NBN’s New 100 / 20 Plans Explained

NBN’s New 100 / 20 Plans Explained
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NBN 100 / 20 is a brand new NBN speed tier designed to make plans with fast download speeds a little bit cheaper. While NBN Co isn’t officially releasing the plans until May, select providers have jumped the gun and started selling them anyway in attempt to get an edge on the competition. Here are the best you can get at the moment.

What is NBN 100 / 20?

The main difference between an NBN 100 / 20 plan and a ‘traditional’ NBN 100 plan (also known as an NBN 100 / 40 plan) is upload speed. NBN 100 / 40 plans have a maximum upload speed of 40Mbps, whereas NBN 100 / 20 plans have a maximum upload speed of 20Mbps – as the name might suggest.

Essentially, you’re sacrificing a bit of upload speed to get a cheaper plan. For example, Aussie Broadband will sell you an unlimited NBN 100 / 20 plan for $89 per month, versus $99 per month for an NBN 100 / 40 plan. Other providers like Telstra have eliminated NBN 100 / 40 plans all together, while cutting $10 from your monthly bill.

The advent of NBN 100 / 20 plans means we’re now seeing high download speed plans start at around $80 per month, whereas you’d previously pay at least $90 per month. If you don’t rely on superfast upload speeds, that’s a pretty good deal.

Here's Some Hot Unlimited Contract-Free NBN Plans

Plenty of telcos would love to lock you down with a contract and get you hooked for the long term. But why would you give as much as two years of your life to an NBN provider? Evening speeds could get worse. You could find a better plan. You could abandon modern life for a cute off-the-grid commune. Fortunately, there's a whole host of excellent contract-free NBN plans where you can bail whenever, for whatever reason. As such, we're going to look at some of the cheapest contract-free unlimited NBN plans around.

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The Best NBN 100 / 20 Plans In Australia

Tangerine has the cheapest NBN 100 / 20 plan around right now, thanks to a promotional discount. $74.90 per month will get you unlimited data for your first six months, after which you’ll pay $89.90 per month. Tangerine’s plan is contract-free however, so you can always bail after the discount runs out.

Vodafone has a very similar promotion on its NBN 100 / 20 plan. You’ll pay $75 per month for your first six months, and $95 per month thereafter, provided you sign-up before April 21. As with Tangerine, Vodafone’s plan is contract-free, so you can leave penalty free when the discount runs out – provided you bring your own modem.

Existing Vodafone customers may have good reason to stick around, however. If you add your NBN plan onto the same account as your Vodafone mobile plan, you’ll save 5% on your total bill for each service after the first. That’s a maximum saving of 20% if you have five plans with Vodafone.

If you’d prefer to avoid promotional discounts, MATE has the cheapest unlimited NBN 100 / 20 plan around, priced at $79. You can save a further $10 per month on this plan if you bundle a MATE mobile plan with it. MATE’s mobile plans start at $20 per month with 5GB of data and are powered by the Telstra network.

If you’re after performance, Aussie Broadband and Superloop report some of the fastest evening speeds around, clocking at 86Mbps and 90Mbps respectively. An unlimited plan from one of these provider will set you back $89 per month on Aussie or $89.95 on Superloop.

Telstra also reports excellent evening speeds of 88Mbps, but there’s a big catch associated with its NBN 100 plan: you can only sign-up to it if you have a HFC or FTTP NBN connection. All other connection types are restricted to NBN 50 plans. Telstra’s NBN 100 / 20 plan is also the most expensive around, billed at $110 per month.

Telstra’s NBN 100 / 20 plan is a bit of an oddity. It still technically offers upload speeds of up to 40Mbps, but this will drop to 20Mbps when NBN 100 / 20 plans “officially” go live in May.

Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.