Tom's Guide Verdict
Aussie Broadband's NBN plans sit above the average cost across all speed tiers, but in return you get a reliable service with customer support that is second-to-none. Typical evening speeds do all fall foul of the maximum possible, but on NBN 250 and NBN 1000 tiers, Aussie Broadband advertises some of the highest on the market. If you're a large household, a power user or you aren't exactly tech savvy, Aussie Broadband is an attractive option.
Plans for all speed tiers
Exceptional customer support
Dedicated options for gamers and seniors
Not the most affordable
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Aussie Broadband is one of the more prominent NBN providers that falls under the “others” umbrella. While the likes of Telstra, Optus and TPG hold the majority of the market share in the residential NBN space, Aussie Broadband stands out as a compelling option for those who wish to seek an alternative NBN provider.
Aussie Broadband’s NBN plans aren’t the cheapest around (neither are they the most expensive), but they do offer some of the fastest typical evening speeds on the market. It’s also appealing for those who want 100% Australian-based customer support, and we’ve found it offers some of the best NBN plans for gamers. Aussie Broadband also has plans for seniors, so a wide range of needs are covered.
So is it the best NBN provider for you? Allow us to run you through all there is to know about Aussie Broadband, including the plans on offer, official performance data and how real-world users rate the service.
- All NBN speed tiers catered to
- A unique 75Mbps option also available
Aussie Broadband supports every NBN speed tier, from Basic I (12Mbps) all the way through to Ultrafast (1,000 Mbps). The telco is also the only one we can find that offers a 75Mbps option under its 'Build your own' feature.
We first published this review in March 2023 and at that time, Aussie Broadband didn't advertise the maximum typical evening speed on any of its plans.
Fast forward to May and things have improved, with the telco now advertising maximum speeds on all plans except for the Ultrafast NBN 1000 tier. We originally had the lack of maximum speeds as a negative against Aussie Broadband, but now this has changed, there really is very little for us to fault.
Aussie Broadband’s NBN plans, including pricing and typical evening speed figures are as follows.
- NBN 12: AU$59p/m (Typical evening speed 12Mbps)
- NBN 25: AU$69p/m (Typical evening speed 25Mbps)
- NBN 50: AU$79p/m (Typical evening speed 50Mbps)
- NBN 100: AU$99p/m (Typical evening speed 100Mbps)
- NBN 250: AU$129p/m (Typical evening speed 250Mbps)
- NBN 1000: AU$149p/m (Typical evening speed 600Mbps)
In the majority of cases, Aussie Broadband is one of the most expensive NBN providers in Australia, making it difficult to recommend if you’re looking for the cheapest NBN plans in the country. However, in return for your investment, you do receive exceptional customer service, which we'll explain more on further into this review.
Aussie Broadband also supports Opticomm plans. Opticomm is a privately-owned optical fibre network that is separate to the NBN. Opticomm is only available in select areas of the country at present, and is predominantly connected to new-build properties.
You can find out if your property supports Opticomm via the Aussie Broadband website. When you enter your address, you will be told what connection type you have and then be shown a range of plans to suit. If you do have Opticomm, you could stand to benefit from more consistently fast speeds compared to the NBN.
- Maximum typical evening speeds across all tiers, except NBN 1000
- Failed to deliver 100% of plan speeds according to ACCC data
As mentioned above, Aussie Broadband offers plans across all NBN speed tiers and now advertises the maximum download speeds possible during the busier evening hours, except for the Ultrafast 1,000Mbps tier. This isn't a negative against Aussie Broadband, as currently no NBN provider claims to deliver the maximum 1Gbps speeds.
Optus, Superloop and Origin also advertise 600Mbps, Southern Phone claims 650Mbps and Telstra leads the pack with claimed speeds of 700Mbps.
However, in the ACCC’s most recent broadband performance report (published in April 2023), Aussie Broadband failed to deliver at least 100% of its advertised plan speeds. The telco was found to deliver 97.7% of advertised speeds across all hours and 96.5% during the busy evening hours of 7pm to 11pm. It should be noted, however, that this report was published before Aussie Broadband updated its typical evening speed figures. We'll therefore update this review again when the next report is published in around three months time.
Some competitors, such as Optus and Exetel were found to deliver over 100% of their advertised plan download speeds during the same reporting period.
For customers wanting to take advantage of Superfast (NBN 250) and Ultrafast (NBN 1000) speeds, things do look more positive…at least where speed is concerned. It’s worth pointing out that while you should get fast speeds, you will have to pay extra for it (more on pricing below).
Aussie Broadband advertises typical evening speeds of 600Mbps on the Ultrafast NBN 1000 tier. Only Telstra advertises faster speeds of 700Mbps, and even then this is only an estimate. So if you have an NBN connection that can support up to gigabit speeds, Aussie Broadband could be the best option for you.
- Plans are more expensive than the monthly average
- No introductory discounts
Aussie Broadband’s pricing does make it difficult to recommend if you’re looking for the cheapest NBN plans. We’ve looked at the monthly cost of all NBN plans available through WhistleOut to determine an average figure, and compared this to the cost of Aussie Broadband’s NBN plans.
