The best performing NBN providers according to ACCC data

The ACCC tracks 10 NBN providers. Here’s how they stack up according to the latest quarterly broadband report.

January 11, 2022
7 min read

Every quarter, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) releases a report as part of its Measuring Broadband Australia program. This ACCC NBN report includes data for 10 Australian providers (11 if you separate Dodo and iPrimus, which the ACCC records together), primarily offering insights into how providers perform in terms of download and speeds during the internet’s nightly busy hours.

The report also breaks down daily outages, average download speeds, as well as more granular details such as webpage loading times, latency and even packet loss. In 2021, the ACCC also started tracking Fixed Wireless information. The breakdown of information below is intended to help inform the best NBN providers, the best NBN plans and the best Fixed Wireless NBN plans.

ACCC NBN providers

Not so long ago, the ACCC was tracking nine providers, but Superloop was added to the comparison to round it at out at 10, with the ACCC recording Dodo and iPrimus data together. Below is the full list of providers currently tracked by the ACCC as part of its reporting (and links to corresponding NBN plans reviews):

Below is a daily updating list of the most popular NBN plans from the providers tracked as part of the ACCC’s quarterly reports.

ACCC broadband speed guidance

The ACCC providers guidance for how providers are allowed to advertise speeds for fixed-line NBN plans. Fixed-line NBN plans are mainly found in metro areas and include Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC), Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) and Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN). You can find out which NBN technology is available at your home by inputting your address in the tool below (click on the blue ‘Search’ button then tap or hover over the information ‘i’ button to see your NBN technology).

In terms of the ACCC NBN speed guidelines, fixed-line providers can only self-report typical evening download speeds, which are the download speeds you can expect to reach between 7:00pm and 11:00pm every night. This offers a fairer representation of download speeds, as these are the hours that most people tend to be online—it’s called the internet’s busy period for a reason—and you can usually expect download speeds to improve outside of these times.

For homes connected to the NBN via FTTB or FTTN technologies, you can also request that your provider explains the maximum attainable download speed. Every metro home using fixed-line NBN can also expect a speedy rectification of speed problems once flagged with a provider.

Though the plan names haven’t been updated to reflect the new NBN Co terminology for corresponding plans, the ACCC outlines minimum speed expectations for common speed tiers as follows (set at 60% of max potential download speeds):

  • Less than 15Mbps for basic needs (NBN 12 plans)
  • Minimum 15Mbps for NBN 25 plans
  • Minimum 30Mbps for NBN 50 plans
  • Minimum 60Mbps for NBN 100 plans

For context, we’ve put these speed minimums next to the average self-reported typical evening download speeds for the providers we track in our comparison engine.

NBN plan
ACCC minimum evening speeds (60% of max)
Average provider evening speeds
Max download speeds
Percentage of max download speed
NBN 12Less than 15Mbps12Mbps 12Mbps100%
NBN 2515Mbps24.44Mbps25Mbps~98%
NBN 5030Mbps49.42Mbps50Mbps~99%
NBN 10060Mbps94.26Mbps100Mbps~94%
NBN 250N/A200.4Mbps250Mbps~80%
NBN 1000N/A345Mbps990Mbps~35%

ACCC NBN plan speeds during busy hours

The table below is a breakdown of the information available on the ACCC broadband performance data webpage, which offers a percentage breakdown of download speeds for the busy hours, busiest hour as well as upload speeds during the busy hours. Note that the third column highlights what the download speed percentages is like if you don’t include homes that are unable to achieve maximum plan speeds (like FTTN homes). The percentage changes, down or up, are relative to the Q3 September 2021 results.

Provider
"Download speeds (busy hours, all)"
"Download speeds (busy hours, selective)"
Download speeds (busiest hour)
Upload speeds (busy hours)
Aussie Broadband97.5% (down 1.5%)95.40%93.1% (down 1.2%)82.4% (no change)
Dodo & iPrimus100.1% (up 4.9%)97.10%95.3% (up 6.1%)85% (up 2.5%)
Exetel102.7% (up 0.5%)101%96.9% (up 0.6%)91% (up 2.1%)
iiNet98% (down 0.7%)94.70%93.4% (down 0.7%)83.4% (up 1.4%)
MyRepublic100.4% (up 0.1%)98.10%93.2% (down 1.3%)86.3% (down 1.4%)
Optus102.9% (up 1.2%)101.60%99% (up 4.2%)87.5% (up 2.4%)
Superloop96.1% (down 0.9%)94.40%88.4% (down 3.3%)86% (down 0.4%)
Telstra102.2% (down 0.9%)98.90%96.6% (down 1%)85.5% (down 0.1%)
TPG100.6% (down 1.5%)96.80%94.9% (down 1.4%)84% (down 1%)
Vodafone98.9% (down 1.3%)93.90%90.8% (up 0.8%)85.4% (down 1.7%)

When it comes to download speeds, Optus is again the clear winner of the last quarter, snatching the pole position for busy hours (all and selective) as well as busiest hours. Exetel and Telstra aren’t far behind, though, in any of these download percentage changes. The combined entry of Dodo & iPrimus deserves a nod as most improved, with a 4.9% improvement during the busy hours and a 6.1% boost during the busiest hour.

