Australia's fastest NBN plans might finally be living up to their name, new ACCC data shows

Person on laptop
(Image credit: Pexels)

Broadband speeds have significantly improved during the busy evening hours between 7-11pm for NBN 1000 consumers, according to new Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) data. 

ACCC's latest quarterly Measuring Broadband Australia report revealed that NBN 1000 services achieved average hourly downloads between 818-851Mbps throughout the day, compared to 686-851Mbps in the September 2023 report. In both reports, the minimum hourly speeds occurred at 8pm. 

Currently, no NBN providers claim to reach the theoretical maximum speed of 1,000Mbps. Most providers promise to deliver speeds between 350Mbps-700Mbps, which are still classified as 'ultrafast'. Only a handful of providers advertise speeds above 600Mbps — including Optus, Superloop and Telstra — so these results are rather promising for NBN 1000 customers.  

Performance across NBN 100 and NBN 250 fixed-line plans also increased during the reporting period compared to the September report. The Commission largely attributes the peak-demand speed increases to the removal of capacity-based charging in NBN Co's new wholesale pricing structure. 

"Under NBN Co's old wholesale pricing regime, very high-speed services faced more constraints during the busy hours compared to the lower speed fixed-line plans," ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

"With capacity-based charging on 100 Mbps and above plans eliminated, we observed faster download speeds on those plans during the busy hours as broadband providers no longer have to purchase sufficient capacity to meet peak demand."

Graph depicting NBN high speed services

(Image credit: ACCC)

The report also shows that the average download speed for all NBN speed tiers was 99.3% of the connection's maximum plan speed. This is a "record high" for the program, the ACCC says, jumping up 0.5 percentage points from the previous quarter. Average upload speeds reached the highest percentage recorded yet, hitting 87.8% of maximum plan speeds during busy hours. 

These results follow a recent NBN Co consultation paper that could see top tiers — 100Mbps, 250Mbps and 1,000Mbps — receive a significant boost to upload and download speeds without any extra wholesale costs to ISPs. 

NBN Co said the proposal came down to the growing importance of speed and capacity across Australian households and businesses, as the average household now consumes 443 gigabytes per month across 22 internet-connected devices. 

Considerably, as more Aussie households have a need for faster speeds, if you have yet to take full advantage of your NBN connection type and you're able to upgrade to an ultrafast plan, here are some top providers we recommend:

Best NBN 1000 plans

Superloop | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$99p/m

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""">Superloop | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$99p/m (for six months, then AU$109p/m)

Superloop's Lightspeed plan is a top contender across our NBN deals as it's cheaper than some NBN 250 plans and offers theoretical maximum speeds of 700Mbps during the typical evening hours. 

You can even score a free Amazon eero6+ router if you stay connected to the telco for at least 18 months. If you cancel your service before then, you'll need to pay AU$8p/m for the router on any time remaining on the plan.  

Total minimum cost: AU$99 | Total cost of first 12 months: AU$1,248 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,308

TPG | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$104.99p/m

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""">TPG | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$104.99p/m

TPG's NBN 1000 plan offers decent value at a low cost, which is surprising considering it comes from one of the big three telcos. The plan advertises theoretical maximum speeds of 671Mbps during the busy evening hours of 7pm to 11pm. 

Despite not offering introductory discounts, TPG's monthly spend is well under the average AU$132.05 for this tier. Do note, though, that the plan's minimum cost is AU$214.94 as it includes the modem fee for no lock-in contracts. 

Total minimum cost: AU$214.94 (including modem fee) | Total yearly cost: AU$1,259.88

If you do not need ultrafast speeds, you can check out other affordable NBN options in the widget below. 

Lucy Scotting
Staff Writer

Lucy Scotting is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, primarily covering NBN and internet-related news. Lucy started her career writing for HR and staffing industry publications, with articles covering emerging tech, business and finance. In her spare time, Lucy can be found watching sci-fi movies, working on her dystopian fiction novel or hanging out with her dog, Fletcher.