Over the course of the year, telcos have become a lot bolder with typical evening speed claims for their NBN plans. Providers including Telstra, Optus, and Superloop are now advertising NBN plans with typical evening speeds that match the speed tier. 100Mbps on NBN 100 plans and 50Mbps on NBN 50 plans, for example. This means these plans shouldn’t see any slowdown, no matter what time of day. They’re ostensibly congestion free.
Before we look at which providers are part of the congestion-free club, and what their plans look like, it is important to note that individual circumstances can prevent you from achieving the typical evening speeds advertised.
Factors like in-home wiring and your equipment can all impact your download speeds, and FTTN connections need to be within 400m of a node to even have a shot of achieving NBN 100 speeds. Sadly, some FTTN connections can’t even get full NBN 50 speeds.
Congestion-free NBN 50 plans
The vast majority of NBN providers have moved to advertising NBN 50 plans with typical evening speed of 50Mbps. Whether you’re spending Tangerine money or you’ve got Telstra cash, it’s easy to find an NBN 50 plan that shouldn’t experience slowdown during peak hours.
SpinTel is your cheapest option from this bunch: you’ll pay $54 per month for your first six months and $64.95 per month thereafter. SpinTel is easily the best value option here; even at full price, it’s cheaper than some discounted plans.
Tangerine is a hair more expensive initially at $54.90 per month for your first six months, and $69.90 per month thereafter. In addition to being contract-free, Tangerine plans also have a 14-day risk-free trial period. If you’re not happy during your first fortnight with the telco, you can leave a get a complete refund of your plan fees.
Optus, Vodafone, and Telstra are on the pricier side of the congestion-free club, but all come with 4G backup which may be a useful perk for some.
Optus will set you back $75 per month, but if you leave within your first 36 months, you’ll pay a prorated modem fee. This is equivalent to $7 multiplied by the number of months left in your three-year term. Optus’ NBN plans also include a subscription to Optus Sport.
Vodafone NBN 50 plans go for $80 per month, but the telco will cut this by $15 if you’re also a Vodafone postpaid mobile customer. This means you’ll pay just $65 per month. Vodafone’s modem is optional, but if you pick it, you’ll be hit with a prorated modem fee if you leave within your first two years. This is equivalent to $7.50 per month left in your term.
Telstra will set you back $95 per month. In a similar vein, you’ll need to pay a prorated modem fee if you leave within your first 24 months. This is equal to $9 multiplied by the number of months left in your two-year term. Telstra is currently throwing in a three-month free subscription to Binge with its NBN plans.
Congestion-free NBN 100 plans
If you’re after an NBN 100 plan with typical evening speeds of 100Mbps, your options are a little bit more limited. The providers currently reporting maximum speeds of the NBN 100 speed tier are SpinTel, Superloop, Optus, Extel, and Telstra.
SpinTel has the cheapest NBN 100 plan in this elusive category, which will set you back $69 per month for your first six months and $84.95 per month thereafter. Most other NBN 100 plans tend to cost at least $89 per month when you exclude timed discounts, but if you find a better deal, SpinTel’s plan is contract-free.
Superloop has a similar offer, charging $69.95 per month for your first six months, and $89.95 per month thereafter.
Optus charges $95 per month for its NBN 100 plan, and was it its NBN 50 plan, you’ll get hit with a $99 setup and modem fee if you leave with three years. The modem fee is equivalent to $7 per month left in your term. This plan also includes an Optus Sport subscription and 4G backup with the bundled modem.
If you’re considering Exetel, you’ll pay $95 per month. Exetel isn’t currently running any promos.
Lastly, Telstra will set you back $95 per month for your first six months, and $110 per month thereafter. Once again, you’ll need to pay a prorated modem fee if you leave within your first 24 months. This is equal to $9 multiplied by the number of months left in your term.
This plan also gets you 4G backup with the included modem and a three-month free subscription to Binge with its NBN plans.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.