  • First: Optus (102.9%/101.6% download speeds)
  • Second: Exetel (102.7%/101% download speeds)
  • Third: Telstra (102.2%/98.9% download speeds)

The last time we updated this page, no provider managed to crack 90% for upload speeds during busy hours. This time, though, Exetel is the only one to do it, with 91% upload speeds during busy hours. The most improved again is Exetel with a 2.5% boost (albeit ranking nine out of 10). In terms of winners, Exetel snatches the top spot, Optus is in second and MyRepublic takes the bronze.

  • First: Exetel (91% upload speeds)
  • Second: Optus (87.5% upload speeds)
  • Third: MyRepublic (86.3% upload speeds)

ACCC NBN provider daily outages

The table below shows the average number of daily outages that lasted longer than 30 seconds, not including any outages that occurred between midnight and 6:00am (which is when maintenance and upgrades tend to happen). Average outages are separated into ‘all’ from the tracked providers as well as ‘selective’ (not counting services not able to achieve max plan speeds), then compared to the same metrics from the quarter ending August 2021. Lower numbers are better.

Provider
Average daily outages Q4 (all)
Average daily outages Q4 (selective)
Average daily outages Q3 (all)
Average daily outages Q3 (selective)
Aussie Broadband0.49 (up 0.1)0.5 (up 0.09)0.390.41
Dodo & iPrimus0.14 (up 0.02)0.13 (up 0.01)0.120.12
Exetel1.17 (up 1.03)1.18 (up 1.05)0.140.13
iiNet0.38 (up 0.22)0.33 (up 0.17)0.160.16
MyRepublic0.2 (up 0.1)0.2 (up 0.1)0.10.1
Optus0.16 (down 0.03)0.16 (up 0.03)0.190.19
Superloop0.37 (up 0.1)0.33 (up 0.05)0.270.28
Telstra0.25 (up 0.06)0.23 (up 0.04)0.190.19
TPG0.44 (up 0.29)0.47 (up 0.33)0.150.14
Vodafone0.3 (up 0.18)0.28 (up 0.18)0.120.1

The standout, and not in a good way, is Exetel, whose daily outages have gone from the third-best among this list of ACCC-tracked providers to noticeably the worst. This shuffle-up between quarters has allowed Dodo & iPrimus to nab the top spot, closely followed by the least number of outages from Optus and MyRepublic. Unlike the last time we updated this article, iiNet and Aussie Broadband aren’t in the top three anymore (both are now towards the bottom three for outages).

  • First: Dodo & iPrimus (0.14/0.13 daily outages)
  • Second: Optus (0.16/0.16 daily outages)
  • Third: MyRepublic (0.2/0.2 daily outages)

ACCC NBN plan speeds by NBN technology and plan type

The ACCC also tracks plan speeds delivered during the busy nightly hours in terms of four fixed-line technology types: FTTP, FTTN, HFC and FTTC. These figures show not a whole lot has changed between quarters, albeit there is a slight decrease for FTTP (down 0.1%) and a 1% decrease for FTTC homes. Higher percentages are better.

NBN technology
All services Q4
Max speed services Q4
All services Q3
Max speed services Q3
FTTP102% (down 0.1%)103% (no change)103%103%
FTTN92% (no change)97% (no change)92%97%
HFC102% (no change)103% (no change)102%103%
FTTC100% (down 1%)100% (down 1%)101%101%

Meanwhile, the table below tracks the average NBN download speeds during the nightly busy hours in terms of NBN 25, NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans. While the average speeds for NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans have remained identical, NBN 25 speeds are down by 1Mbps.

NBN technology
Q4 2021
Q3 2021
NBN 2525Mbps (down 1Mbps)26Mbps
NBN 5049Mbps (no change)49Mbps
NBN 10095Mbps (no change)95Mbps

ACCC NBN Ultrafast speeds

The ACCC also tracks speeds for those homes that have signed up to NBN 1000 plans, which have a download speed range of between 500Mbps and 990Mbps as well as max upload speeds of 50Mbps. This is the third quarter that NBN 1000 figures have been tracked, and you can see the averages in the table below.

