What are the best NBN providers you’ve never heard of?

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Australia’s home broadband market is currently dominated by four major service providers – Telstra, Optus, TPG/iiNet and Vocus Communications (Dodo/iPrimus). However, the advent of the government-funded National Broadband Network (NBN) means many smaller telcos can now also offer competitive internet plans that rival those of the big guys.

Thanks to the NBN’s combination of a single widespread, high-speed network and affordable wholesale prices, smaller operators no longer need to piggyback on infrastructure belonging to a few big companies.

Dozens of smaller internet service providers (ISPs) have sprung up in the last few years to take advantage of the NBN, and many offer plans which provide similar or even better value compared to the major players. With this in mind, we’ve taken a close look at some of the best NBN providers you’ve probably never heard of, to see what deals they have on offer. Read on for details or jump straight into our internet comparison tool. This list includes links to some referral partners.

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Tangerine Telecom

Tangerine Telcom offers some juicy deals with some of the cheapest entry-level plans out there. Plans come on a no lock-in contract as standard with the option to add on a modem. This means that you could potentially sign up to an NBN plan with no extra costs – just pay the monthly fee and off you go.

Tangerine has a concise offering of three base NBN plans, with the Standard, Standard Plus and Premium speed tiers covered. Currently, you can score a $10 monthly discount on your plan for your first six months of service. There is a $0 setup fee across all three plans and if you decide to add on a modem, you’ll have a few options to choose from — a standard NBN modem at $99.90 upfront or the upgraded NBN modem at $129.90 upfront or a $199.90 (+$15 per month) modem with 4G backup. Overall, Tangerine offers really straightforward plans at a reasonable price with great flexibility.

The below table features a selection of published Tangerine NBN plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a wider range of providers. These are products with links to a referral partner.

MyRepublic

MyRepublic originated in South East Asia and has been expanding over the years, now bringing its range of unlimited NBN plans to Australia. Its broadband plans are easy to follow – they all come with unlimited data on Tier 3 and 4 speeds only.

As it stands, MyRepublic provides some of the cheapest combinations of unlimited NBN data on Tier 3 and 4 speeds, also with a focus on internet plans for online gaming. Landline calls are included on all plans; calls to mobiles are extra. If you’re happy to be on a 12-month contract, you’ll only pay $1 upfront for a WiFi Hub+ or you can choose a different modem for a one-off upfront cost.

MyRepublic’s focus on the two faster speed tiers makes it one of the most exciting NBN providers out there, especially if you like faster internet and online gaming. What’s more is it seems to be a champion for leading causes such as gigabit speeds in Australia, as well as prioritising gamer traffic to lower ping scores and lower lag time.

The below table features a selection of published MyRepublic NBN plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a wider range of providers. These are products with links to a referral partner.

Southern Phone

Southern Phone is a telco that is dedicated to providing service to regional areas and gives back to rural councils throughout Australia. Although this small telco is perhaps better known for its mobile phone plans, Southern Phone also provides some competitive NBN plans.

There are three different speeds available and which speed you choose will determine which plans are available. If you’re happy on the basic NBN 12 speed, you’ve got a couple choices, with the $50 plan including 100GB of data or $60 with unlimited data. If you need a bit more speed, the Turbo plan gets you NBN 50 speeds and unlimited data for $70, while the Max plan gets you NBN 100 speeds and unlimited data for $100 per month.

Southern Phone’s NBN plans are all month-to-month and there are no setup fees. You can BYO modem or purchase a modem for $99 including postage. You can also choose from one of three bundle plans with NBN, mobile and home phone included.

The below table features a selection of published Southern Phone NBN plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a wider range of providers. These are products with links to a referral partner.

Flip

You may not have heard of Flip but you may be flipping over the table with these deals. Flip lays claim to some of the cheapest NBN deals in the country, with competitive unlimited data plans starting at around $40 a month. Flip offers plans across three speed tiers – NBN 12, 50 and 100.

Plans are available in a no lock-in contract or you can pay in advance and get a discounted monthly price. It also has dirt cheap entry-level calling packs from $2.95 a month. Flip also allows you to add in TV packs from around the world – from Macedonia to Poland. If you don’t want to BYO modem, you have a choice to add on a modem for an additional upfront cost. You can also pick up a discount on your monthly cost if you choose the pay-in-advance option.

