- OptiComm is one of the largest and popular alternatives to Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN).
- Like NBN, OptiComm can sell its internet services to telcos like Aussie Broadband, Optus, and iiNET. Alongside NBN plans, these ISPs also offer OptiComm plans as alternative.
- OptiComm is only available for a select few areas while the NBN rollout has been completed and is available to almost all Australians. There’s also a slim chance that OptiComm connections will eventually be replaced by the NBN if it’s available in your area.
Though NBN seems like the next big thing in Australia’s internet services, OptiComm is slowly making a name in the market.
The NBN is Australia's national broadband network, which aims to replace copper wires and cable broadband with optical fibre to deliver more reliable, high-capacity internet to Aussies. OptiComm, on the other hand, is a private network wholesaler that services mainly housing estates around Australia. But what exactly is the difference between the two?
Every Aussie should have access to the best internet service that meets their requirements and budget. However, finding the right plan can be quite a challenge, with plenty of options to choose from and lots of cheap deals from different providers.
So the question remains, should you switch to NBN? Or is OptiComm a better option? Let’s take a look.
What is Opticomm?
OptiComm is one of the largest and popular alternatives to Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN). It is a privately-owned internet service provider similar to other Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) networks available in the market, such as Clear Broadband, ANT Communications, Australia Broadband and Goodtel.
In general, OptiComm is a wholesale internet service operator capable of building, operating and maintaining its own fixed-line networks in Australia.
Like NBN, OptiComm can sell its internet services to telcos like Aussie Broadband, Optus, and iiNET. Alongside NBN plans, OptiComm plans are offered to consumers.
What Makes OptiComm Different from NBN?
An OptiComm Internet connection is almost identical to an NBN FTTP connection. It uses the same high-speed fibre-optic cables to transmit signals to households. The only real difference between the two is the technology used and the networks that maintain the service.
But what makes OptiComm superior to most NBN connections is that they no longer use older technology in their service. In some cases, NBN still uses decades-old copper wires and coaxial cables (which can’t transmit signals as fast as fibre-optics) as part of their connection service. This limits the maximum speed capability of some NBN connections.
On the downside, OptiComm is only available for a select few areas while the NBN rollout has been completed and is available to almost all Australians. There’s also a slim chance that OptiComm connections will eventually be replaced by the NBN if it’s available in your area.
OptiComm services are limited to a handful of communities and buildings, around 120,000 premises across Australia compared to NBN's 13 million premises. Definitely, NBN has the upper hand in terms of reach and currently has an estimate of more than 8.2 million subscribers.
Meanwhile, OptiComm is available in new residential homes and commercial and office buildings that have pre-picked OptiComm as their wholesale internet service provider before the construction phase. Currently, OptiComm is available in a few key cities and suburbs in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney.
Another downside with OptiComm is that you’re likely or unlikely to have access to free-to-air TV, depending on your building’s internet infrastructure.
If you don’t want a fixed-line connection, you could look into wireless alternatives like home wireless and mobile broadband. However, the connection quality may vary depending on the location and mobile network availability. If 4G or 5G signal strength is good in your area, then there’s no issue going for mobile broadband or home wireless as an alternative to either NBN or OptiComm.
Speed and Plans Available
OptiComm offers tiered speed plans ranging from 12 Mbps up to 1000 Mbps speeds through FTTP connection. Costing is the same — the faster the plan is, the higher the price gets.
OptiComm plans start at $79 a month for unlimited data with a typical evening speed of 50Mbps. Double the speed at 99Mbps requires a monthly fee of $99 a month while 248Mbps typical evening speeds is available via the Power User plan at $129 a month. OptiComm's fastest speed plan is tagged at $149 a month with typical evening speeds of 600Mbps.
On the other hand, NBN plans also offer four-speed tiers with varying prices. On average, NBN 12 plans can cost around $34 a month, while NBN 25 is $44 a month. Faster speeds such as the NBN 50 is available at $54.90 a month, while NBN 100 costs $74.90. But if you’re looking to add several features to your plan, additional fees will be charged.
OptiComm vs NBN, which is better?
OptiComm is the better option if you are looking for high-speed internet connections. However, accessibility is one of the few features that you can enjoy with OptiComm compared to NBN. Although OptiComm may be more reliable than other NBN connections, its unavailability in most regions makes it less competitive.
Ideally, if OptiComm is available in your area, go for OptiComm as your main internet service wholesale provider. It may cost a bit more than NBN but has better speed and a more customer-centred approach compared to NBN. However, for most Aussie households, NBN remains the most accessible and popular internet service option.