The Fastest NBN Provider Isn’t Who You Think

The Fastest NBN Provider Isn’t Who You Think
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The ACCC has just released its latest report on real-world NBN speeds and the fastest provider comes as a bit of surprise. After seven consecutive victories, Optus has been dethroned by Exetel, a smaller NBN provider that recently got acquired by Superloop.

In the 14th Measuring Broadband Australia report, Exetel customers were found to receive 100.5% of their plan’s maximum speeds during peak hours (between 7pm and 11pm). Optus was less than a hair behind with speeds of 100.4%, followed by Telstra at 99.8%.

This puts Exetel ahead of the ten other telcos featured in the report, which spans Aussie Broadband, Dodo, iiNet, iPrimus, MyRepublic, Optus, Superloop, Telstra, TPG, and Vodafone.

This quarter’s report has good news all round – on average, NBN speeds are up again, with Vodafone, Dodo, iPrimus, and MyRepublic all reporting faster speeds than last time around. In addition, none of the providers featured in the report dipped below 90% of plan speeds during peak hours.

Here are the full results:

Overall Overall excluding under
performing connections
Peak hours
Aussie Broadband 97.7% 100.0% 96.9%
Dodo 93.1% 96.7% 92.2%
Exetel 101.3% 102.9% 100.5%
iiNet 96.1% 99.2% 95.4%
iPrimus 93.1% 96.7% 92.2%
MyRepublic 99.4% 101.9% 98.0%
Optus 101.3% 103.2% 100.4%
Superloop 96.6% 97.7% 95.3%
Telstra 100.6% 104.0% 99.8%
TPG 98.9% 101.5% 98.3%
Vodafone 96.2% 100.9% 95.2%

This Measuring Broadband Australia report sample covers 1,144 connections during a month-long testing period in May. All but 42 of the households have a connection with one of the eleven providers covered in the report. The sample isn’t huge, but it’s still a useful indicator of how an ISP should perform. The ACCC reports a 95% confidence level in its results.

Here’s a look at NBN 100 plans from the providers in the ACCC report:

Superloop is currently your cheapest option for an NBN 100 provider featured in the speed report, thanks to a promo. You’ll pay $69.95 per month for your first six months, and then $89.95 per month thereafter. The plan is contract-free, so you’re always able to leave when the discount expires.

MyRepublic has a similar promo where you’ll pay $70 per month for your first six months and $95 per month thereafter. Once again, the plan is contract-free.

While Dodo came last alongside sister brand iPrimus, it’s one of your cheapest options for an NBN 100 plan. You’ll pay $75 per month for your first six months and $85 per month thereafter. Most full price NBN 100 plans start at $90 or so per month, so $85 isn’t bad. Just be aware that you’ll need to pay a $60 upfront modem fee. If you’re in Victoria or NSW, you can save a further $10 per month by bundling your NBN plan with Dodo’s gas and electricity.

TPG came in fourth place this time around, and has a decent deal of its own: you’ll pay $79.99 per month for your first six months, and then $89.99 per month thereafter.

Vodafone is a bit pricier at $95 per month, but if you’re a postpaid mobile customer, you can save $15 per month off your monthly bill.

Optus and Exetel may have been the two best performing providers this time around, but they’re also pricier than most. On Exetel, you’re looking at $95 per month. On Optus, you’ll pay $89 per month for your first six months and $99 per month thereafter. You’ll also need to pay a prorated modem fee if you leave with your first three years. This works out to $7 per month left in your term.

And here’s a look at NBN 50 plans from the providers in the ACCC report:

Dodo is currently the cheapest provider out of those covered by the ACCC report. You’ll and then $75 per month after, but there is a $60 modem fee. As with Dodo’s NBN 100 plan, you can shave a further $10 per month off by bundling in gas and electricity – at least if you’re in NSW or Victoria.

If you don’t want to pay for a new modem, Superloop is a hair more expensive initially but cheaper in the long run. You’re looking at $59.95 per month for your first six months and $69.95 per month thereafter.

Chart topper Exetel is somewhat middle of the road, where you’ll pay $75 per month.

Runner up Optus is a bit more expensive, priced at $79 per month. The plan is contract-free, but you’ll be hit with a prorated modem fee if you leave with your first three years. Once again, that’s $7 for each month left in your term.

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