What is the NBN?
The National Broadband Network - more commonly referred to as the NBN - is a large scale operation spearheaded by the Australian Government with the intention of upgrading Australia’s primary internet infrastructure by replacing our old copper line networks with a typically faster and more reliable fibre optic cable network. Since it began, the NBN rollout has faced several setbacks, many of them due to the budget cuts that occurred after a change in government, but it is now predominantly built and should be on track to be fully completed within a year or so.
Contrary to popular misconception, there is not one set NBN speed, but rather a range of different options. The NBN is a wholesale data network enterprise, built and operated by a government body appropriately titled the NBN Co, who then distribute the service out to different internet service providers (commonly referred to as ISPs). It is the different internet service providers who then offer different NBN deals to the customer. You can compare NBN plans & providers here. The best deal for you will depend on how much you want to spend, what you use the internet for, how often you use the internet, and how many other internet users are in your household. Your location may also be a factor when finding the right NBN deal for you, as your address will determine what kind of NBN connection type you have been allocated.
What are the other NBN speed tiers?
There are four NBN speed tiers; each one ranges in speed but also price. Customers choose which NBN speed tier they want when they first sign to an NBN deal. The fours different NBN speed tiers are;
Basic Evening Speed - Also known as NBN 12, the Basic Evening Speed plan offers you a maximum download speed of 12Mbps. Basic Evening Speed plans are the cheapest, but also the slowest; some customers consider them too slow, and as such, there are some broadband providers who don’t even offer them.
Standard Evening Speed - Also known as the NBN 25 plan, this the second cheapest of the NBN speed tiers, but with approximately double the amount of speed of the NBN 12 plan, offering customers a maximum download speed of 25Mbps.
Standard Plus Evening Speed - Also referred to as the NBN 50 plan, this is the tier for people who need more speed than the NBN 25 plan can provide, and may be better suited to larger households. It will offer you a maximum download speed of 50Mbps.
Premium Evening Speed - also known as the NBN 100 plan, this is the fastest and most expensive of the speed tiers, offering customers a maximum download speed of 100Mbps.
Is my maximum speed guaranteed?
No. Any time you see a maximum download speed or a maximum upload speed, it is only ever an approximation and not a guarantee, as there are certain external factors that internet service providers can not account for. Such factors may include what NBN connection type you have, how many people are sharing that connection simultaneously, the configuration of your software/hardware, and what manner of content you are uploading and downloading. But the maximum speed is still a good ballpark estimate of what you’d get if you sign with that plan.
What are the different NBN connections?
Due to a change of government which resulted in budget cuts, the NBN is now a multi-technology mix. This means that there are several different kinds of NBN connection types found around Australia. Customers don’t get to choose which NBN connection is installed in their home, this decision is made by the NBN Co is made based on the location of the home. The different kinds of NBN connections are Fixed Wireless, Fibre to the Curb (FTTC), Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC), and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).
What is Mbps?
Mbps is short for “megabits per second”. Megabits per second is how the telecommunications industry measures its download and upload speeds. The higher the Mbps, the quicker your download/upload speeds will be. Mbps is a different thing to “MBps”; the latter stands for “megabytes per second” and is most often used when referring to file size.
What’s the difference between upload and download speeds?
In a nutshell, a download speed refers to how quickly your broadband can take a file off the internet and onto your device, and an upload speed is how quickly your broadband can take a file off your device and send it into the internet. Most customers do more downloading than uploading which is why the download speed is given as the shorthand, but obviously you want an NBN tier that can sufficiently provide you with sufficient downloading and uploading capabilities.
Compare NBN deals with Compare Broadband
Compare Broadband is a free service to all Australian homes, so don’t be afraid to hit us up if you need more assistance finding the right NBN deal for you. You can compare NBN deals using our free broadband search engine, or you can speak to one of our trusty broadband consultants on 1300 106 571. We’ve 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, so don’t be afraid to get in touch with us for some fast, free, and friendly advice!