Despite the horror stories, most Australians are happy with their NBN plan – but when it comes to the more technical aspects, some of us are still a little confused.
In an effort to discover what Aussies really think of their NBN connection, Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,100 broadband users, with 53% indicating that they are current NBN customers. And although close to half of Aussie households are yet to be connected, the good news is that, for the most part, NBN users don’t necessarily regret making the move to the national network.
Australia-wide, 65% of respondents believe that their NBN is good value for money, the research found, while 75% are generally satisfied with their internet performance. However, only 58% of users surveyed believe their internet service has improved since switching to the NBN – not the best result for the network once touted as the next big thing in Australian broadband.
Even if NBN’s performance isn’t exactly exceeding expectations, actual dissatisfaction rates appear to be low. According to Canstar Blue’s survey, only 15% of NBN customers would describe themselves as ‘dissatisfied’ with their plan’s performance: 20% indicated they are ‘somewhat satisfied’, 39% are ‘moderately satisfied’, and 26% – around one quarter of respondents – indicated they’re ‘very satisfied’ with their plan.
NBN speed and connections
In addition to looking at satisfaction levels, Canstar Blue’s survey also asked participants to identify their NBN speed tier and connection type. 61% of overall respondents were aware of their current plan speed, while 68% were able to pick out the technology type behind their connection.
Interestingly, men appear to be more knowledgeable about their plan speed and type. 74% of males surveyed knew their NBN speed, compared to just 48% of women. Similarly, 80% of men are aware of their connection type, compared to only 56% of female respondents.
Regardless of gender, most Australians seem to prefer mid-range speeds, with NBN 50 (34%) and NBN 25 (25%) the two most popular plan tiers. NBN 12 and NBN 100 – despite being on opposite ends of the speed spectrum – are neck-and-neck in third and fourth place, used by 12% and 10% of households respectively.
In terms of connection types, 31% of respondents said they have a Fibre to the Node plan, with 22% on Fibre to the Premises and 13% using a fixed wireless connection. Fibre to the Curb, Fibre to the Basement, HFC and SkyMuster satellite all recorded responses of less than 10% each.
And in spite of ageist stereotypes, older Australians seem to be more plan-savvy than younger generations: 77% of respondents aged 60 to 69 years – and 81% of Aussies aged 70 or over – knew their connection type, compared to just 58% of participants aged 18 to 29.
Results by state
Here’s how results break down state-by-state.
New South Wales
- 47% of respondents are currently connected the NBN, with 68% agreeing that their plan offers value for money.
- 74% are generally satisfied with their internet performance, but only 57% feel that a switch to the NBN has improved their service.
- 58% of NBN users in NSW are aware of their plan’s speed tier, and 66% know their connection type.
- Queenslanders are slightly more satisfied with their NBN performance. 54% are connected to the NBN, and 77% are happy with their plan’s performance.
- 64% consider their NBN plan to be good value for money, while 57% feel their service has improved since switching to the network.
- Compared to NSW, Queenslanders are a little more informed about their NBN plan – 69% are aware of their connection type, and 62% know their plan’s speed tier.
- Only 47% of Victorian participants are connected to the NBN, with 63% of those considering their plan to be good value.
- 74% are satisfied with their internet performance, but only 59% feel that a switch to the NBN has improved their service.
- 65% of Victorians surveyed know their NBN speed type, and 66% know their connection type.
- Overall, South Australians are the happiest NBN users. Of the 59% that use the NBN, 64% believe their service has improved since making the switch.
- 70% consider their NBN plan to be good value for money, while 77% are generally satisfied with their NBN performance.
- South Australians are also on the ball when it comes to speed and plan types: 73% know their NBN speed tier, and 78% know their connection type.
- 56% of Western Australians surveyed are currently on an NBN plan, with just 57% believing the NBN offers good value for money.
- However, 71% are satisfied with their NBN plan, although only 53% believe it’s an improvement compared to their previous service.
- 59% of survey respondents from WA are aware of their NBN speed tier, and 65% are aware of their connection type.
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 and data allowance. While faster 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 happy 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)
- Downloads of up to 100Mbps/uploads of up to 40Mbps
- Good for ultra-HD streaming and gaming, big households, and data-intensive use
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 will inform you of the best option available at your address.