How do Telstra’s new NBN plans stack up to the competition?

How do Telstra’s new NBN plans stack up to the competition?
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Telstra made a pretty bold announcement this week, all but promising congestion free NBN on plans as fast as NBN 100.

The telco is now advertising typical evening speeds of 100Mbps on NBN 100 plans, 50Mbps on NBN 50 plans, and 25Mbps on NBN 25 plans. In short, Telstra is saying customers should get the maximum speeds their plan is capable of the vast majority of the time.

Typical evening speeds refer to the NBN performance customers can expect between 7pm and 11pm – the busiest part of the day. Telstra previously reported typical evening speeds of 88Mbps on NBN 100 plans, which was only bested by Superloop who advertised typical speeds of 90Mbps.

While Telstra has stopped short of calling its plans congestion free, its speed claims are certainly impressive and could help warrant the premium price-tag typically associated with the telco.

It is however worth noting that the main reason Telstra can make these kinds of promises regarding speed is the result of changes at NBN Co that will also apply to other providers. Telstra was just the first to act. We wouldn’t be surprised to see other providers up their evening speeds in the near future, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll be as bold as Telstra.

In addition, Telstra made a couple of other key moves. It has resumed selling NBN 100 plans to customers with FTTN, FTTB, and FTTC technology types, and is now offering plans on speed tiers faster than NBN 100.

Before we start, here’s the complete range of Telstra NBN plans:

And here’s a look at how Telstra’s NBN plans stack up to the competition.

Unlimited NBN 50 plans compared

Telstra is still unsurprisingly at the higher end of the pricing spectrum, but it is currently doing a $10 per month discount on all unlimited NBN plans. This means you’ll pay $80 per month for a Telstra NBN 50 for your first 12 months, and $90 per month thereafter. 

In addition to reporting typical evening speeds of 50Mbps on its NBN 50 service, plans also include 4G backup. New customers can nab themselves three months of free access to Binge, which can be extended by another three months by signing up to Telstra Plus.

However, be aware that while Telstra’s NBN plans are contract-free, you’ll need to pay out a modem fee if you decide to bail in your first 24 months. This is equivalent to $9 multiplied by the number of months remaining in your two-year term. If you leave as you soon as your first-year discount expires, you’ll need to pay a $108 modem fee. That’s just $12 cheaper than staying connected for the entire two-year.

iiNet has the second fastest NBN 50 plan around right now, reporting typical evening speeds of 46.7Mbps. This will set you back $74.99 per month with no-contract, which is about $5 per month cheaper than Telstra’s discounted price, or $15 per month after your discount runs out.

Telstra’s discount brings its pricing in line with Aussie Broadband and Superloop who are both also considered on the more premium side of the provider spectrum. Their plans are priced at $79 per month and $78.95 per month respectively, with the telcos reporting typical evening speeds of 43Mbps and 44.4Mbps.

If you’re just looking for a cheap NBN 50 plan, SpinTel is your best bet thanks to a timed discount. You’ll pay $59 per month for your first six months, and $64.95 per month thereafter. SpinTel’s evening speeds are a bit slow however, with the telco reporting just 40Mbps.

Unlimited NBN 100 plans compared

As with NBN 50 plans, Telstra is offering a $10 per month discount on its NBN 100 plans. This means you’ll pay $100 per month for your first year, and $110 per month thereafter. Once again, you will need to pay a modem fee if you decide to leave before 24 months.

If you decide to stay the entire 24 months with Telstra, your monthly bill does average out to be $105 per month. That’s about $5 per month more than the likes of iiNet, Internode, and Aussie Broadband. If you’re after 100Mbps speeds all the time, a $5 per month premium may not be a bad deal.

While Telstra NBN 100 plans were previously only available to customers with HFC or FTTP NBN connections, the telco has resumed selling them to customers with FTTN, FTTB, and FTTC connection types. Your individual connection may however affect the maximum speeds you can get, depending on factors like distance from the node (if applicable) or in-home wiring.

Superloop is the second fastest major provider when it comes to NBN 100 plans, reporting typical evening speeds of 90Mbps. You’ll pay $89.95 per month for a Superloop NBN 100 plan.

If you’re just looking at saving money, Tangerine is a good choice. You’ll pay $74.90 per month for your first six months, and then $89.90 per month thereafter. Tangerine plans are contract-free and come with a 14-day risk-free trial. Tangerine will refund your plan fees if you decide you’re not happy within your first fortnight. Tangerine reports typical evening speeds of 83Mbps.

And if you’d prefer not to screw with timed promos, MATE has an unlimited NBN 100 plan for a flat $79 per month. MATE also reports typical evening speeds of 83Mbps.

Unlimited NBN 250 plans compared

As part of Telstra’s plan changes, it also introduced NBN 250 plans as an upgrade for customers already on an NBN 100 service. Swapping to an NBN 250 plan will set you back an additional $30 per month, bringing your total bill to $140 per month. Once again, a $10 per month discount means you’ll pay $130 for your first year with Telstra.

Excluding the discount, Telstra is about $10 per month pricier than what you’d pay for an NBN 250 plan on Optus, Aussie Broadband, and Superloop. However, while Telstra has a speed advantage on plans up to NBN 100, it is reporting typical evening speeds of 215Mbps like most providers selling an NBN 250 plan.

MyRepublic is your cheapest option for an NBN 250 plan, with options starting at $109 per month. The telco only reports typical evening speeds of 150Mbps, however.

NBN 250 plans are only available to customers connecting to the NBN via FTTP and HFC. All FTTP customers can get NBN 250 plans, but only 70% of HFC customers can. NBN Co is hoping that all HFC customers will be able to get an NBN 250 plan by June next year.

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