The best performing NBN providers according to ACCC data

The ACCC tracks 11 NBN providers. Here’s how they stack up according to the latest quarterly broadband report.

July 12, 2022
8 min read

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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 11 Australian providers (12 if you separate Dodo and iPrimus, which the ACCC records together), primarily offering insights into how NBN 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.

Of the 12 providers tracked by the ACCC as part of this program, we track 11 of them. At the time of updating this article, Launtel was the only NBN provider not in our comparison engine.

Which NBN providers are tracked by the ACCC?

Not so long ago, the ACCC was tracking 10 providers, but Launtel was added to the comparison to boost the count to 11. Below is the full list of providers currently tracked by the ACCC as part of its reporting:

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
Speed difference (avg. and max)
NBN 12Less than 15Mbps11.71Mbps12Mbps0.29Mbps
NBN 2515Mbps24.37Mbps25Mbps0.63Mbps
NBN 5030Mbps49Mbps50Mbps1Mbps
NBN 10060Mbps93.59Mbps100Mbps6.41Mbps
NBN 250N/A218.59Mbps250Mbps31.41Mbps
NBN 1000N/A340.45Mbps990Mbps649.55Mbps

Best NBN provider speeds during busy hours

According to the ACCC

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 are like if you don’t include homes that are unable to achieve maximum plan speeds (like some FTTN homes). The percentage changes, faster or slower, are relative to the Q1 March 2022 results.

Provider
Download speeds (busy hours, all)
Download speeds (busy hours, selective)
Download speeds (busiest hour)
Upload speeds (busy hours)
Aussie Broadband94.8% (0.3% slower)97.7% (0.6% slower)93.5% (0.5% faster)82.3% (0.4% slower)
Dodo & iPrimus97.1% (0.4% faster)99% (0.8% slower)94.4% (0.1% slower)86.1% (1.3% faster)
Exetel102.4% (0.9% slower)103.6% (0.2% slower)100.6% (0.1% faster)88.4% (0.5% slower)
iiNet94.8% (1% slower)99% (0.4% faster)93.4% (1.5% faster)82.9% (0.3% faster)
Launtel98.7% (0.3% faster)100.2% (0.2% slower)94.5% (no change)87.5% (1.2% faster)
MyRepublic84.4% (14.7% slower)86.4% (15.3% slower)73% (22.2% slower)84.1% (1.7% slower)
Optus99.6% (0.4% slower)102.3% (1.1% slower)97.4% (1.6% slower)85.8% (0.5% slower)
Superloop94.3% (1.1% slower)97.2% (0.1% slower)91.2% (0.3% slower)84.9% (0.4% slower)
Telstra98.1% (0.6% slower)101.8% (0.6% slower)96.2% (0.1% faster)84.9% (0.5% slower)
TPG97.9% (1% slower)101.1% (0.2% faster)95.2% (2.3% faster)82% (1.6% slower)
Vodafone95.1% (no change)98.1% (0.2% faster)92.1% (0.5% faster)85.3% (0.8% faster)

The last time we updated this page, Optus was the clear winner for best download speeds during busy hours and the busiest hour each night. This time around, Optus is in second place behind Exetel, the latter of which scored impressive above-100% scores for download speeds, even if Exetel’s overall percentages were slightly slower than the last quarter.

Launtel was third best but, because we don’t track that provider’s plans in our comparison engine, Telstra slips into third for the providers we do track. MyRepublic has slipped since the last quarter’s data, with a 14.7% speed drop during busy hours and a 22.2% reduction in the nightly busiest hour. Here’s how the NBN providers in our database rank in terms of nightly download speeds.

  • First: Exetel (102.4%/100.6% busy hours / busiest hour download speeds)
  • Second: Optus (99.6%/97.4% busy hours / busiest hour download speeds)
  • Third: Telstra (98.1%/96.2% busy hours / busiest hour download speeds)

Upload speeds still aren’t getting as much love from NBN providers as download speeds. Not one NBN provider managed to get above 90% this quarter, even though Exetel is still the best with an 88.4% result (0.5% slower than the March 2022 results). Launtel came in second, which means Dodo & iPrimus get a promotion to second for our results, with 86.1% scores (1.3% faster than last quarter). Meanwhile, Optus isn’t too far behind in our third slot, with an 85.8% score (0.5% slower than last quarter).