The below table features all published Flip NBN plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a wider range of providers. These are products with links to a referral partner.

Exetel

Exetel has some fairly cheap NBN plans out there with two month-to-month plans on offer. You can get yourself connected to the NBN with Exetel from as little as $69 per month for unlimited data at for NBN 25 speeds.

Exetel also offers a NBN 50 and NBN 100 plan option with unlimited data at just under $79 and $99 a month. You can grab a free modem on plans, however if you leave within your first six months, you’ll need to pay a $79 modem fee. Exetel seems to have come a long way in recent years and is one of the bigger providers in this list, with competitive rates.

The below table features all published Exetel NBN plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a wider range of providers.

Sumo Broadband

Sumo might be a name more familiar when it comes to electricity and gas, but it has certainly made a bit of a splash since launching a range of simple NBN plans at competitive rates. All plans come with unlimited data and no-contracts as standard. There are discounts if you sign up and bundle your NBN plan with a gas or electricity plan, with further discounts on your utilities if you bundle all three.

Sumo was one of the originators of bundled utilities, and this ‘one stop shop’ has so far proven to be pretty popular. For standalone NBN, it is also quite competitive, starting at $65 and going up to $85. If you’re not going for BYO modem, there is a modem available for $129 upfront.

The below table features a selection of published Sumo Broadband NBN plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a wider range of providers.

Start Broadband

Start Broadband provides an easy-to-understand range of NBN bundles to choose from based on whether you want 100GB or unlimited data. It is also a social enterprise, helping those on the fringes of society connect to internet – a vital resource in this day and age.

For Tier 1 speeds, prices start at $65 and $75 per month respectively. If you want to go faster, unlimited data on the top speed tier is $99 a month. As it stands, there is strong incentive to opt for the unlimited data plan, unless you know you’re a light internet user.

Plans are available on no lock-in or 24 months contracts and the good news is, whichever contract you choose, there is a $0 setup fee. Start also gives you the opportunity to BYO modem or you can add on a modem to your plan. If you’re picking a 24-month contract, the modem is included and you’ll only have to pay the $15 upfront delivery. However if you’re on a no lock-in plan, you’ll have to pay $139.95 upfront for the modem plus the $15 delivery fee.

The below table features a selection of published Start Broadband NBN plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a wider range of providers.

Mate Communicate

With a name like Mate you’d definitely expect some fair dinkum deals and they certainly deliver when it comes to competitive NBN plans. Mate offers plans across four different NBN speeds and all with unlimited data, so you do have a good selection to choose from. You can also choose to BYO modem or add on a modem for $149. While you can grab the NBN’s top speed with Mate, it’s not available to fixed wireless customers.

Mate also has an Aussie call centre and all plans come with no lock-in contracts and no setup fees. You also have the option to add on home phone or even bundle with a SIM-only mobile plan.

The below table features a selection of published Mate Communicate NBN plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a wider range of providers.

Barefoot Telecom

Long story short, Mate owns Barefoot and the good news is that they are cut from the same cloth. With Barefoot you get the same level of customer service, paired with competitive NBN plans. The plans available across the four speed tiers — NBN 12, 25, 50 and 100. Barefoot’s NBN plans start out at $59 a month and go up to $89, but like with Mate, the top-tiered plan isn’t available to fixed wireless customers. There are also no setup fees, no lock-in contracts and you can choose to add on a modem at $149.

The below table features a selection of published Barefoot Telecom NBN plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a wider range of providers.

Which NBN provider is best?

To cut a long story short, this review of NBN providers gives you a good idea about the value on offer if you’re willing to look past the big telcos. This is not to say the biggest service providers don’t have great NBN deals as well, because they often do, but it’s certainly worth considering all of your options before deciding where to spend your money.

There certainly are some amazing deals around, and with more than 100 total providers out there – with some location-specific – it’s virtually impossible to list all of them. In our review, all telcos offer something for everyone, and all offer some of the cheapest unlimited plans across the Basic, Standard Plus and Premium speed tiers.

All of the providers mentioned above offer at least fairly good value and each have their own selling points, with most boasting unlimited data as standard. It’s worth comparing a range of different providers to see what plan is right for you.

NBN Providers Rated By Customers

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