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What is the nbn™?

The nbn™ is the National Broadband Network and is an Australia-wide wholesale open-access data network project that is being rolled out by nbn™ Co Limited.

From the earliest pilot rollouts in parts of Tasmania back in 2009, the nbn™ has gone through a number of redesigns and shifts in focus (largely due to the changes in government), but the overarching vision of having all of Australia connected to fast broadband is nearly there; over 90% of Australia is now connected to the nbn™, with the last few to be connected in the near future.

Therefore, for any Australian that wishes to make the most of the Internet, it is useful to understand exactly what the nbn™ is, and what it means for the way that Australians will work and play online into the future.

Getting started with the nbn™

The first thing you need to know about the nbn™ is that you don’t directly buy your Internet access from nbn™ Co – the government-owned organisation that has been responsible for the rollout and implementation of the nbn™. nbn™ Co is a wholesale provider, meaning that it sells its services (namely, broadband data and bandwidth) to third-party retailers, who then sell it on to their customers. Those third-party retailers are the ISPs (Internet Service Providers)– companies like Aussie Broadband – who provide both residential and commercial customers with services.

What this means is that when you make the jump to the nbn™, you don’t need to engage with nbn™ Co. You simply call your ISP of choice (or go onto their website), and they will organise any set up or technician visits that you need.

Every nbn™ customer will need specific technologies installed in the home, but your ISP will walk you through all of that, and schedule the on-site visit of a technician to get you connected. Once connected, follow the instructions provided by your ISP, and you’re set to go.

Some ISPs will charge you a setup fee to get you connected, but not all. These can vary depending on whether you enter a long-term contract or a month-to-month arrangement.Your ISP will be able to fill you in on any of these one-off setup fees when you first contact them.

What do I get with the nbn™?

There are a number of different options available to you on the nbn™ depending on your connection type.

At the very low end there are 12/1 plans available. This plan provides you with 12Mbps download, and 1Mbps upload. External factors such as the time of day that you’re accessing the internet can affect the speeds you actually receive. This is often known as congestion. The nbn™12/1 plans start at as little as $50/month. However, this speed isn’t great for much more than basic internet surfing and online applications such as checking emails.

Aussie Broadband recommends a minimum nbn™ plan of 25/5 – this is 25Mbps download and 5Mbps upload. Great for individuals or couples, this internet speed may allow for the simultaneous use of Netflix and internet browsing, or other combinations that allow a small household to enjoy the internet on their terms. For families or people with more demanding needs of their internet, there are also 50/20100/20 and 100/40 options.

Remember – you won’t get exactly the speeds quoted above. Speeds can be affected by the technology involved in delivering the internet to the home, and when evening peak hours hit, there’s often a further decline in speeds as more people across your local area head online. This is why nbn™ plans often have a “typical evening speed.” Aussie Broadband, for example, on their nbn™25/5 connection, quotes a typical evening speed of 22Mbps.

The final consideration is in regards to data allowance. Less expensive plans are generally “capped”, meaning that if you use over a certain amount of data each month, then your internet will be slowed right down until the end of the month and the “cap” is lifted.

Unlimited plans, meanwhile, don’t have a cap and are better for people that spend a lot of time streaming or downloading large files, as well as those that maintain a home office and make use of cloud services.

In addition to the residential plans outlined above, ISPs are able to offer specifically-tailored business nbn™ plans to suit businesses of all sizes. Deciding what nbn™ plan suits your business can be difficult. It is very rare that a “one size fits all” type of plan will work for all businesses of a similar size. Because of this, business owners are encouraged to discuss their specific nbn™ needs with a reliable and proven ISP before deciding on what solution to adopt.

So what nbn™ option is right for me?

The quality of the service that you get from Aussie Broadband doesn’t change based on the price of your nbn™ plan – you get the same quality internet delivered to you. The only things that differ are the speeds and data you select.

If you’re still unsure about what nbn™ plan is right for you, contact our friendly team at 1300 880 905 or choose an nbn™ plan that suits your needs.

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