Canstar Blue’s 2020 NBN ratings: who is Australia’s top-rated telco?

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Ever wonder how your NBN provider stacks up to the competition? Canstar Blue has announced the results of our 2020 NBN Providers review – so if you’re tossing up whether to stick with or switch from your current NBN plan, here’s the ratings that could help you decide.

Canstar Blue surveyed over 4,400 Australian NBN customers, asking each respondent to rate their current broadband provider on factors including speed, customer service, value for money, ease of setup, and bill & cost clarity. For the second year in a row – and in the second year of its inclusion in Canstar Blue’s survey – Aussie Broadband has taken the top spot, being the provider with the most satisfied customers in 2020.

Aussie Broadband is Australia’s #1 NBN provider

The Victoria-based telco received a five-star rating for overall satisfaction, and also achieved five out of five stars for its speed and reliability, customer service, and value for money. It’s another great result for Aussie Broadband, showcasing that an emphasis on locally-based customer support, flexible and customisable plans, and innovative products can pay off, especially for a self-described ‘challenger’ telco.

“We’re extremely pleased and humbled to see that Australians have once again rated Aussie Broadband as the best NBN Provider for customer service,” said Aussie Broadband Managing Director, Phillip Britt.

“Feedback from our customers show they appreciate that our operations are 100 percent onshore. Customers regularly tell us that they feel like they are treated as a person by our call centre team, rather than a number.”

Aussie Broadband was first included in Canstar Blue’s NBN ratings in 2019, where it was crowned the number-one rated provider and received its first five-star score for overall satisfaction. It also achieved five stars for speed and reliability, customer service, and for ease of setup, as well as four stars for both value for money and for bill clarity. Providers must receive at least 30 survey responses to be included in the results.

Now the reigning best-rated NBN provider two years running, Aussie Broadband offers a competitive range of plans across all NBN speed tiers, all of which are available with no lock-in contract or setup fees. If you’re interested in switching to Aussie Broadband, we’ve picked out some of the telco’s most popular plans below.

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Aussie Broadband NBN plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Best-Rated NBN Providers

Aussie Broadband was ranked number one for the second year in a row in Canstar Blue’s 2020 customer ratings. In second place was Westnet, with Internode rounding out the top three. The full list of best-rated NBN providers is below.

  1. Aussie Broadband
  2. Westnet
  3. Internode
  4. Belong
  5. TPG
  6. iiNet
  7. Dodo
  8. Vodafone
  9. Exetel
  10. iPrimus
  11. Telstra
  12. Optus
  13. Foxtel

Notebook user on internet with cat

NBN customers: fast to switch, but still not sold on the network

Aside from crowning a winner for Australia’s best-loved NBN provider, Canstar Blue’s research also assessed how customers feel about the broadband network overall. And while most respondents moved to the NBN as soon as it become available, not all network users are happy with the switch.

According to Canstar Blue’s data, 65% of customers surveyed jumped to an NBN plan as soon as the service became available in their area. However, only 27% of respondents changed broadband providers when moving to the NBN – showing that many of us were perhaps too intimidated to shop around and compare before switching.

70% of participants upgraded to a plan that they believed would be faster than their previous ADSL or cable service, but around a third aren’t sure just which NBN speed tier they’re currently using. 29% stated they’re on an NBN 50 plan, 24% use NBN 25, 9% are on premium NBN 100, and 8% are on an entry-level NBN 12 plan.

On average, Australians spend $69 each month on their NBN plan. The highest monthly average is in Western Australia, where participants paid $71 per month, with the lowest average cost in the Northern Territory ($61 per month). 41% of survey respondents say they now pay more for their NBN than their previous broadband plan, with just over half admitting to checking their bill and account online at least once a month.

80% of participants confirmed that they needed a new modem when moving to the NBN, which can be an upfront expense totalling hundreds of dollars. However, most Australians surveyed managed to score an NBN-ready modem for free on their plan, with 58% confirming that hardware was included at no additional cost. 61% also are on unlimited data plans, which are now standard from most providers, but still explains why many of us are paying more for our NBN connection when compared to older plans with monthly data limits.

While the majority of Australians seem happy to stick with their current plan, 25% would like to switch NBN providers – and 17% of participants are considering ditching the NBN altogether. Most surprisingly, a third of respondents agreed that they would advise other customers to stay with their current ADSL or cable connection for as long as possible before moving to an NBN plan, which isn’t a great look for the near-completed national network.

While younger respondents had higher average monthly bills than those aged 60 and over, under-30s are apparently less knowledgeable about their plan type than older generations. 42% of participants aged 18 to 29 years didn’t know what type of NBN connection they had, versus only 26% of those aged 60 to 69 years. As a whole, 22% of those surveyed are on a Fibre to the Premises plan, 19% use Fibre to the Node, and 10% are on Fibre to the Curb connections, with 33% of total respondents unsure.

Compare NBN plans

Unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Picking the right NBN plan

If you’re looking to get the most value from your NBN plan, it’s important to make sure you’re on the right speed tier for your needs. While faster NBN plans are priced higher than slower, more affordable alternatives, most providers offer speed bumps from as little as $10 per month – which could be a small price to pay for a happier NBN experience.

Here’s how each speed tier varies.

Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12)

  • Downloads of up to 12Mbps/uploads of up to 1Mbps
  • Good for small households and light users

Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25)

  • Downloads of up to 25Mbps/uploads of up to 5Mbps
  • Good for streaming and households of 2-3 people

Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)

  • Downloads of up to 50Mbps/uploads of up to 20Mbps
  • Good for HD streaming, heavier use and online gaming

Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100/20 or 100/40)

  • Downloads of up to 100Mbps/uploads of up to 20Mbps or 40Mbps
  • Good for ultra-HD streaming and gaming, big households, and data-intensive use

Superfast NBN (NBN 250/25)

  • Downloads of up to 250Mbps/uploads of up to 25Mbps
  • Good for ultra-HD and 8K streaming and gaming, big households, and data-intensive use
  • Only available to certain NBN connection types

Ultrafast NBN (NBN 1000/50)

  • Downloads of up to 100Mbps/uploads of up to 20Mbps or 40Mbps
  • Good for ultra-HD and 8K streaming and gaming, big households of five or more people, and data-intensive use across many devices
  • Only available to certain NBN connection types

Once you know which speed tier fits your home’s needs, it’s easier to find the right plan at the best price. Unfortunately, your NBN connection type is determined by your location and choice of provider: you won’t get to choose exactly how you’ll connect, but your telco can let you know what’s available at your address at sign-up.

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