Millions of households to get major upgrades to their NBN connections

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The rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) has had plenty of ups and downs over the years. While the network was initially set for completion in 2020, it looks like development will stretch out longer, after an announcement was made that around eight million Australian homes will be given access to ultra-fast speeds in a major new upgrade to the NBN.

This new $4.5 billion AUD investment plan is set to give around 75% of fixed-line homes access to ultra-fast NBN speeds by 2023, across both metropolitan and regional Australia. Not only is this great news for Aussies wanting a fast-speed internet upgrade, but it’s set to create around 25,000 new jobs, with the direct creation of 16,600 roles in the construction industry, along with engineering, project management and more.

“This is the right time for this network upgrade. There is a long term trend of broadband demand growth – with a very significant spike this year as COVID-19 has changed the way we use the internet,” said Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, in a media release.

What does this NBN upgrade mean?

NBN workers overseeing NBN network
Source: NBN Co

Out of the investment plan, $3.5 billion AUD will be used to make the NBN’s highest speed tiers, including NBN 1000 (1Gbps downloads), more widely available as demand for super-fast internet grows. This plan includes increased access to the fastest NBN connection, Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) — sometimes referred to as Fibre to the Home (FTTH). However, access to this connection type is not compulsory, as it will only be rolled out to households that express interest and there is no upfront connection cost.

Even more households will have upgrades to their connections, with improvements on a range of other NBN types. Households relying on Fibre to the Node (FTTN) connections will now have fibre taken deeper into the neighbourhood, enabling access to on-demand fibre upgrades, which allows access to faster network speeds. Households on the FTTN network will also see a resolution of in-home cabling issues, thanks to a line speed uplift program.

There will also be capacity upgrades to the Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) network to grant even more access to ultra-fast NBN speeds, although some providers do already grant fast-speed internet plans to HFC connected homes. Households with Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) will see improvements to ensure consistent speeds across this technology of up to 100Mbps, which will also give these homes on-demand access to speeds up to 1Gbps.

In addition to the improvements of private internet connections, a further $700 million will be invested into making business-grade fibre services more affordable and easily accessible to businesses, and $300 million of co-investment funding will go towards partnering with governments and local councils to improve broadband services in regional Australia.

Research conducted by Canstar Blue in 2020 saw 33% of respondents state that they would recommend others to stick to their old cable/ADSL internet connection for as long as possible, rather than switching to the NBN. Whether improved access to faster speeds and the non-compulsory nature of these upgrades will improve customer satisfaction with the NBN remains to be seen.

Is an upgrade to ultra-fast NBN worth it?

Having a super-fast speed NBN plan isn’t going to suit every household. This new rollout is set to increase access to 1Gbps speed plans, known as the NBN 1000 (Home Ultrafast) speed tier. Currently, only a small number of NBN providers have plans on the top two NBN speeds tiers, NBN 250 (Home Superfast) and NBN 1000.

With these faster speeds comes the big price tag to match, with NBN 1000 plans costing around $150 per month, while NBN 250 can go up to around $130 per month. These price points can be a big stretch to many household budgets, especially considering that access to the more common NBN 100 plan can cost around $90 per month.

For most households, NBN 250 and NBN 1000 might not be worth the price point depending on how you use the internet at home. NBN Co states that NBN 250 and NBN 1000 speeds are best suited to households with five or more users and multiple devices, especially for 4K and 8K quality video streaming. Activities such as downloading games will be much quicker and your overall experience will be much faster than what you get on NBN 50 or NBN 100. However, for households of four or less people and if you only access HD quality video streaming, these ultra-fast speeds might not be worth the price for you.

It is likely that with this new program, we may eventually see prices for ultra-fast NBN speeds reduced over the next couple of years, as well as more NBN providers offering plans on these speed tiers. Currently Aussie Broadband, Kogan, MyRepublic and Vodafone are some of a select number of providers offering super-fast NBN plans, so your options are quite limited. If more providers start offering these plans, we might see more competitive pricing and more overall choice for customers to compare.

Ultra-fast NBN plans

If you want to see how much you’ll currently pay for an ultra-fast NBN plan, the below table shows a range of NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans – simply click on the tabs to look at plans from Aussie Broadband, MyRepublic and Kogan (Vodafone only offers NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans in-store or via phone sales).

NBN 250 Plans Compared

The following table shows selected published unlimited Aussie Broadband, MyRepublic, Telstra and Kogan NBN plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of their standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. 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.

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

Unlimited NBN Superfast – Flexi

  • NBN 250/25Mbps speed
  • Optional WiFi hub+ modem for $69 upfront plus $10 P&H

min. cost $109 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $109Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Kogan Logo

Platinum Unlimited

  • Home Superfast Speed (NBN 250/25)
  • Modem available for $69 upfront
  • Special offer: $116.90 per month for the first 6 months, then $128.90 per month ongoing. Terms apply, offer available until withdrawn.

min. cost $128.90 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $128.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site

Power User

  • Home Superfast Speed (NBN 250/25)
  • Optional modem from $149 ($15 P&H)

min. cost $129 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $129Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Superfast NBN

  • Superfast Speed (NBN 250)
  • Typical evening speed: 215Mbps
  • $216 modem (free when you stay connected for 24 months)
  • Special offer: $99 connection fee waived (online only)
  • Special offer: 3 months free BINGE Standard. Redeem by 18/01/2021
  • Unlimited local, national & mobile calls included

min. cost $3,459 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $140Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Aussie Broadband Unlimited Superfast (NBN 250) and Ultrafast (NBN 1000) Plans

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. 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.

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

Power User

  • Home Superfast Speed (NBN 250/25)
  • Optional modem from $149 ($15 P&H)

min. cost $129 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $129Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site

Power House

  • Home Ultrafast Speed (NBN 1000/50)
  • Optional modem from $149 ($15 P&H)

min. cost $149 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $149Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Kogan Unlimited Superfast (NBN 250) and Ultrafast (NBN 1000) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Kogan NBN plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. 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.

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

Platinum Unlimited

  • Home Superfast Speed (NBN 250/25)
  • Modem available for $69 upfront
  • Special offer: $116.90 per month for the first 6 months, then $128.90 per month ongoing. Terms apply, offer available until withdrawn.

min. cost $128.90 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $128.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Kogan Logo

Diamond Unlimited

  • Home Ultrafast Speed (NBN 1000/50)
  • Modem available for $69 upfront
  • Special offer: $134.90 per month for the first 6 months, then $148.90 per month ongoing. Terms apply, offer available until withdrawn.

min. cost $148.90 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $148.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Telstra Superfast (NBN 25) & Ultrafast (NBN 1000) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Telstra NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of their standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. 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.

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

Superfast NBN

  • Superfast Speed (NBN 250)
  • Typical evening speed: 215Mbps
  • $216 modem (free when you stay connected for 24 months)
  • Special offer: $99 connection fee waived (online only)
  • Special offer: 3 months free BINGE Standard. Redeem by 18/01/2021
  • Unlimited local, national & mobile calls included

min. cost $3,459 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $140Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Ultrafast NBN

  • Ultrafast Speed (NBN 1000)
  • Typical evening speed: 250Mbps
  • $216 modem (free when you stay connected for 24 months)
  • Special offer: $99 connection fee waived (online only)
  • Special offer: 3 months free BINGE Standard. Redeem by 18/01/2021
  • Unlimited local, national & mobile calls included

min. cost $4,419 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $180Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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