How to choose an nbn™ plan anywhere in Australia
The rollout of the nbn started in Australia's major cities, but has since expanded to reach smaller cities, regional towns, and rural areas. Once any address, anywhere in Australia, can connect to the nbn, the countdown to the old ADSL and phone line being shutdown begins. You aren't forced to switch to the nbn, but you cannot keep using the old copper line network. There is no set date for the old network being shut down across Australia, but each address has 18 months from when it can connect to the nbn to find alternative methods for making and receiving phone calls, and for connecting to the internet. If you're still using ADSL, your current service provider would contact you ahead of time to warn of it being disconnected on a certain date.
But the nbn offers better speeds and a more reliable internet connection than ADSL. And now that it is available almost anywhere in Australia, there's little reason to ignore it. You might find that you now have a larger selection of nbn providers to consider; but choosing the right nbn is just as important as selecting the right provider.
nbn connection technology explained
The Multi Technology Mix (MTM) system the NBN Co used throughout the nbn rollout helped speed up the process by repurposing existing infrastructure. However, it means your home could connect to the nbn using any of seven different connection technologies. Each of these allows for phone calls to be made and received, but they do also influence the top speeds you could expect, and the nbn plans available to you. Larger cities mostly use fixed line connections, which could be any of the first five technologies in the table below. Regional towns and cities, and some rural areas, would be limited to fixed wireless connections, with very remote areas only having access to satellite connections.
|nbn Technology||What It Is||Top Speed Supported|
|Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)||Fibre optic cable connects your home directly to the nearest fibre node. A nbn connection box and power supply unit might be installed inside your home, separate to the modem or router.||All speed tiers up to a theoretical maximum speed of 1Gbps 1.|
|Fibre to the Node (FTTN)||Existing phone line connects your home to the nearest fibre node, and a fibre optic cable connects the node to the exchange. No nbn connection box is used; your modem connects directly to your existing phone socket.||Theoretical maximum download speed of up to 100Mbps.|
|Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)||Multiple homes connect to a Distribution Point Unit (DPU) using existing phone lines. The DPU is installed in the street and connects to the nearest node using fibre optic cables. Your modem will connect to a nbn connection box that will be installed inside your home.||All speed tiers up to a theoretical maximum speed of 500Mbps 1.|
|Fibre to the Building (FTTB)||Used in apartment buildings and multi-unit residential buildings. Existing technology connects each apartment or unit to a fibre node in the building's basement or communications room. Fibre optic cables connect the node to the exchange.||All speed tiers up to a theoretical maximum speed of 100Mbps.|
|Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC)||This uses your existing ‘pay TV’ or cable network connection to connect to the nearest fibre node, which connects to the exchange via fibre optic cables. An nbn connection box will also be installed in your home.||All speed tiers up to a theoretical maximum speed of 1Gbps1.|
|Fixed Wireless||In regional and some rural locations, distance makes traditional nbn installations impossible. A nbn connection box and antenna will be installed on your property, and this connects wirelessly to nbn transmission towers located up to 14 kilometres away.||All speed tiers up to a theoretical maximum speed of 75Mbps.|
|Sky Muster Satellite Service||Used to connect people living in remote areas. Your modem connects to a rooftop satellite dish that communicates with two orbiting satellites. Customers whose only option is satellite can keep their existing phone service for making and receiving phone calls.||A Fair Use Policy (FUP) applies to the satellite service, which can affect supported theoretical maximum speeds of up to 25Mbps.|
1 This maximum theoretical speed is not currently available on the nbn.
Check your address using our nbn rollout map to both confirm nbn availability for your home and the connection technology used. Larger cities such as:
can expect fixed line connections to extend from the city centre through to some outer suburbs. Smaller cities including:
- Sunshine Coast
will find fixed line connections limited to smaller areas around the city centre, with even smaller towns only having fixed wireless throughout.
The NBN Co's Technology Choice Program allows residents with fixed line connections to apply to have the actual connection technology at their address changed. There is a fee involved with this, and the NBN Co manages the entire process, not your nbn provider.
The different nbn speed tiers available
Dodo currently offer four speed tiers for the nbn:
created by Dodo
|nbn25 3||nbn50 4||nbn100 1. 5|
Best for not more than 2 people using it at the same time for:
1 Available only in certain areas with FTTP, FTTC and HFC type connections.
2 Actual experience for any of these online activities is also influenced by the number of people in a household online at the same time.
3 25Mbps typical evening speed.
4 50Mbps typical evening speed.
5 92Mbps typical evening speed.
6 A speed tier created by Dodo to provide 15 mbps typical evening speed on the nbn network.
Home Superfast and Home Ultrafast are new wholesale speed tiers introduced by the NBN Co, but fewer than 50 percent of homes across Australia have connections that support the speeds offered by these tiers. Many nbn providers–including Dodo–do not yet offer these speed tiers.
How usage affects nbn plan choice
Regardless of which nbn connection technology your home uses, one of the biggest influences on the actual speed you enjoy is your online activities and the number of people in your household. Smaller households, with three or fewer occupants, might find an entry level plan quite adequate. But households with more than six people would need to consider a top-level nbn plan.
This is because the top speed available on your connection is always split between whoever in your household is connecting the internet at the same time. And the split is rarely equal.
If you plan on streaming music, TV shows, and movies, you also need to know at what quality you want to do this. Streaming music at lossless quality requires a faster connection, as does wanting to stream TV shows and movies in HD or better.
But upgrading or downgrading your nbn plan isn't impossible. If you start with an entry level plan and find it isn't good enough, you can easily switch to a mid or top-level plan.
The faster speeds the nbn offers mean your online activities will change. You might stream more entertainment or spend more time gaming online. So, choosing a nbn plan with a set data allowance makes little sense now. All Dodo nbn plans offer unlimited data, leaving you free to use your nbn connection however you want, without worrying about excess charges on your next bill.
Can I change my nbn plan anywhere in Australia?
nbn plans for fixed wireless and satellite connections throughout Australia are more limited than for fixed line connections, but you might still be able to switch to a different plan. Check what is available and then submit an online plan change request. If you are on a fixed-term contract, there won't be a penalty if you are upgrading to a better plan.
The switch will only happen after your next billing date, and there shouldn't be any significant disruption when the switch takes place.
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.