  • First: Exetel (88.4% upload speeds during busy hours)
  • Second: Dodo & iPrimus (86.1% upload speeds during busy hours)
  • Third: Optus (85.8% upload speeds during busy hours)
Info Box
Beyond-100% download speeds
Wait a minute. How can NBN providers score about 100% values on their ACCC results? We’re glad you asked. Some NBN providers like Exetel use overprovisioning to give users a better chance of hitting self-reported typical evening download speeds. If you have an NBN 50 plan that has max 50Mbps download speeds, an overprovisioning NBN provider might allocate 52Mbps of download bandwidth (or similar) to help maintain those 50Mbps speeds.

Average daily NBN outages by provider

According to the ACCC

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 March 2022. Lower numbers are better.

Provider
Average daily outages Q2 2022 (all)
Average daily outages Q2 2022 (selective)
Average daily outages Q1 2022 (all)
Average daily outages Q1 2022 (selective)
Aussie Broadband0.42 (up by 0.07)0.44 (up by 0.09)0.350.35
Dodo & iPrimus0.64 (up by 0.25)0.67 (up by 0.26)0.390.41
Exetel0.2 (no change)0.2 (no change)0.20.2
iiNet0.16 (down by 0.05)0.16 (down by 0.06)0.210.22
Launtel0.5 (down by 0.11)0.52 (down by 0.07)0.610.59
MyRepublic0.43 (up by 0.08)0.42 (up by 0.07)0.350.35
Optus0.36 (up by 0.04)0.35 (up by 0.04)0.320.31
Superloop0.63 (up by 0.29)0.63 (up by 0.34)0.340.29
Telstra0.22 (down by 0.01)0.24 (down by 0.01)0.230.25
TPG0.18 (down by 0.22)0.17 (down by 0.22)0.40.39
Vodafone0.45 (up by 0.03)0.47 (up by 0.03)0.420.44

The last time we updated this page, Exetel had dropped from third best for fewest outages to the worst. As of the June 2022 data, Exetel is back in the third spot and not too far behind the fewest outages from iiNet. TPG is in second spot. Surprisingly, Dodo and iPrimus have gone from the fewest outages the last time we updated this article to the most.

  • First: iiNet (0.16/0.16 all/selective daily outages)
  • Second: TPG (0.18/0.17 all/selective daily outages)
  • Third: Exetel (0.2/0.2 all/selective daily outages)
  • First: iiNet (0.16/0.16 all/selective daily outages)
  • Second: TPG (0.18/0.17 all/selective daily outages)
  • Third: Exetel (0.2/0.2 all/selective daily outages)

NBN speeds by technology and plan type

According to the ACCC

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. While not a lot has changed between Q1 and Q2, it’s almost exclusively slower across the board, except for a 0.2% speed improvement for FTTC services.

NBN technology
All services Q2
Max speed services Q2
All services Q1
Max speed services Q1
FTTP101.7% (1.4% slower)102.7% (1% slower)103.10%103.70%
FTTN90.9% (0.8% slower)96.1% (0.8% slower)91.70%96.90%
HFC101.4 (1.5% slower)101.8% (1.2% slower)102.90%103%
FTTC99.5 (0.2% faster)99.9% (0.3% slower)99.30%100.20%
Other superfast networks100 (2% slower)100% (5% slower)102%105%

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. Speeds are slower across the board compared to the first quarter of 2022, but not in a way that’s particularly alarming.

NBN technology
Q2 2022
Q1 2022
NBN 2525.1Mbps (0.3Mbps slower)25.4Mbps
NBN 5048.5Mps (0.2Mbs slower)48.7Mbps
NBN 10094.2Mbps (1.4Mbps slower)95.6Mbps

How do Ultrafast speeds perform in the ACCC's report?

The ACCC also tracks speeds for homes signed up to NBN 1000 plans. These plans have a max download speed range of between 500Mbps and 990Mbps as well as max upload speeds of 50Mbps. You can see the averages in the table below.

NBN Ultrafast
NBN Ultrafast Q2 2022 speeds
NBN Ultrafast Q1 2022 speeds
Download speeds (all hours)774.9Mbps (4.1Mbps slower)779Mbps
Download speeds (busy hours)723.1Mbps (7.8Mbps slower)730.9Mbps
Upload speeds (all hours)45.1Mbps (0.4Mbps slower)45.5Mbps
Upload speeds (busy hours)44Mbps (1.1Mbps slower)45.1Mbps

As with NBN 25, NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans, speeds are slower for NBN Ultrafast connections. Both downloads and uploads have taken a hit compared to the Marc 2022 results, but nothing that you’d consider a major slowdown when you’re dealing with 700Mbps+ downloads and 44Mbps+ uploads.

