With the rollout of NBN finally reaching most areas around Ninderry, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what is involved with switching to the NBN once it becomes available. NBN infrastructure will mean that we will no longer be forced to use Telstra’s outdated ADSL infrastructure, and we will have the ability to access cheaper, faster, and (hopefully) more reliable communications systems, assuming things are done properly. Depending on your current setup, changing over should be relatively straightforward for most, but some more advanced networks may require more care and attention.
Whilst most areas are switched on at the same time, it is wise to first confirm that your address is listed as ready to connect to the NBN by clicking here. You will also want to pay attention to the technology that will be available to you as this may influence the speeds and plans available to you. I recommend viewing this PDF for more information on what the pros and cons of each technology type are here.
Before you start hunting down an NBN plan, you should decide how much data you need and what sort of speed you would like. To determine your data usage needs, look at your previous bills and see how much data you are using per month on average, and add another 30% headroom. There is no point paying extra for an unlimited plan if you are only using around 100GB of data per month on average.
In terms of speeds, if you are limited to a technology such as Fixed Wireless or Fibre to the Node, then speeds above 50/20 may not be practical as you may be unable to achieve those speeds reliably and you may be best off saving money and going for a 25/5 plan or 12/1mbit plan. 12/1 can feel a bit slow and is similar to ADSL, but is still usable for basic use and a single Full HD 1080p video stream. 50/20 is my recommendation if you frequently have several people streaming at once or plan to stream UltraHD 4K video, but 25/5 is OK for a handful of people using the internet with a couple of Full HD 1080p video streams in the background.
Online gaming isn’t really affected by bandwidth, and only really requires a stable and responsive connection, which can be ensured by a router that features Quality of Service (also known as QOS – more on this later). That said, faster is always better, and even 100/40 is a great choice if you are a demanding user and budget allows. If you are wanting to backup or upload files and data online, keep in mind that upload speeds can be very important as well, so don’t forget to take that into consideration. Most service providers allow you to upgrade and downgrade plans without penalty so don’t sweat it too much if you are unsure what to start with.
As far as service providers go, there are four main providers that I tend to recommend, depending on your needs and budget:
1. Aussie Broadband
3. Future Broadband
4. Exetel Business
Aussie Broadband are my typical top recommendation for their proven track record for quality of service and high quality support. They tend to be slightly more expensive than some other providers, but they back it up with excellent overall performance, reliability and customer service. Superloop and Future Broadband are strong second choices and are direct competitors to Aussie Broadband, and offer an all round good experience, with attractive pricing. Exetel Business also deserve an honorable mention for their awesome value unlimited 25/5 and 50/20 plans, but you do require an ABN to take advantage of these offers.
Whilst there are many great providers out there, there are some that I recommend avoiding. These companies tend to suffer from high congestion, poor customer service, restrictive policies on modems and network equipment, unfriendly contract lengths or poor pricing. These include:
3. Southern Phone
TPG / iiNet / Internode / Westnet are all the same company now, and are generally considered OK, but not my top pick.
As far as plans that I recommend, these are some that are popular choices:
Aussie Broadband BYO Plan – Standard NBN 25/5, 100GB Data – $55 per month
Aussie Broadband BYO Plan – Standard NBN 25/5, 500GB Data – $64 per month
Aussie Broadband BYO Plan – Standard Plus NBN 50/20, Unlimited Data – $79 per month
Aussie Broadband BYO Plan – Premium NBN 100/40, Unlimited Data – $99 per month
Superloop NBN – Standard Plus NBN 50/20, Unlimited Data – $75 per month
Superloop NBN – Premium NBN 100/40, Unlimited data – $89 per month
Future Broadband – Basic NBN 12/1, 500GB Data, $49 per month
Future Broadband – Standard NBN 25/5, Unlimited Data – $69 per month
Exetel Business NBN – Standard NBN 25/5, Unlimited Data – $60 per month
Exetel Business NBN – Standard Plus NBN 50/20, Unlimited Data – $70 per month
Aussie Broadband Plans (use referral code 1574136 for $50 off your first month)
(Please note we are affiliated with Aussie Broadband and Exetel, but this doesn’t affect our recommendations whatsoever).
Once you have settled on a plan, you will also need to decide what to do with your existing landline phone. Whilst you are more than welcome to ditch your home phone or go with a voice service from your internet service provider. Aussie Broadband offer some decent value offerings for residential usage, and we can recommend this service. Some people will find better value in a third party voice service provider. I typically recommend SIPTalk for both home users and small businesses as they tend to provide the best value for money whilst offering advanced features such as voicemail to email and call redirection. Pricing is very good provided you are not making large volumes of outgoing calls. You can find their rates on their website: https://siptalk.com.au/plans.php
There’s a few SIPTalk plans that are popular:
1. Virtual number redirection – (via SIPTalk), typically $2-15 a month depending on usage
This the most basic VOIP plan available on the market. Rather than have an actual phone, your existing home or business phone number is ported SIPTalk, and you pay for each call to be redirected to a mobile phone. If you only ever receive infrequent calls on your home phone, this is the simplest setup available. That said, if you receive a lot of calls, this may become expensive as you pay for each redirected call. You will need to use your mobile phone for all outgoing calls.
2. Basic on-premises setup – (via SIPTalk), typically $5 to $10 a month depending on outgoing calls.
Requires a simple smartphone-style home phone, or Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) which starts at $49. Connects to your existing network via Wi-Fi.
3. Advanced on-premises setup – (via SIPTalk) – typically anywhere from $5 a month to $50 a month depending on your needs. This is for business users – talk to us for details.
Keep in mind that if you wish to move your ADSL to FTTN or FTTC, you will need to move your phone number before you sign up for the NBN, otherwise you can lose your phone number. Once your phone number has been “ported”, your ADSL will be cut off, at which point you will need to use mobile broadband for a day or two until your NBN order is processed. If this is an issue, call us and we can arrange a backup internet connection for you.
The last question that you might be wondering about is what sort of equipment you might need. For almost all scenarios, I recommend that you don’t purchase any network equipment from your service provider. Whilst their offerings are not bad per se, we stock better value options that will provide greater performance and reliability compared to what your service provider can offer, and you don’t have to worry about your Wi-Fi Modem / Router being locked down by the provider. We have routers for as low as $39 and VDSL modems for as low as $75 – talk to us for more details.
This should hopefully sum up everything you need to know for the meantime. If you have any other questions, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (07) 54084607 and we’ll be happy to help.