• Peak splits can be expensive if you're not careful
  • The NBN plan with a typical evening speed
  • Make sure you're not being charged for going over

These days when you sign up to the NBN, unlimited data is often included, but in reality, your internet service provider may still throttle your speed when you tend to use up too much data, particularly during peak hours. Many plans still take into account on and off-peak time periods, with the off-peak period falling in the middle of the night when the majority of people are asleep.


Why on and off-peak times?

Off-peak data usage is great for people who know how to set up their computer to download files (like movies and songs) with peer-to-peer file-sharing services overnight via a timer because the process will most likely finish faster. For the rest of us, even if the internet speeds can be amazingly fast during this time period, it is pretty much unusable as we are asleep at the time. 

So, if you are signing up for an NBN plan with a typical evening speed of a bit less than what is advertised in your plan, that is because of the peak times when network congestion is highly probable due to the number of people trying to get online. This means internet providers can make it sound like they are offering amazingly fast internet speeds, but in truth, you will only be able to experience a speed that is a bit slower than what they promised, particularly during the on-peak time period. 


Here are a few examples:

The Superloop nbn™ Home Fast 100/20 comes 93Mbps typical evening speed even if the maximum download speed advertised is 100Mbps. This means that anywhere from 7 PM to 11 PM, which is the peak period, your download speed may be a bit less than 100Mbps, which is promised.

This is also true for Dodo’s nbn100 Unlimited Plan which can only deliver a typical evening speed of 92Mbps during this period as well as iiNet’s nbn™ Home Fast Limitless which can only promise a typical evening speed of 90Mbps instead of 100Mbps from 7 PM to 11 PM.

However, there are certain providers who can now deliver their advertised speeds even during the peak periods such as Telstra. This is because of the recent updates that NBN Co implemented.

So, before signing up to an NBN plan ensure you are aware of the on and off-peak times, and what speed you’ll be slowed down to during this period even if the plan comes with unlimited data. Rest assured that there are already providers capable of offering congestion-free plans, which means that even during peak times, you will still get to enjoy the speed of the plan as promised.