Best providers for latency and loading times

According to the ACCC

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). It’s great to see that webpage loading times continue to drop across almost every provider. Optus has the edge, but there’s only a 0.1 second difference between first and the three second-place providers—Aussie Broadband, Exetel and Telstra—and 0.2 seconds between first and the dual third-place providers: Dodo & iPrimus, and Superloop.

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: Optus (2.5-second webpage loading times)
  • Second: Aussie Broadband, Exetel, Telstra (2.6-second webpage loading times)
  • Third: Dodo & iPrimus, Superloop (2.7-second webpage loading times)

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).

MyRepublic continues to have latency that’s at least twice as slow as those offered by all NBN competitors tracked by the ACCC (except for Vodafone). Admittedly, MyRepublic’s 23.2ms latency is still good, but it’s beaten by Exetel’s 8.3ms, Superloop’s 8.8ms and Aussie Broadband’s 9.3ms. Anything under 10ms latency is faster than both the global and Australian fixed-line averages for latency (according to the Speedtest Global Index).

Provider
Latency Q2 2022
Latency Q1 2022
Aussie Broadband9.3ms (0.3ms faster)9.6ms
Dodo & iPrimus10.1ms (0.5ms slower)9.6ms
Exetel8.3ms (0.1ms slower)8.2ms
iiNet10.6ms (1ms faster)11.6ms
Launtel11.1ms (0.9ms faster)12ms
MyRepublic23.2ms (2.6ms slower)20.7ms
Optus10.3ms (0.1ms faster)10.4ms
Superloop8.8ms (0.1ms faster)8.9ms
Telstra10.4ms (0.1ms faster)10.5ms
TPG10.2ms (0.2ms faster)10.4ms
Vodafone16.1ms (no change)16.1ms
  • First: Exetel (8.3ms latency)
  • Second: Superloop (8.8ms latency)
  • Third: Aussie Broadband (9.3ms latency)

The ACCC also tracks packet loss, which you don’t want as it has the potential to impact real-time online tasks such as videoconferencing, online gaming and media streaming. It’s great to see that the 0% frequency of packet loss is still present in 86.2% of NBN tests (admittedly, that’s slightly worse by 0.4% compared to Q1 2022).

NBN Fixed Wireless performance data from the ACCC

The ACCC notes that Fixed Wireless NBN is closer to mobile broadband than fixed-line internet, and the nature of the technology makes it 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.

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.

Speed type
Q2 2022
Q1 2022
Download percentage (all hours)92% (1.4% slower)93.40%
Download percentage (busy hours)74.7% (5.1% slower)79.80%
Upload percentage (all hours)61.3% (2.3% faster)59%
Upload percentage (busy hours)59% (10.1% faster)48.90%

It’s a mixed bag for Fixed Wireless this quarter. Download speeds are slower—more noticeably during busy hours than regular hours—but upload speeds have improved, most notably with a 10.1% boost during busy hours.

ACCC NBN provider scores (Q2, June 2022)

We take all of the above into account when scoring NBN providers based on ACCC data. To simplify things, we allocate three points for providers that score the top spot in a category, two points for second and one point for third. Bear in mind that we don’t track Launtel’s plans in our database, which means any of its rankings aren’t counted so we can just focus on all of the other participating NBN providers that we do track. For the full ranking, we tally all placements and organise them accordingly.

There’s no denying the incredible dominance of Exetel across the board. The NBN provider takes out the top spots for download and upload speeds, plus it has the best latency. Exetel also had the third-fewest outages in Q2 2022 data and the second-fastest webpage loading times. Optus takes the second spot care of the fastest webpage loading times and consistent silver medals for NBN plan speeds.

Telstra isn’t too far behind old rival Optus with respectable percentage scores for download and upload speeds as well as fast webpage loading times and a low number of outages. From third, the divide grows, with MyRepublic notably in last place because of its highest average latency and some big hits to download and upload speeds.

Below is the full ranking based on how the scores stack up (note that Aussie Broadband and Dodo & iPrimus had an equal seventh ranking according to our maths):

  1. Exetel
  2. Optus
  3. Telstra
  4. TPG
  5. iiNet
  6. Launtel
  7. Aussie Broadband
  8. Dodo & iPrimus
  9. Superloop
  10. Vodafone
  11. MyRepublic
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.

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