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How we rate NBN providers

Picking a fast, reliable NBN provider can be a time sink. So we did the hard work for you.

Joe Hanlon
Feb 22, 2020
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NBN provider star rating

Collecting useful information about an internet service provider can be tricky, but is essential to helping you find a service you can rely on.

The introduction of the NBN in Australia has added dozens upon dozens of new service providers, and has made the job of choosing one that much harder.

To review NBN providers we've decided to collect a number of important data points about each company, weight these facts and figures, and ultimately come up with a star rating system. We focus on the following things:

  • NBN average evening speeds
  • Available customer support channels
  • Features and additional services
  • Value for money

Our scoring system gives preference to connection speeds and value for money, as we think these factors are most important. Customer support and plan features still play a significant role and make sure that our rating system doesn't simply favour providers with low price points.

Average NBN evening speeds are one of the best ways to compare the performance of an NBN internet provider, and thanks to ACCC recommendations, the providers now include this data on their websites. Though you'll find that it can be difficult to find these average speeds when the numbers don't look very good.

Value for money we derive from the cost of plans on offer and how it compares with similar plans from competing providers. We look at plans from across the speed spectrum and try to build an average picture of whether a provider is good value for money or not.

Customer support is something most people ask about when assessing a provider, but it is extremely difficult to settle on an answer. Two customers of the same provider may find they have very different experiences with customer support, making neither particularly reliable indicator of the service. Instead we judge the investment a company makes in customer support by looking at how many different ways you can ask for help, and how many hours per day you can connect with them. Most providers offer phone and email support, but only some have online chat services and stores you can visit.

We also give consideration to the types of bonuses, perks and extra features provider by a provider for its customers. Most NBN plans are sold 'no-frills', so TV bundles, and customer perk programs are rare and worth calling out.

The combination of these elements give us an overview of what an NBN internet provider has an offer and are good indicators of what you should expect. This isn't too say that we can guarantee excellent performance from our highest rated providers, but on average you should get a reliable service at a fair price if you follow our recommendations.

Joe Hanlon
Written by
Joe Hanlon
Joe has been reviewing tech and gadgets for over a decade having worked at CNET, TechRadar and telco comparison site WhistleOut.

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