Due to some other NBN providers heavily discounting the regular monthly cost of their plans, Aussie Broadband's plans have become a lot more expensive than the monthly average. This is especially true with the faster speed tiers.
For example, the current average monthly cost of an NBN 1000 plan is AU$136 (correct at time of publishing) but Aussie Broadband charges AU$149p/m. For the Superfast 250Mbps tier, Aussie Broadband's AU$129 monthly cost is AU$13 more than the average of AU$116.
On the slower tiers, Aussie Broadband is still more expensive than the average, but by a smaller margin.
Note that Aussie Broadband doesn't currently offer any introductory discounts for new customers.
We initially thought that Aussie Broadband's higher-than-average costs were a little hard to stomach, since it didn't advertise the maximum possible speeds on its plans. However, now things have improved, it makes them a little bit easier to recommend. But, since other providers have discounted theirs, it now makes Aussie Broadband look way more expensive.
What’s more, Aussie Broadband doesn’t include a modem or any other extras with its plans. Using Telstra as a comparison, Australia’s biggest telco charges even more for its NBN plans, but it does include a modem, complete with 4G backup, along with a number of free subscriptions to various music and video streaming services for a set period. So, while Telstra’s NBN plans cost even more than the average, you at least get some included value.
With regard to modems, Aussie Broadband will ask you to pay upfront if you need one. But you do get a good selection compared to competitors. Whereas others tend to give just a single option, ABB lets you choose between both NetComm or Google Nest Wifi modems. NetComm options start at AU$179 for a single NF20 Wi-Fi 6 compatible unit and rise to AU$429 for a modem with two satellite points to create a mesh network.
If you’d rather Google Nest Wifi in your home, you can choose from a two-pack or three-pack for AU$349 or AU$469, respectively. We always recommend shopping around for the best modems and routers, as you may find other third-party retailers selling the units for less than telcos. If you do buy your own, you can then just select the ‘BYO modem’ option when signing up for your NBN plan.
- One of the most reliable providers
- Very few outages reported
- Good proportion of outages restored within 60 seconds
One area where Aussie Broadband claws back some points is in regards to NBN outages. While this data can fluctuate over time, the most recent data on outages published by the ACCC found Aussie Broadband customers experienced 0.33 outages per day.
Of those outages, 34.1% lasted between 3 to 10 minutes, but 33.3% lasted just 30 to 60 seconds. Only 11% lasted 10 minutes or more.
In our opinion, this makes Aussie Broadband a reliable NBN provider.
- Unlimited data on most popular tiers
- 'Build your own' feature with various data cap options
While it is now uncommon for NBN providers to instil data caps on their NBN plans, they do still exist. By default, Aussie Broadband’s NBN plans come with unlimited data, however the telco does offer a “build your own plan” feature that lets you customise a plan to make it perfect for your household.
You can firstly select from the full range of speeds — which also includes a 75/20 option nestled between NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans — and then you can choose to introduce a data cap. This could be handy if you know you’re not going to need much data on a monthly basis. Perhaps you just use the internet for social media access and editing online documents.
You’re able to choose between 100GB and 500GB monthly data caps — although only on speeds from NBN 25 to NBN 100 — and doing so reduces your monthly bill. However, by comparison, we’d argue that the unlimited data option presents the best value. A 100GB data cap saves you AU$9p/m while a 500GB data cap saves you just AU$4p/m. For our money, we’d be prepared to spend the extra and not have to worry about potentially going over our data limit.
- Claims to have a network optimised for gaming
- Positive reports from customers
One area where Aussie Broadband has the potential to excel over other providers lies in gaming. This is because Aussie Broadband advertises specific NBN plans for gamers, which have been received well by Australia’s gaming community.
For its gaming plans, Aussie Broadband claims to serve up optimised network routing, meaning you should be able to take advantage of the quickest and shortest routes to various gaming servers. These aren’t just limited to servers in Australia, as Aussie Broadband says it’s established “international transit links into major gaming regions such as the USA and South East Asia.”
- Senior NBN plans available
- Offers the free FTTP NBN upgrade
- Fetch TV bundles
Aussie Broadband presents potential customers with a number of ways to get connected. There’s the usual slate of NBN plans, as mentioned earlier in this review, along with the ‘build your own plan’ model that lets you customise your ideal NBN plan.
Aussie Broadband is also one of the few providers to offer dedicated NBN plans for seniors. There are three plans to choose from, all of which are based on the NBN 12 speed tier and come with a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone line. The thinking behind NBN plans for seniors is that the older generation aren’t going to need a high-speed internet connection to stream the latest movies and TV shows, but instead just need a basic broadband connection to message family on social media or send emails.
The Australian-based telco also announced in March 2022 that it would take part in the rollout of NBN upgrades. This means that Aussie Broadband customers who live in suburbs where fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) upgrades are taking place, and who have either a fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) or fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) NBN connection type, will be able to place an order for an upgrade.
To do so, eligible customers will need to either already be on, or sign up for, an NBN 100 plan (for FTTN customers) or an NBN 250 plan (for FTTC customers). The initial cost of the upgrade is free, as it is covered by the NBN. However, ABB says that extra external costs could apply if extra infrastructure is needed to complete the installation.
