help on 13 19 20.
In short, yes, but there are a variety of different factors that will influence your NBN speeds. Let’s take a look at what the different impacts might be.
Here are the four key factors:
The easiest analogy is traffic.
‘Peak hour’ is usually at the start and end of the working day when we experience congestion due to so many people being on the road. But if you go for a drive late at night, or even in the middle of the day, the roads are open and clear and you’ll barely ever need to stop. Even if you take exactly the same route, going to the same place, in the same car.
The same goes for internet speeds.
If you attempt to download the same file, or stream the same show, or have the same video call, at 6pm at night or 12pm in the afternoon, you’re going to experience varying speeds due to the amount of other users on the network.
Peak times for internet use in Australia are between 7pm and 11pm.
Most NBN plans will include the speeds available as 50/20, 100/20 or 1000/50. These two numbers refer to the peak download and upload speeds per second in Mbs (Megabits per second.)
We’ll briefly cover the different speed tiers of NBN plans below.
The most basic of packages, Home Basic I is suitable for sending e-mails and phone calls. Busy period speeds are generally below 12mbps, which is fine for the usage mentioned above but not ideal for streaming etc.
An upgraded version, this package will allow for a household with minimal users online at the same time for browsing the internet, sending emails and standard video definition streaming. Keep in mind, it’s not designed for optimum delivery of these additional activities, but will handle basic use.
This NBN plan caters for the 3-4 person Australian household. With busy speeds reaching 30mbps, HD streaming, working from home, online gaming and large file transfers are all possible.
From here, it’s all about optimising performance. With speeds doubling to 60mbps during busy times, 4k streaming and file transfers are a lot smoother and up to 5 users can be managed with this NBN plan.
With speeds reaching 150mbps, 4K to 8K streaming and large downloads (such as game updates) are easily managed. Even uploads of large files can be smoothly handled.
You can probably see where this is going. This NBN plan is really about future-proofing your home. As new technologies as platforms emerge, the strain on the NBN network will only continue to grow and users will naturally navigate to bigger plans. Unless you’re already on the pack.
The above are examples of how plans can differ from provider to provider, if you’d like to discuss which option is suitable for you, feel free to call our team on 13 19 20.
Comparing NBN plans with iSelect is super easy. Our team of trained Consultants will have a chat with you about your needs and requirements and then compare from our range of available plans and providers to find a suitable option for you. Here’s a list of the NBN providers we work with.
Prior to the NBN, Australia relied on a copper network. This is similar to the old fixed landline technology and was never designed to shoulder the demands of 21st century communications. The existing copper network was failing to keep pace with the rapid speed of change. However some connection types still use the existing copper lines in conjunction with the new fibre optic technology. That replacement became the NBN.
The ACCC has some handy tips to help you prepare to switch to the NBN for the first time, or switch from your current NBN plan to an NBN plan with another provider.
If NBN is now available at your address, it’s time to start searching for a new internet plan. iSelect compare a range of plans and providers*. You can take a look at some options on our website, or if you prefer, you can give us a call on 13 19 20. Our friendly team will be more than happy to help.
Last updated: 21/04/2021