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Looking for the fastest NBN broadband plan for your home? Whether you’re working from home or simply trying to unwind with some online recreation, it can be incredibly frustrating to have an internet service that is not up to speed (literally). Finding the right home broadband plan for you will invariably always depend on your location, your budget, and your internet habits; but it’s also very important you understand how that there are different NBN speed tiers before you sign up for a plan. Contrary to popular belief, the NBN does not come with one set speed; rather, there are four different NBN speed tiers for the customer to choose from, based on how much they want to spend and how fast they want the internet in their home or office. So if you know your home has already been upgraded to active NBN service, and you know that you definitely want one of the faster NBN plans, you may want to consider an NBN 50 plan or, for even faster speeds, an NBN 100 Plan.
What are the four different NBN speed tiers?
The four different NBN speeds are Basic Evening Speed, Standard Evening Speed, Standard Plus Evening Speed, and Premium Evening Speed.
- Basic Evening Speed - also known as NBN 12, Basic Evening Speed is generally the cheapest of the NBN speed tiers; but the trade off for that is that it is definitively the slowest of the NBN speed tiers, only offering a Maximum download speed of 12Mbps. It’s a good option if you’re a light internet user who’s trying to save some money, but not if you’re specifically in the market for a fast NBN plan.
- Standard Evening Speed - also known as NBN 25, Standard Evening Speed will give you a Maximum download speed of 25Mbps. Statistically, quite a lot of NBN customers start off with a Standard Evening Speed tier but soon find it’s not quite as fast as they’d like, so quickly upgrade to the next speed tier.
- Standard Plus Evening Speed - also known as NBN 50, a Standard Plus Evening Speed, this NBN tier gives you a Maximum download speed of 50Mbps. This is a good middle ground for a lot of broadband customers; a Standard Plus Evening Speed Plan can offer you enough speed to comfortably binge stream online TV, films and music, upload and download photos, make video calls with work or family, and even engage in a spot of online gaming. The NBN 50 plan is a very popular option for a lot of people, and it is potentially a good tier for you to try first; but if you already know that you want the fastest NBN speed available, you’re going to want a Premium Evening Speed tier.
- Premium Evening Speed - also referred to as NBN Premium, or simply as NBN 100, this is the fastest of the NBN speed tiers, offering the customer a Maximum download speed of 100Mbps. While Premium Evening Speed plans are typically a little pricier than the other tiers, this is because they offer the best performances, and can consistently deliver a smooth home broadband performance.
Who uses Premium Evening Speed plans?
NBN 100 plans are designed for households that need to use the internet a lot. If you have a large family, or even a few housemates, who are all using the internet at the same time, then that’s going to impact on your NBN performance speed. This isn’t limited to the people inside your home; if you and your neighbours are all using the same NBN connection at the same time, it’s likely that anyone who is on a lower NBN plan is going to get hit with some internet lag. That’s why NBN 100 is favoured; you can stream HD movies, play online games all night, upload and download large files, and back them up online without any hassle. Premium Evening Speed plans let you use the internet for what you like, as much as you like - data allowing, of course, but if you really want to complete your ultimate home broadband set up, you can very easily find a deal that lets you ensure you’ve got an unlimited amount of data too.
What is the NBN, and how does the NBN work?
The NBN - more commonly referred to as the NBN - is a nationwide upgrade to Australia’s internet infrastructure; it is built and maintained by the NBN Co, a government corporation tasked with replacing the country’s old copper line network copper line network, and replacing it with a fibre optic cable system, which allows data to travel more effectively into our homes. The NBN was designed and implemented to eventually replace ASL2+ broadband connections (as well as all older forms of ADSL); once NBN construction has been fully completed in a region, the ADSL connections in that area are permanently disconnected. While some broadband providers will insist on carrying over an existing ADSL plan into an NBN plan, it is not necessarily an automatic thing, and even when it is, you are advised to look around at different NBN providers to see if you can get a better deal than the one you are with. The NBN build is estimated to be fully completed nationwide by the end of 2020 (give or take), so if you are currently still an ADSL broadband customer, it’s recommended that you compare NBN providers and plans before your ADSL is cut off. If you have not been given notice of when your ADSL will be cut off, you should call your ADSL provider as soon as you can to see if they can give you this information.