NBN Ultrafast/b>
NBN Ultrafast Q4 speeds
NBN Ultrafast Q3 speeds
NBN Ultrafast Q2 speeds
Download speeds (all hours)765Mbps (up 84Mbps)681Mbps (up 10.9Mbps)670.1Mbps
Download speeds (busy hours)717Mbps (up 69Mbps)648Mbps (up 8Mbps)640Mbps
Upload speeds (all hours)45Mbps (no change)45Mbps (up 0.1Mbps)44.9Mbps
Upload speeds (busy hours)44Mbps (down 1Mbps)45Mbps (up 0.3Mbps)44.7Mbps

While the download speed improvements between Q2 2021 and Q3 were admirable, they’re completely blown away in Q4. For FTTP and select HFC homes with NBN 1000 plans, expect faster speeds to the tune of an average 84Mbps bump during the day and a 69Mbps boost at night. That said, there was a 1Mbps dip in upload speeds during the busy hours.

ACCC NBN latency and webpage loading times

While download speeds are a critical measurement for determining the value of an NBN plan, there are other factors that aren’t typically advertised by providers. The ACCC tracks average webpage loading times, and the table below shows how the tracked providers rank (shorter times are better). Webpage loading times continue to improve across the board, but Telstra still has the edge with the fastest webpage loading times.

Provider
Webpage loading time Q4
Webpage loading time Q3
Webpage loading time Q2
Webpage loading time Q1
Aussie Broadband3.1 seconds (down 0.5 seconds)3.6 seconds (down 0.1 seconds)3.7 seconds (down 0.5 seconds)4.2 seconds
Dodo & iPrimus3.1 seconds (down 0.5 seconds)3.6 seconds (down 0.3 seconds)3.9 seconds (down 0.4 seconds)4.3 seconds
Exetel3 seconds (down 0.6 seconds)3.6 seconds (down 0.1 seconds)3.7 seconds (down 0.5 seconds)4.2 seconds
iiNet3.1 seconds (down 0.6 seconds)3.7 seconds (no change)3.7 seconds (down 0.5 seconds)4.2 seconds
MyRepublic3.2 seconds (down 0.5 seconds)3.7 seconds (down 0.3 seconds)4 seconds (down 0.4 seconds)4.4 seconds
Optus3 seconds (down 0.7 seconds)3.7 seconds (down 0.2 seconds)3.9 seconds (down 0.3 seconds)4.2 seconds
Superloop3 seconds (down 0.6 seconds)3.6 seconds (down 0.3 seconds)3.8 seconds (down 0.5 seconds)4.3 seconds
Telstra2.9 seconds (down 0.5 seconds)3.4 seconds (down 0.1 seconds)3.5 seconds (down 0.4 seconds)3.9 seconds
TPG3.2 seconds (down 0.5 seconds)3.7 seconds (down 0.2 seconds)3.9 seconds (down 0.3 seconds)4.2 seconds
Vodafone3.1 seconds (down 0.6 seconds)3.7 seconds (down 0.4 seconds)4.1 seconds (down 0.3 seconds)4.4 seconds
  • First: Telstra (2.9 seconds webpage loading time)
  • Second: Exetel, Optus, Superloop (all 3 seconds webpage loading time)
  • Third: Aussie Broadband, Dodo & iPrimus, iiNet, Vodafone (all 3.1 seconds webpage loading time)

Admittedly, there’s not much difference in those webpage loading times to warrant a distinct advantage, but latency is very important for those gamers seeking a competitive edge online. The table below charts the average latency time (in milliseconds) for the tracked providers (lower numbers are better).

While all of these latencies are great—even MyRepublic’s outlier average, which is more than double some of the lowest ACCC-tracked latencies—and have improved across the board, Vodafone takes out the top spot for Q4 2021 with an enviable 8.8ms latency.

