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How fast is the nbn™TM?

Through the nbn™, all Australians will have access to fast broadband, wherever they may be working or living in the country. But just how fast is fast?

Depending on your connection type (FTTN, FTTP etc.), there’s a lot of variety in nbn™ plans. With budget options suitable for everyday use, right through to premium services for those who need the fastest speeds possible. Understanding what is right for you is key to making the most of your nbn™TM investment.

Maximum nbn™TM speeds explained

Usefully, nbn™TM plans are named after the maximum speeds that they provide, and through Aussie Broadband, you have six different options (depending on your connection type):

  1. 12/1Mbps
  2. 25/5Mbps
  3. 50/20Mbps
  4. 100/20Mbps
  5. 100/40Mbps
  6. 250/25Mbps
  7. Home Ultrafast

These numbers refer to the Megabits per second (Mbps) that you’ll get over the connection, with the first number representing the download speed, and the second number representing the upload speed. A 12/1 connection, for example, provides 12Mbps in download speed, and 1Mbps upload. At the other end of the spectrum, if you pay for the 250/25, you’ll get a 250Mbps download, and 25Mbps upload speed.

It’s important to understand the difference between “download” and “upload” because that can affect what you can do with the internet. “Download” means any data that you access from the internet and bring, or “download” to your device. Streaming a movie or YouTube video, for example, is using download bandwidth. As is listening to internet radio, accessing your email, downloading a game to play, or shopping online.

Upload bandwidth is used whenever you put data into the internet. If you attach a document to send to a co-worker in an email, for example, that’s uploading data. Putting a video on YouTube for others to watch is an upload. Video conferencing involves both a download (so you can see the people you’re talking to) and an upload (so those people can see you). Playing a video game online involves uploading data as well as downloading data, as your game is “communicating” with the person that you’re playing with.

Factors that affect nbn™ speed

Another thing to understand is that you won’t generally get the maximum speed that is quoted in your nbn™TM plan. There are two things that will prevent you from maxing out:

1) Distance from the node
Most people are connected to the nbn™TM through technology called Fibre to the Node (FTTN). What this means is that the nbn™TM features fibre cables, to a central “node”, and then travels the remaining distance to all homes and businesses via existing copper wires. The more copper wire involved, the slower the end result will be by the time the bandwidth reaches your home. Most homes are within 1km of a node, but behind that the nbn™TM can only deliver up to around 50Mbps, even if you’re on a 100Mbps plan.

2) Peak hours
There’s a reason every nbn™TM plan you see online will also have a “typical evening speed” mentioned. During peak hours (evenings, in most cases), network congestion means that ISPs won’t be able to deliver quite the same speeds that they can normally. The amount that the evening speed will drop depends on the ISP, and if the ISP purchases additional bandwidth from nbn™ Co. If you are on a plan from an ISP that prioritises customer satisfaction, like Aussie Broadband does (just compare our evening speeds, as the independent Canstar Blue has), then you’ll still get great speeds, even when everyone in your street is home and online.

What nbn™ speed is right for me?

The nbn™TM is fast enough for the typical household. With the right nbn™TM plan, you’ll be able to operate a home office, stream high definition video, or engage in online learning. The trick is to understand what your bandwidth needs are, so you’re not spending money on speeds you don’t need.

The most bandwidth-hungry application is video, whether that be movie streaming or video conferencing. To maintain high quality, you want to dedicate at least 3-5Mbps of bandwidth to each application. So if you’ve got one person in the household watching Netflix, another video conferencing from the home office, and a third streaming class lectures, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got at least 15Mbps to share around.

Each additional device that you add to the home network also adds bandwidth, so if the smartphones are all connected online, and you’ve got smart televisions, internet-connected fridges, and home automation devices (light bulbs, security systems, Amazon Echo etc.), they all add to the bandwidth that you’ll need to ensure that your experience doesn’t change.

There are always exceptions to the rule, but a good general rule is that an nbn™12/1 plan is good for an individual casual internet user. Meanwhile, nbn™25/5 is useful for an individual or couple’s everyday use (streaming, social media, etc), nbn™50/20 is useful for families, and nbn™100/20, nbn™100/40 or nbn™250/25 are essential for those working in digital-heavy fields (with 100/40 being more useful for those that need to access Cloud services and upload a lot of data, and 250/25 being better for pure download speeds).

If you’re still unsure about what nbn™ plan is right for you, give the team at Aussie Broadband a call. Have a chat to them about how you’re using the internet (or plan to), and they’ll be able to recommend a plan that suits your needs.

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Frequently asked questions about our nbn™ plans

Are there connection fees or charges?

We do not have any standard connection fees for our nbn™ services. If you are in a new housing development or opt to have a new line connected you may be liable for an additional charge as dictated by the nbn™. This will be displayed before confirming your order.

Will my home phone work on the nbn™?

The majority of Australians will have to move their phone across to the nbn™ as the current infrastructure providing a landline service will be switched off 18 month after the nbn™ becomes available. You will still be able to retain the same home phone number by porting it onto our new home phone plans but will be required to connect your phone handset via your modem.
Depending on the nbn™ technology you’re connected to, you may be able to keep your landline using the existing copper connection.

What hardware do I need for the nbn™?

Depending on the location, nbn™ uses a mix of technologies to connect to the nbn™ broadband access network. Some devices will need to be registered with nbn™ directly such as medical alarms, monitored fire alarms, and lift emergency phones. Other devices to consider are security systems, fax and teletypewriter devices, EFTPOS terminals, health claim terminals, and existing landline phone services. To register your devices visit the nbn™ website.

How does the nbn™ installation work?

If there has been a previous nbn™ connection at your premises the standard time frame is 1-5 business days and there will be no additional work required by a technician. If your address has not been connected to nbn™ before the standard time frame can be anywhere up to 20 business days and is dependent on your nbn™ access technology type and technician availability. Your nbn™ access technology will determine the exact method of installation for your technician.

For connections to premises that are already connected to the nbn™ via FTTN/B or HFC technology there may be a small period of downtime when switching providers.
For connections to premises that are already connected to the nbn™ via FTTP or Fixed Wireless technology, another port on the already installed network termination device will be activated in addition to any other active ports, so there should be no downtime.
For connections to premises that have not yet connected to the nbn™ via FTTN/B or HFC technology there may be a small period of downtime when connecting.
For connections to premises that have not yet connected to the nbn™ via FTTP or Fixed Wireless technology, new infrastructure will be installed which will not interrupt your current service.

Why we’ve chosen to offer unlimited nbn™ plans

In April 2018, we made the decision to offer unlimited plans due to new CVC bandwidth prices given by nbn™Co. to internet service providers (ISPs). Before these new bandwidth amounts were offered, ISPs offering unlimited plans were a large cause of the congestion issues many Australians faced, and we refused to provide our customers with a negative experience by being part of the problem.

Now, we are able to offer unlimited nbn™ plans that will not increase congestion on our networks, ensuring our customers receive the quality internet speeds and service that we are known for.

To read more information on why we made the change to unlimited nbn™ plans, check out our article here.

Confused? Have questions? Call our Australian-based support team who will answer any questions and walk you through every step of the signup process. Call now: 1300 880 905