Which internet service providers have Premium Evening Speed plans?
Most of them. Fortunately, it’s a fairly standard NBN option, so most of the major Australian internet providers (or ISPs for short) will offer NBN 100 plans.
Are some internet service providers faster than others?
Short answer: yes. But while some internet service providers are known to have a better track record of offering speedier services, it's difficult to declare one single broadband provider as the definitive fastest, because different providers offer different coverage to different areas. While some broadband providers have made good names for themselves by offering fast NBN 100 service and great customer support, such providers may or may not be able to guarantee a sufficient service to your particular location, especially if you are in a more remote region, which is why it’s always advised that you have a quick chat with a broadband consultant before you sign onto any plans that may not be optimal for you. Besides your location, your monthly budget, and your data needs, you will also need to factor in your NBN connection type.
For example, recent studies by the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) have found that providers like Exetel, MyRepublic, TPG, Aussie Broadband, Optus, Telstra, iiNet, Dodo and iiPrimus are, at the time of writing, providing some of the fastests NBN 100 speeds in Australia. But besides the fact that the sample groups used in these studies may not have been using the internet for the same activities and hours that you use it for, a closer look also shows that the faster NBN speeds are consistently being delivered through specific NBN connections. While many people mistakenly believe that all NBN connections are the same, the NBN is now a multi-technology mix, meaning that there are different kinds of NBN connections made from different technologies (which happened because of a change of government which resulted in budget cuts to the NBN rollout). Some of these technologies work more efficiently than others, but unfortunately, we don’t get to choose what type we are given; the NBN Co allocated different NBN connection types to different areas, and unfavourable policy now referred to as the NBN Lottery by both press and public alike.
What are the different NBN connections?
The different NBN connections commonly found around Australia include:
- Fibre to the Premises - also known as FTTP, Fibre to the Premises is one of the faster NBN connections, as it can (as the name says) deliver a fibre optic cable directly from the exchange and into your premises. With its data being sent at lightning fast speeds, FTTP is definitely one of the more sought after NBN connections.
- Fibre to the Node - shortened to FTTP, Fibre to the Node is when the fibre optic cable runs from the exchange and into a nearby cabinet, or as it is commonly referred to, a “node” - the broadband is then shot from the node and into your home via copper cable.
- Fibre to the Curb - also known as FTTC, Fibre to the Curb is an NBN connection type where the fibre optic cable is extended into a DPU (Distribution Point Unit) that is located within a pit on a section of street close to your house (ie. a curb), which then sends the data into a connection box that has been installed inside your home or office.
- Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial - often referred to as HFC, Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial is a fusion technology which is generally considered one of the more efficient ones. HFC technology directs your broadband through the old pay TV network cabling (ie. the old premium cable services such as Foxtel).
- Fixed Wireless - Fixed Wireless connections transmit their data over radio signals, that then require an NBN connection box to deliver the data to your premises. An outdoor antenna must usually be installed on your property by an NBN approved technician. Fixed Wireless connections are more common in more rural areas, where the distance between different premises is many kilometers.
Can I get NBN in my home?
You can find that out by entering your postcode or suburb into our free NBN search engine. Our algorithm will also ask you a few quick questions about how much data you need and how much you want to spend per month, so that it can provide you with a shortlist of the best NBN plans and providers for your specific needs and locations. If you are in an area that has not yet been upgraded to the NBN, you can compare plans and providers for other internet connections here. Compare Broadband is a free internet service for all Australian homes. We pride ourselves on simplifying the process of helping our customer’s find the right broadband service for them, and we have been independently rated 5 stars by our customers with a Trust Pilot score of 4.8 out of 5 based on over 1,800 reviews. And if you’d like to speak to someone in person, you can call one of trusty internet experts on 1300 106 571 for a free consultation, anytime between between 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and between 10am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Easy!