Aussie Broadband says customers who do upgrade will need to stay on their plan for a minimum of 12 months. If they choose to leave the plan or downgrade, they may be liable to pay the NBN a AU$200 downgrade fee. Customers who are experiencing financial hardship may be able to avoid this fee.
ABB also serves up the possibility to bundle your NBN plan with the Fetch pay TV service, although on the face of things, there doesn’t appear to be much benefit to doing so as you only get one month of free access to the Ultimate Channel Pack before having to pay a monthly fee. Only a handful of telcos supply Fetch TV, iiNet being another. iiNet gives you a set-top streaming box for free if you remain connected for 24 months, but Aussie Broadband charges AU$10p/m.
Cancellation and Hidden Costs
- Can cancel anytime without 30 days notice
- Requires verbal communication over the phone
- Cancellation costs involved if you've take out a Fetch TV bundle
ABB, like the vast majority of NBN providers, works on a no lock-in contract basis. This means you are free to cancel and leave your plan whenever you want, as opposed to being tied in for a minimum term of 12 months, for example.
From our understanding of Aussie Broadband’s terms and conditions, you don’t need to provide any notice period if you wish to leave. The telco says it offers pro-rata closures, which you can discuss with a customer service representative when closing your account. Note that in order to close your account, you will need to speak to someone over the phone, as ABB requires verbal confirmation.
The telco adds that NBN disconnects services during the early morning hours, so do keep this in mind when cancelling. For example, you may wish to cancel during the later morning hours, so that you can still use your service for the remainder of the day.
If you have taken out a Fetch TV plan with Aussie Broadband and choose to close your account, you will need to send the media box back to ABB. You are liable for the shipping costs, and if you don’t return the box within 30 days, then you will be liable to pay a non-return fee as well.
You won’t need to pay anything for the modem, as you pay an upfront cost for it when signing up to an ABB NBN plan. The modem is yours.
Shipping costs are applied to modems, Fetch TV boxes and any other hardware you may need for your service. These are set at AU$15 for standard shipping, AU$20 for express and AU$25 for courier.
If you have an FTTN or FTTC connection at your property, and you currently have a home phone line but haven’t yet connected to the NBN, then when you do, you will need to sacrifice the copper phone line so that the NBN connection can take over. If you wish to keep a landline phone, you will need to switch to a VoIP service.
However, if your property happens to have two phone lines going into it, you can select to keep a home landline service on one, and NBN on the other. This will incur a service fee of AU$297. The second phone line will still eventually be disconnected, however, 18 months from the time NBN went live in your area.
The service fee and 18-month disconnection period aren’t exclusive to Aussie Broadband. Any internet service provider (ISP) that offers a home phone service will abide by the same terms and conditions.
- Exceptional customer support
- Staff available seven days a week
So, you’ve come this far into the review – you’re liking what you’re reading and Aussie Broadband seems like it could be a good fit for your household. But, what is it actually like to deal with as a customer? Fortunately, you should have nothing to worry about, as Aussie Broadband consistently rates highly with current customers.
ABB’s big selling point is its Australian-based support team and on ProductReview.com.au, the telco scores 4.6 stars out of 5 for customer service, based on 5,155 reviews from a total of 7,287.
It’s pretty simple to get support for anything you might need, as there is a phone number, online live chat and even a companion app that could provide the answers you seek. Customers can call Aussie Broadband on 1300 880 905 between the hours of 8am and midnight, seven days a week and then be asked to be put through to one of four teams: sales, technical support, service delivery and business service delivery. Opening hours for each team differ, so be sure to check on Aussie Broadband’s website before you call.
The My Aussie App, available for Android and iOS should be your first port of call before contacting Aussie Broadband directly however, as it can prove to be exceptionally helpful. With the app, you’re able to manage your account settings, edit your payment details or set up a payment plan, view your data usage and calculate how much phone calls are costing you (if you take out the optional phone service), and even raise support tickets with the technical support team.
If you think your connection has suffered an outage, you can log into the app to check any outages in your area (you will need an active mobile data connection to do this) and if you find your plan either isn’t quite fast enough for your household (or perhaps it’s too fast), then you can change it within the app too.
Aussie Broadband FAQ
Is Aussie Broadband Australian-owned?
Yes, Aussie Broadband is an Australian-owned telco founded by Phillip Britt & John Reisinger in 2008, and which started providing NBN services in 2017. The company's headquarters are in Morwell, Victoria.
Is Aussie Broadband a good NBN provider?
We think so, yes. Aussie Broadband regularly scores highly with customers for its exceptional level of technical support. Aussie Broadband also offers NBN plans across all speed tiers, and even includes some extras as part of a 'build your own plan' feature.
Aussie Broadband NBN plans are a little more expensive than the majority of other providers, but you receive a reliable service with five-star customer support in return.
Max is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, where he covers all things internet-related, including NBN and the emerging alternatives, along with audio and visual products such as headphones and TVs. Max started his career in his homeland of England, where he spent time working for What Hi-Fi? and Pocket-lint, before moving to Australia in 2018.