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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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 $95 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. You can also add on a Start Talk pack, which includes unlimited calls to local standard national and mobile numbers for an additional $20 per month.

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.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Start Logo

Unlimited Speed Boost

  • Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25)
  • Start ‘Gateway’, with $15 delivery fee

min. cost $1,800 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Start Logo

Unlimited Faster

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • Start ‘Gateway’, with $15 delivery fee

min. cost $2,040 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Start Logo

Unlimited as fast as it gets

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • Start ‘Gateway’, with $15 delivery fee

min. cost $2,280 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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 two options to choose from — a standard NBN modem at $89.90 upfront or the upgraded NBN modem at $119.90 upfront. Overall, Tangerine offers really straightforward plans at a reasonable price with great flexibility.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Tangerine Logo

Speed Boost

  • Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25)
  • Optional modem from $89.90 upfront
  • Special offer: $54.90 per month for first 6 months, then $64.90 ongoing

min. cost $54.90 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $54.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Tangerine Logo

XL Speed Boost

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • Optional modem from $89.90 upfront
  • Special offer: $59.90 per month for first 6 months, then $69.90 ongoing

min. cost $59.90 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $59.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Tangerine Logo

XXL Speed Boost

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • Optional modem from $89.90 upfront
  • Special offer: $79.90 per month for first 6 months, then $89.90 ongoing

min. cost $79.90 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site

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.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
MyRepublic Logo

Unlimited Essential Flexi Plan

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • Optional WiFi hub from $69 + P&H

min. cost $79 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
MyRepublic Logo

Unlimited Essential Plan

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • Included AC1600 Modem for $1 + P&H

min. cost $959 over 12 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
MyRepublic Logo

Unlimited Premium Promo Flexi Plan

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • Optional WiFi hub from $69 + P&H
  • Special offer: $94.95 per month for the first 12 months, then $99.95 per month ongoing

min. cost $94.95 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $94.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
MyRepublic Logo

Unlimited Premium Promo Plan

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • Included AC1600 Modem for $1 + P&H
  • $94.95 per month for the first 12 months, then $99.95 per month ongoing

min. cost $1,150.40 over 12 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $94.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
MyRepublic Logo

Gamer Pro Premium Flexi Plan

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • BYO modem or WiFi hub for $69 + P&H
  • $99.95 per month for the first 12 months, then $104.95 per month ongoing

min. cost $99.95 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $99.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
MyRepublic Logo

Gamer Pro Premium Plan

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • WiFi hub from $1 + P&H
  • $99.95 per month for the first 12 months, then $104.95 per month ongoing
  • Special offer: $1 HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless headset for PS4™ & PC (RRP $185)

min. cost $1,210,40 over 12 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $99.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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 four choices for included data, with $45 getting you 100GB then up to $60 for 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 s modem for $99 including postage. You can also choose from one of three bundle plans with NBN, mobile and home phone included.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Southern Phones Logo

Unlimited Basic

  • Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12)
  • Optional WiFi modem from $99

min. cost $159 over first month with modem

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Unlimited Turbo

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • Optional WiFi modem from $99

min. cost $169 over first month with modem

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Unlimited Max

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • Optional WiFi modem from $99

min. cost $199 over first month with modem

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $100Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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 guise often with low or no setup fees, or on a 12-month contract. 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.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Flip Logo

Value 12

  • Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12)
  • $149 optional modem

min. cost $49.90 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $49.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Flip Logo

Family 50

  • Standard Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • $149 optional modem

min. cost $64.90 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $64.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Flip Logo

Fast 100

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • $149 optional modem

min. cost $89.90 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $89.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Exetel

Exetel has some of the cheapest 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 $69.99 per month for unlimited data at 50Mbps max speeds.

Exetel also offers a NBN 100 plan option with unlimited data at just under $90 a month. Both of these plans require you to pay an up front setup fee of $79, however you’ll get a free modem included on your plan. Exetel seems to have come a long way in recent years and is one of the bigger providers in this list, with competitive rates.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Exetel

NBN Standard Plus Unlimited

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • $79 set up fee upfront
  • Exetel ZTE modem included (valued at $140)

min. cost $148.99 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
Exetel

NBN Premium Unlimited

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • $79 set up fee upfront
  • Exetel ZTE modem included (valued at $140)

min. cost $168.99 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $89.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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. If you’re not going for BYO modem, there are three different modems to choose from, starting at $89 and going up to $189.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Sumo Logo

Sumo Basic

  • Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12)
  • $89 optional modem

min. cost $60 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period
Sumo Logo

Sumo Standard

  • Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25)
  • $89 optional modem

min. cost $70 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Data^^/billing period
Sumo Logo

Sumo Standard Plus

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • $89 optional modem

min. cost $80 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $80Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Mate Logo

Good Mates

  • Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12)
  • $149 for pre-configured modem (optional)

min. cost $59 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period
Mate Logo

Best Mates

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • $149 for pre-configured modem (optional)

min. cost $75 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period
Mate Logo

Soul Mates

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • $149 for pre-configured modem (optional)

min. cost $79 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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 $79, 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.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Barefoot Logo

Lite

  • Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12)
  • $149 for pre-configured modem (optional)

min. cost $59 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period
Barefoot Logo

Max

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • $149 for pre-configured modem (optional)

min. cost $75 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period
Barefoot Logo

Ultra

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • $149 for pre-configured modem (optional)

min. cost $79 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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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