Aussie Broadband | ADSL and NBN plans compared

Aussie Broadband is an Australian-owned Internet service provider that offers ADSL, NBN fibre and NBN wireless plans.

Owned and operated here in Australia, Aussie Broadband sells itself as a "different sort of telco" – and that's not just another marketing buzz term. The small telco sets itself apart from the competition by taking a unique sliding-scale approach to its NBN plans, letting you specify a custom data cap instead of simply selecting from a handful of pre-defined tiers. Aussie Broadband is both the first and currently only provider in Australia to offer such flexibility with its NBN plans.

Alongside its NBN plans, Aussie Broadband also provides ADSL services throughout Australia. Both services come with no-lock-in contracts, too, saving you the stress of committing for the long term.

Aussie Broadband NBN plans

Aussie Broadband supports the four core technologies of the NBN: fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the node (FTTN), hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) and fixed wireless. The four standard NBN speed tiers – 12Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps and 100Mbps – are all represented, as are the far less common 150Mbps and 250Mbps tiers, though the latter two are only available to FTTP customers in select areas of Australia.

On the data front, Aussie Broadband's sliding scale of monthly caps supports different data ranges at different speeds. A breakdown of valid data caps is below:

  • 12Mbps plans: 10GB to 100GB
  • 25Mbps plans: 10GB to 500GB
  • 50Mbps plans: 50GB to 3,000GB
  • 100Mbps plans: 100GB to 3,000GB
  • 150Mbps plans: 100GB to 3,000GB
  • 250Mbps plans: 500GB to 3,000GB

Monthly pricing is as variable as the data caps. The minimum and maximum monthly fees for each speed tier are listed below:

  • 12Mbps plans: $40 to $50
  • 25Mbps plans: $45 to $70
  • 50Mbps plans: $60 to $135
  • 100Mbps plans: $75 to $160
  • 150Mbps plans: $115 to $280
  • 250Mbps plans: $175 to $300

Regardless of your chosen speed or data cap, Aussie Broadband doesn't charge any set-up fees. The only compulsory upfront cost is the payment of your first month's bill.

Aussie Broadband also doesn't charge for excess data usage – a necessity given its lack of unlimited data caps. Like many other providers, it slows down your Internet speed if you go over your monthly data limit. Instead of limiting you to 128kbps or 256kbps as is the norm, though, Aussie Broadband lets you maintain some semblance of speed by only dropping you to 1Mbps for the rest of the current billing cycle.

Since the speeds promised by the NBN speed tiers are only theoretical maximums subject to factors like the current load on the network, Aussie Broadband advertises the typical speeds its customers receive on each tier during peak evening hours. These are as follows:

  • 12Mbps plans: 10Mbps typical evening speeds
  • 25Mbps plans: 22Mbps typical evening speeds
  • 50Mbps plans: 42Mbps typical evening speeds
  • 100Mbps plans: 78Mbps typical evening speeds
  • 150Mbps plans: 80Mbps typical evening speeds
  • 250Mbps plans: 100Mbps typical evening speeds

Aussie Broadband also offers voice over IP (VoIP) phone services for bundling with its NBN plans. To read more about them, click here.

Aussie Broadband ADSL plans

Aussie Broadband offers ADSL plans delivered over both standard ADSL connections and faster ADSL2+ connections; which of the two you'll receive depends on the infrastructure available at your premises.

Four plans are available, with data caps ranging from 50GB up to 1,000GB:

  • Medium ADSL plan, which includes 50GB of data for $45 a month
  • Everyday ADSL plan, which includes 100GB of data for $55 a month
  • Family ADSL plan, which includes 500GB of data for $65 a month
  • Power User ADSL plan, which includes 1,000GB of data for $85 a month

It's important to note that these plans do not include home phone line rental. Since line rental is required for all ADSL services, you'll need to either purchase line rental from another provider or bundle one of the above plans with Aussie Broadband's home phone plans. For more information on Aussie Broadband's phone plans, click here.

In addition to their regular monthly fees, Aussie Broadband's ADSL plans come with a one-off set-up fee of $110.

Because Aussie Broadband doesn't offer unlimited data caps with its ADSL plans, you'll want to bear in mind that using up your monthly allotment of data will result in your Internet speed slowing down to 256kbps for the rest of the current billing cycle.

If you're only looking for a short-term ADSL service to tide you over while the NBN makes its way to your area, you'll be glad to know that Aussie Broadband will upgrade you to the NBN as soon as it's available to you, free of charge.

Aussie Broadband phone plans

Aussie Broadband offers both traditional landline and voice over IP (VoIP) phone services alongside its broadband plans. These can be bundled in with one of Aussie Broadband's NBN or ADSL plans or purchased separately as a standalone service.

Three different VoIP plans are available through Aussie Broadband:

  • Casual, which includes 15c/call local and national calls plus 22c/min mobile calls for $5 a month bundled or $35 a month standalone
  • Everyday, which includes unlimited local and national calls plus 22c/min mobile calls for $10 a month bundled or $45 a month standalone
  • Family, which includes unlimited local, national and mobile calls for $20 a month bundled or $55 standalone

As a standalone service, Aussie Broadband's VoIP plans do not require an existing Internet connection to function. So long as you can receive fixed-line NBN at your premises – fixed wireless connections are not eligible – you can sign up to a standalone VoIP plan without also purchasing an NBN broadband plan.

