There are two ways internet service providers will penalise customers who exceed their data limit. Some companies will charge customers if they exceed their data limit; for example, Dodo charges 18 cents per MB. However, most internet providers slow down the customer’s speed once it exceeds the limit, otherwise known as “shaping or “throttling.”

 Keep in mind advertised shaping speeds are theoretical maximum speeds only, and the actual shaping speed may be far lower than the specified amount.

A closer look at each internet service provider’s ADSL2+ plans will demonstrate a variance in shaping speeds. When choosing a new plan to sign up to, it may be worth considering the different shaping speeds internet providers offer.


Whether you’re purchasing a standalone internet plan or bundling the service with a home phone, TPG offers some of the most competitive shaping speeds on the Australian broadband market.

Standalone internet plans which are $39.99 or less are shaped to 256kbps, while those which are $49.99 or more are shaped to a speedy 1mbps. Plans priced at $69.99 or more are shaped to 2mbps, making the plans virtually unlimited.


Exetel offers a decent shaping speed of 512kbps for all of their ADSL2+ customers. For those who don’t want to be restricted by slower speeds and are happy to pay a little extra, customers have the ability to change their plan settings so they can be charged a very cheap 50 cents per gigabyte instead.


Customers with iPrimus will be shaped at a frustratingly slow 64kbps (dialup speed) if they exceed their cap, apart from those signed up to the Big Kahuna plan, which is shaped at 128kbps.


Netspace has one shaping speed for all of their broadband plans: 56kbps. When you consider other factors which may slow your broadband speed down, such as using a Wi-Fi network or being a longer distance from the telephone exchange, you may find you’ll need to wait till next month to do any internet banking or online shopping.


iiNet plans are shaped at two different speeds: plans priced at $59.95 or less are shaped at a reasonable 128kbps, while plans priced at $69.95 or more are shaped at 256kbps.


Westnet plans follow the same rule as iiNet plans: plans priced at $59.95 or less are shaped at 128kbps, and plans priced at $69.95 or more are shaped at 256kbps.


All Bigpond customers are shaped to a dialup speed of 64kbps. Again, when you consider other factors which may slow your speed down, it may be difficult to surf the web without the slow connection timing out frequently.


Most of the Optus broadband plans are shaped at 64kbps, apart from the 100GB and 200GB plans which are shaped at 256kbps. Even Optus’ “Unlimited Broadband Plan” is shaped at 256kbps after the first 50 gigabytes, leaving us to question what really counts as an “unlimited” plan.

These shaping speeds are current as of August 2010 and are subject to change.