Provider
Latency Q4
Latency Q3
Latency Q2
Latency Q1
Aussie Broadband9.6ms (down 0.3ms)9.9ms (no change)9.9ms (up 0.3ms)9.6ms
Dodo & iPrimus10ms (up 0.3ms)9.7ms (down 0.4ms)10.1ms (down 0.9ms)11ms
Exetel9.7ms (down 0.5ms)11.2ms (down 1.3ms)12.5ms (up 0.3ms)12.2ms
iiNet10ms (down 2ms)12ms (up 0.9ms)11.1ms (up 0.5ms)10.6ms
MyRepublic19.6ms (down 0.8ms)20.4ms (up 0.3ms)20.1ms (down 0.4ms)20.5ms
Optus10.6ms (down 0.3ms)10.9ms (down 1.2ms)12.1ms (up 1.4ms)10.7ms
Superloop9.8ms (down 0.2ms)10ms (up 0.8ms)9.2ms (down 0.3ms)9.5ms
Telstra10.4ms (down 0.3ms)10.7ms (no change)10.7ms (up 0.4ms)10.3ms
TPG10.1ms (down 1.4ms)11.5ms (up 1.3ms)10.2ms (down 0.3ms)10.5ms
Vodafone8.8ms (down 1ms)9.8ms (up 0.3ms)9.5ms (down 0.9ms)10.4ms
  • First: Vodafone (8.8ms latency)
  • Second: Aussie Broadband (9.6ms latency)
  • Third: Exetel (9.7ms latency)

The ACCC also tracks packet loss, which you definitely don’t want as it has the potential to impact real-time online tasks such as videoconferencing, online gaming and media streaming. Thankfully, the 0% frequency of packet loss is still quite high, even if it continues to trend the wrong way: 89.2% in Q1 2021, 88.3% in Q2, 87.9% in Q3 and 87.3% in Q4. Still, all of these values are a noticeable improvement over the 80.1% value from Q4 2020.

ACCC NBN Fixed Wireless performance data

The ACCC notes that Fixed Wireless NBN is closer to mobile broadband than fixed-line internet, and the nature of the technology makes it more prone to slower speeds due to distance, line of sight, weather conditions and network congestion.

For its tracking, the ACCC uses regular Fixed Wireless (NBN 25) and Fixed Wireless Plus, which is an NBN 50-like plan type that can burst above 50Mbps and reach speeds of up to 75Mbps (the ACCC treats it a plan capable of 50Mbps download speeds). While not provider-specific, the table below breaks down the percentage of maximum plan speeds for Fixed Wireless NBN.

Q4 2021
Q3 2021
Q2 2021
Q1 2021
Download percentage (all hours)89% (up 5%)84% (up 3%)81% (up 2%)79%
Download percentage (busy hours)74% (up 2%)72% (up 1%)71% (up 3%)68%
Upload percentage (all hours)56% (up 3%)53% (down 2%)55% (down 3%)58%
Upload percentage (busy hours)45% (down 2%)47% (down 1%)48% (down 4%)52%

Upload speeds are up for all hours by 5% between Q3 2021 and Q4, and up 10% from Q1; there’s also a 2% speed improvement during busy hours between Q3 and Q4, with a 6% boost from Q1. Download speeds still aren’t flash, though: up 3% between Q3 and Q4, but still 2% below where they were at in Q1, while upload speeds during the busy hours continue to degrade.

ACCC NBN June 2021 Q2 provider scores

Taking the relevant metrics into account for the providers that the ACCC track, then allocating points based on first (three points), second (two points) or third place (one point) ranking for the relevant categories, we get to see which providers come out on top in the Q4 report.

Optus takes out the top spot with nine points, thanks to a gold medal for download speeds as well as silver-medal placements for upload speeds, outages and webpage loading times. Exetel is nipping at the heels of Optus with eight points, spread across second placements for download speeds and webpage loading times, top marks for upload speeds and third place for best latency.

Third place is a four-point draw between Telstra and Vodafone. For Telstra, it’s first place for webpage loading time and third place for downloads. And for Vodafone, it’s first place for latency and third place for webpage loading times. It’s worth noting that MyRepublic, Dodo & iPrimus, and Aussie Broadband were just behind with three points apiece.

If you take all scores into account, ranging from first to last placement, here’s how the ACCC NBN provider ranking fares:

  1. Optus
  2. Telstra
  3. Exetel
  4. Dodo & iPrimus
  5. MyRepublic
  6. Vodafone
  7. TPG
  8. iiNet
  9. Superloop
  10. Aussie Broadband
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

Related Articles

Commbank app
CommBank customers get an exclusive discount on these NBN plans
Dollarmites assemble! More Telecom has partnered with the Commonwealth Bank to give customers 30% off...
Galaxy A53 5G
Samsung Galaxy A53 review: Just right
Samsung's Galaxy A53 5G is a good phone for a good price.
Photograph of a woman using a computer on a red background
Best NBN providers in Australia
We've scored every Australian NBN provider and listed your best options for every use case.