What to know when looking for the best nbn™ provider in Melbourne
There are many factors that influence every nbn internet connection, making everyone’s experience with the nbn and their specific provider quite different. This makes any statement about who the best nbn provider in Melbourne is arbitrary, since it is usually based on a single person’s experience.
Instead of trying to name a single nbn provider as the best, you should understand some of the factors that could influence your online experience, and what you should look at when comparing nbn providers.
What type of nbn technology is my home connected to?
The fast rollout of the nbn across Australia was helped by the NBN Co using a Multi Technology Mix (MTM) system. This resulted in different connection technologies being used. Most of greater Melbourne uses fixed line connections, but once you reach the outer suburbs and regions, this switches to fixed wireless. But even fixed line connections could be one of five different technologies, with some supporting much higher speeds than others.
So, when comparing nbn providers, it is essential that you first know what connection technology has been used at your address. You can check this on our nbn rollout map, which not only confirms that the nbn is available for you, but also shows the connection type used around your location.
Fixed Line nbn connection technology
|Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)||Fibre to the Node (FTTN)||Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)||Fibre to the Building (FTTB)||Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC)|
|Can support all speed tiers up to a theoretical maximum speed of 1Gbps1.||Can support a theoretical maximum speed of up to 100Mbps.||Can support all speed tiers up to a theoretical maximum speed of 500Mbps1.||Can support all speed tiers up to a theoretical maximum speed of 100Mbps.||Can support all speed tiers up to a theoretical maximum speed of 1Gbps1.|
1 This maximum theoretical speed is not currently available on the nbn.
Other nbn connection technology
|Fixed Wireless||Sky Muster™ Satellite Service|
|Can support all speed tiers up to a theoretical maximum speed of 75Mbps.||A Fair Use Policy (FUP) applies to the satellite service, which can affect supported theoretical maximum speeds of up to 25Mbps.|
NBN Co states that anyone can in theory change to an FTTP connection, but the costs for doing so vary considerably, and are always for the customer’s account. Customers can apply directly to NBN Co through their Technology Choice Program.
How many people will use your internet connection at the same time?
All nbn plans or speed tiers support most online activities, including streaming movies, TV shows, music, video calls, social media, and online gaming.
However, the quality and ease with which all these activities can be carried out is also influenced by the number of people in your house who are online.
|Home Superfast 2. 6||Home Ultrafast 2. 6|
|Suitable for one or two people online at the same time 3||Suitable for three or four people online at the same time 3||Suitable for five or more people online at the same time 3||
Suitable for five or more people online at the same time
|Suitable for five or more people online at the same time 3|
|Regular Browsing & Email
Video Calls & Conferencing
All Social Media
Renting Movies & TV Shows
Regular Online Gaming
Downloading Games and Updates
|Streaming Movies & TV Shows in SD||Streaming Movies & TV Shows in SD & HD||Streaming Movies & TV Shows in SD, HD, 4K, and 8K|
1 Available only in certain areas with FTTP, FTTC and HFC type connections. 92Mbps typical evening speed.
2 Only available on certain connection types. Not currently offered by Dodo.
3 Actual experience for any of these online activities is also influenced by the number of people in a household online at the same time.
4 25Mbps typical evening speed.
5 50Mbps typical evening speed.
6 Typical evening speed will be confirmed as soon as it is available.
All nbn providers in Melbourne allow you to upgrade or downgrade your plan and speed at any time. However, upgrading always depends on the connection technology used at your address, and any changes to plans and speeds will only take effect at the start of your next billing period. If you are on a fixed-term contract, penalties may apply when downgrading.
How to choose a nbn provider in Melbourne
Whether you are only now switching from ADSL to nbn or have had nbn for some time and are considering switching providers, there are a few things you need to look at when comparing providers in Melbourne.
Monthly cost and other fees
The monthly cost for nbn differs from one provider to the next, and according to the top speed supported. Any difference in cost between a fixed-term and month-to-month contract is usually minimal. However, only signing on for a month-to-month term could see you having to pay a once-off setup fee, which usually includes a new modem supplied by the provider. Don’t only look at the monthly cost, but at what is included with that. Also be aware that if you sign on for a fixed-term, you could be charged early exit fees if you cancel the contract before the term is up.
Average evening speed
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) monitors and measures the evening speed for all nbn providers. This happens during the peak period of 7pm to 11pm when more Australians are online and engaging in high data usage activities, such as streaming movies and TV shows. Most nbn providers include the latest measure with their plan details, and this gives you a better idea of what speed you could expect during extremely busy periods. It is not only the number of people in your household and the connection technology used that could affect your speed, but also the infrastructure of each provider.
Will I need a new modem?
Most nbn providers offer to include a new nbn compatible modem when you sign up with them. The cost of this is included in the once-off setup fee you must pay when signing on for a month-to-month contract but is usually waived when you sign on for a fixed-term. Most times this only needs to be returned to the provider if you cancel your contract early. So, you won’t always need a new modem, even if you’re signing up for the nbn for the first time. If the nbn providers you are considering don’t explicitly offer a BYO plan, ask them if you are able to use your own modem and how this would affect the cost.
Fewer nbn providers still impose data limits with their nbn plans, but you should still pay careful attention to whether the plans you are looking at offer unlimited data. Also look out for plans that state unlimited data, but still have a cap, albeit a much higher than normal data limit. This is sometimes disguised as a Fair Use Policy (FUP), which could also see your top speed being reduced once your data usage breaches a set threshold.
Adding phone calls and entertainment
All nbn connection types include the ability to make and receive phone calls using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. But this is not always activated by default, so always check if it is available and how to go about activating it. Many current handsets will work with the nbn, but again, you should ask the nbn providers you are considering first. Calls are usually charged at Pay As You Go rates, with some nbn providers also offering call bundles.
With the nbn making internet TV and streaming of entertainment more accessible, some nbn providers will offer add-on bundles for specific TV services. Compare what is available, and what the requirements are for including it with your nbn plan.
Finally, always consider contract terms. Although the monthly cost for nbn access is usually the same for both fixed-term and month-to-month contracts, the latter could see you having to pay a once-off setup fee. But signing up for a fixed-term contract to avoid this fee could see you paying early-exit fees for ending your contract too soon because you are not happy with the speed or service.
How to change nbn providers
Switching from one nbn provider to another in Melbourne is as simple as first comparing different providers, looking at all the points mentioned above. This is the most difficult part. Once you have made your choice, contact the new provider, and sign up for your chosen plan. You need to also tell them what date you want the new service with them to start.
Once finalised, contact your current provider to cancel your nbn service with them, and telling them on what date the service should be stopped. If you are still on a fixed-term contract with them, they will tell you what early-exit fees you need to pay. The actual mb switch from one provider to the next should happen with little more than an hour of interruption to your internet connection.
Typical evening speed (7pm-11pm). Speed may vary due to various factors and confirmed once connected. Fixed Wireless speeds are slower than fixed connections. See About nbn™ Speeds for more info.