The Australian appetite for streaming is soaring as pricier unlimited NBN plans dominate the market, with entry-level, affordable plans few and far between. Read more…
How fast is Optus Internet?
Here's how Optus's Internet speeds stack up against other Australian broadband providers.
As one of the largest Internet providers in Australia, Optus is a popular choice for folks who value experience and customer service as much as low prices and high speeds. But speed is still important, especially since it's one of the key differentiators when comparing NBN plans from different Aussie telcos.
So how does Optus perform in this regard? To answer that, we've collected speed data from a range of sources in the tables and charts below. You can use this data to compare Optus to other Aussie telcos and see whether Optus is fast enough for you.
Typical evening NBN speeds
Comparing the speeds of different NBN plans can be tricky. While plans are separated into four main NBN speed tiers, the speeds associated with those tiers are "theoretical maximums" – that is, they represent the absolute top speeds possible under the best conditions.
That's not how the real world works, which is why the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC) created a set of guidelines advising Internet providers to display the speeds their customers typically see during the evening hours of 7pm to 11pm. These speeds provide a better indication of practical performance and are a valuable comparison point when choosing which Internet provider to go with.
In the chart below, you can see how Optus's typical evening speeds stack up against the providers currently offering the fastest speeds within the Standard Plus NBN speed tier. To compare Optus with an even larger pool of Internet providers, head over to our round-up of the fastest peak-hour NBN providers in Australia.
|Provider||Standard Plus tier|
If you're all about streaming TV and movies on-demand, you're going to want an Internet service that doesn't bog down in the middle of a Netflix binge. It's handy, then, that Netflix tracks the streaming speeds of its subscribers during "prime time" and uses them to rank the performance of the largest Aussie telcos. Bear in mind that these rankings are based solely on Netflix speeds and may not reflect performance when using other online services.
Below you can see how Optus fares against the other Australian telcos that Netflix tracks:
Data updated for Jan 2020 from the Netflix ISP Speed Index
|Provider||Average Prime Time Netflix speed|
Netflix isn't the only video service keeping tabs on the performance of Aussie telcos. Google's Video Quality Report provides similar insight for YouTube. Instead of average speeds, though, the report highlights how regularly a telco delivers high definition YouTube video streams to its customers at different times of the day. This data is averaged over 30 days to present a more reliable figure.
Here's how consistently Optus maintained HD YouTube streams compared to its highest-ranking competitors:
Data updated for Jan 2020 from Google's Video Quality Report
|Provider||24-hour video quality average||Peak-hour video quality average||Overall video quality rating|
|Foxtel Broadband NBN||96.83% HD||97.60% HD||97.22% HD|
|Telstra NBN||95.67% HD||96.00% HD||95.83% HD|
|Dodo NBN||95.58% HD||96.00% HD||95.79% HD|
|TPG||95.29% HD||95.80% HD||95.55% HD|
|Activ8me||94.92% HD||95.00% HD||94.96% HD|
|Optus||94.67% HD||95.00% HD||94.83% HD|
Steam has long held the title of the go-to destination for PC video games. If you're one of its many millions of users, you're going to want an Internet provider capable of hitting high speeds when downloading from Steam's digital storefront.
Fortunately, Steam tracks average download speeds across a variety of Australian telcos, updating these figures every week to ensure they accurately reflect the current state of the market.
Take a look at the chart below to see where Optus ranks compared to all the providers tracked by Steam.
Data updated for Jan 2020 from Steam
|Provider||Average download speed on Steam|
ACCC broadband performance data
Issuing guidelines isn't the only measure the ACCC has taken to keep Aussie Internet providers honest. It also conducts its own speed tests to measure how close providers get to hitting their maximum speeds during the peak evening hours of 7pm to 11pm. It then releases this data as a quarterly report to give Aussies a clearer picture of what they're paying for.
The chart below shows Optus's results compared to the other Aussie telcos included in the ACCC's report:
Data updated for Jan 2020 from ACCC Broadband Performance Report
|Provider||Percentage of Max. Download Speed (busy hours)|
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