If you're after a traditional landline phone service, Aussie Broadband has three further options for you:

  • Unbundled, which includes 20c/call local calls, 20c/min national calls capped at $2 up to 3 hours and 36c/min calls to mobiles capped at $2 up to 20 minutes for $29.95 a month
  • Bundled 1, which includes unlimited local and national calls plus 36c/min calls to mobiles for $30 a month
  • Bundled 2, which includes unlimited local, national and mobile calls for $40 a month

As the names suggest, the Unbundled plan is only available as a standalone service, while the two Bundled plans can only be purchased in conjunction with one of Aussie Broadband's ADSL or NBN plans.

You may also have to pay a set-up fee when purchasing one of Aussie Broadband's landline plans. Transferring an existing active phone line from another provider is free, but if your current phone line is inactive, you'll need to pay a one-off fee of $59. If your existing phone line needs cabling work, or you need a new line installed, on the other hand, you could be hit with a set-up fee of as much as $240.

How does Aussie Broadband compare?

Though its broadband plans err towards the more expensive, Aussie Broadband offsets this with a greater emphasis on extra features and customer choice.

How do Aussie Broadband's NBN plans compare?

Comparing Aussie Broadband's NBN plans is difficult, since the ability to customise your data cap means there are hundreds of different configurations available. Instead of assessing each and every one, the below comparisons look at the data caps Aussie Broadband labels as "popular".

At the cheaper end of its NBN plans, Aussie Broadband's 25Mbps 500GB plan stands as the first of its "popular" offerings. However, against the competition, it struggles to maintain the same appeal. Providers like amaysim, MyNetFone and Flip TV all offer plans with unlimited data at the same or even cheaper monthly rate, while Teleron bundles in a pay-as-you-go phone service on top of charging less per month.

Still, Aussie Broadband does have the advantage of no set-up costs, which makes its plan cheaper over the short term than many of its competitors. Mate Communicate and amaysim skip the set-up fees on their unlimited plans too, though, so you'll want to consider them first.

Aussie Broadband's second "popular" plan is its 50Mbps 500GB option. Here again, it cannot match the cheaper monthly rates of providers like TPG, Spintel and Mate Communicate, all of which pack their plans with unlimited data instead of just 500GB.

Meanwhile, you've got Infinity, TPG and Spintel bundling in a pay-as-you-go phone service and Teleron throwing in unlimited local calls to boot – all at a lower monthly rate. And if you like Aussie Broadband's approach of not charging any set-up fees, neither do Mate Communicate or Infinity.

It's at the premium 100Mbps speed tier where Aussie Broadband finally edges out the competition. Its 100Mbps 500GB plan might be $5 more expensive per month than most of its peers, but thanks to the lack of set-up costs, it works out cheaper overall for the first 18 months or so.

Only Infinity manages to stay ahead of Aussie Broadband, combining a lower monthly rate with $0 setup fees and packing in a pay-as-you-go phone service for good measure.

How do Aussie Broadband's ADSL plans compare?

There's no two ways about it: Aussie Broadband's ADSL plans aren't great. Not only are they priced at a premium compared to the competition, they include less data than similarly priced alternatives.

Spintel's 100GB plan, for example, beats out Aussie Broadband's 100GB offering pound for pound, clocking in $10 cheaper a month and charging $50 less for set-up. MyNetFone, meanwhile, serves up its 250GB on-peak/250GB off-peak plan for $5 less a month along with lower set-up fees, trumping Aussie Broadband on both price and data.

The deficit only gets larger at higher data caps. Rather than paying $85 a month for Aussie Broadband's 1,000GB plan, you could score unlimited data for a mere $35 with AusBBS. Better yet, you could take care of line rental too with Exetel or TPG's home phone and ADSL bundles, both of which charge more than $30 less per month than Aussie Broadband's standalone plan – and that's without factoring in line rental on Aussie Broadband's offering.

Why should you consider Aussie Broadband?

If there's one area where Aussie Broadband has the competition beat, it's flexibility. No other Australian telco provides as much freedom in customising your NBN plan, both in terms of speed and data. With the ability to tailor your data cap to your individual Internet needs and support for the rare ultra-fast 150Mbps and 250Mbps speed tiers, Aussie Broadband gives you plenty of tools to build the NBN plan that's right for you.

Aussie Broadband also distinguishes itself with faster shaping speeds on its NBN plans than most other providers. Usually, exceeding your monthly data limit will leave you crawling along on a 256Kbps connection for the rest of the month, but Aussie Broadband keeps you chugging along with a 1Mbps connection instead. If you're prone to accidentally blowing through your monthly data cap, this can make waiting for the cap to reset considerably more tolerable.

Another of Aussie Broadband's big selling points is its promise of a congestion-free network. To avoid plummeting Internet speeds during the peak evening hours, Aussie Broadband monitors its network and optimises traffic for more consistency between off-peak speeds and on-peak speeds.

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