Kogan’s new NBN plans: Everything you need to know

Kogan has launched its NBN plans, promising plenty of value at low prices, but are its low-cost plans actually good value?

It was back in June last year that Kogan announced its intention to launch what David Shafer executive director of Kogan.com called "extremely competitive plans" on the National Broadband network at "incredibly low prices" in 2018.

That kind of talk is very much within the Kogan playbook because the brand has a strong association with budget-centric offerings, whether you are talking Kogan Mobile plans or Kogan Insurance, or any of its other ventures for that matter.

Kogan's NBN plans go live today for Australian consumers, but what kind of plans are they actually offering?

Kogan NBN: Basic plans at basic prices

Kogan's NBN plans operate on three speed tiers, which the company labels as "Bronze Unlimited", "Silver Unlimited" and (you guessed it) "Gold Unlimited".

It seems somewhat likely that someone in the Kogan branding office has a touch of Commonwealth Games fever, but what those labels actually define is the access speed you'll see on each plan. As the names suggest, all plans are offered with unlimited data, and they're all offered on a month-to-month basis. Here's the rundown of pricing and expected speeds:

Plan Speed Cost per month Minimum total cost
Kogan NBN Bronze Unlimited nbn 12 $58.90 $127.90
Kogan NBN Silver Unlimited nbn 50 $58.90 $127.90
Kogan NBN Gold Unlimited nbn 100 $88.90 $157.90

As an introductory launch special, Kogan NBN is offering up the Kogan Silver plan at the same price as the Bronze. What's more, if you stay with the service, you'll be able to access that pricing for the first 24 months of service provision, as long as you sign up before 30 June 2018. Sign up after that date, and Silver Unlimited will cost you $68.90 per month.

If you're wondering how it's possible to have month-to-month plans with minimum costs higher than the monthly price, that's because all of Kogan's NBN plans include a mandatory bundled NBN modem. There doesn't seem to be a way to opt for a no-modem bundle if you're keen, although if you do want a rundown, we've tested 26 NBN-ready modem routers recently, right here.

The other added incentive for Kogan's NBN plans is similar to the deal it already offers for its Kogan Mobile products, with every dollar spent also earning you a single Qantas Frequent Flyer point. Realistically you're not going to accrue a first-class round-the-world trip at a maximum of $88.90 per month quickly, but every point does get you that little bit closer to a cheaper upgrade for your next flight.

Will I have to deal with Kogan customer support if something goes wrong?

You'll almost certainly have someone announce themselves as Kogan if you do have to get support for Kogan NBN, but the announced terms of Kogan's deal with Vodafone for both mobile and broadband services means that you are actually getting a rebranded Vodafone service, right down to the support services that underpin it.

Kogan's basic model remains one of online-driven services, and that includes ordering new NBN services as well, so your first point of contact is more likely to be with a web form than a Kogan representative in any case.

These sound like good cheap NBN plans. Are there any notable catches?

There are a couple of factors you should take into consideration when comparing Kogan's NBN offerings against other providers.

As you'd expect, Kogan's offering is relatively no-frills, so where underlying provider Vodafone is currently bundling 12-month free Netflix access with NBN plans, there's no such extra freebie for its Kogan equivalent.

While many providers have switched up to 25Mbps plans, Kogan's entry level is still at the much slower 12Mbps speed. That could be fine if your needs are very moderate, but insufficient for a shared connection, or where you want to stream lots of high-definition content, for example.

While plans are sold on a month-to-month basis, they are also set to auto-renew each month, so you would need to check dates carefully if you wanted to switch providers to ensure you are not charged for an additional month. Unlike its Kogan Mobile plans, there's no option to pre-pay for a longer period in order to get an even cheaper deal.

Vodafone's approach to the NBN market has also been a notably slow one. At launch, it provided NBN services in select areas of Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Geelong, Newcastle and Wollongong. Vodafone expects to add Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Queensland's Gold Coast and Tasmania in April before spreading out service provision elsewhere in Australia.

Kogan representatives have confirmed with finder that it offers service "anywhere that Vodafone covers — and this will expand as Vodafone's coverage increases too".

What that means is that you could be in a premises that is ready for NBN service, but not in fact eligible for Kogan NBN, simply because they are not able to service your location as yet. Vodafone is only offering fixed line (FTTP, FTTN, FTTB, FTTC and HFC) NBN services, so if you are in a fixed wireless or satellite location, you won't be able to access Kogan's NBN offerings.

The other caveat is that, to date, Vodafone has yet to publish its typical evening speeds for its customers, which means it's unlikely that Kogan will offer up that kind of information either.

While that's a matter of ACCC guidance, rather than a legal requirement, it's becoming more common for providers to promote that kind of information in their marketing materials.

Without it, making an accurate and informed comparison becomes more difficult, because you could be paying for a service with very thin CVC margins, and consequently more congestion than you may be happy with.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JCJune 26, 2018

    Please advise when I would have an NBN service if I signed up today for Kogan internet silver?

    • Default Gravatar
      ArnoldJune 26, 2018

      Hi JC,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      Before applying, it would be best to check the status of NBN at your location by entering your full address on our NBN Tracker. If NBN is already active, the tracker will also display available NBN plans from different providers that offer services at your location.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

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