Optus NBN review

Paying premium has its perks.

4 out of 5 stars

"Optus is an expensive NBN provider, sure, but what you get for your money is worth it for many people"

Kate Reynolds
Digital Content Editor
Read More
February 24, 2022
4 min read
Quick verdict

Optus offers plenty of perks and bonuses, such as football streaming (Optus Sport), a TV set-top box bundle (Fetch) and earned the top spot for consistency in ACCC's Measuring Broadband Australia program (February 2020). But you pay a premium for those features, and overall, Optus NBN suffers the same low customer satisfaction as every major telco.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet Top-tier speeds
Pro Bullet Bonus perks like Optus Sport
Con Heading
Con Bullet Expensive plans
Con Bullet Low customer satisfaction

Optus NBN value for money

Only expensive if you want the bonus bundles and perks.

Optus has always maintained a tight balance of quality and price. Almost as expensive as Telstra, with a large mobile network and appealing bonuses to back it up. But with the rollout of the NBN and more internet providers in Australia than ever before, it's worth re-evaluating the value of a premium provider like Optus.

When you build an Optus NBN plan, prices start at $79 for NBN 50 or $99 for NBN 100. The base plan for each tier gets you internet, an Optus Ultra WiFi Modem and Optus Sport. The next plan up (an extra $10 per month) adds an Optus Ultra WiFi Booster and Optus WiFi Secure, while the top plan ($109 per month) includes a Fetch Mighty PVR set-top box and one Premium Fetch channel pack (valued at $6 per month). There are also NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans for eligible households, though these will cost you significantly more.

While not the most expensive plans, there are cheaper plans available, especially for the NBN 100 speed tier. Take a look at how the cheapest NBN 100 plans stack up below.

However, we'd be remiss to discuss speed without giving props for Optus NBN's performance in the ACCC broadband speed testing program. In April 2020, Optus tied with TPG for the top spot for delivering the most accurate advertised download speeds to its customers. That doesn't necessarily mean it has the fastest speeds but it does mean it has been the most consistent.

Here's a small handful of the fastest self-reported NBN speeds, sorted by NBN 50 plans. To change speed tiers, simply click the drop-down box in the top-left corner.

Optus NBN coverage

Wondering if you'll even get Optus NBN at your address? There's an easy way to find out. Pop your address into the below search bar, and it'll tell you what internet options are available at your home.

Optus NBN features

Bonus Optus Sport subscription and Fetch bundles.

Broadband bundles used to be a huge value add for customers but they're becoming a bit of a relic. There are a few providers who will allow you pay off a Fetch box with your monthly bill but its rare you'll get a bundle 'bonus' or 'freebie'. That said, Optus does offer the closest thing with its NBN, home phone and internet bundles. Basically, a phone service can be added for $0 p/m (PAYG) or $10 p/m (with specified call inclusions), plus you'll get Optus Sport and OS Fitness bundled into the plan.

Here's a short list of alternative providers offering Fetch bundles.

But it's not all about bundles; Optus scores so highly for perks and features because it also offers online account management (and the My Optus app), a bundled modem at no extra cost, discounted international calls, and perks like cheap movie tickets, buy-one-get-one-free deals on experiences and more regular discounts.

Who owns Optus?

Optus may be the 2nd largest telco in Australia, but in 2001 it was bought by Singaporean telco company Singtel, which remains its parent company. Singtel is one of four major telco companies in Singapore

Optus NBN support and satisfaction

Loads of avenues for support but quite a few cranky customers.

As one of Australia's largest telcos and over 600,000 broadband customers alone, there's something to be said about the telco's infrastructure. Optus has just about every customer support avenue you can think of; live chat, in-app chat, phone support, brick-and-mortar stores, customer forums and responsive Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The problem is, there's something else to say about Optus' customer support, and its customers are saying it, regularly.  On user-generated review aggregator Trustpilot, Optus has a 1 out 5-star rating based on 396 reviews and Optus Broadband, specifically, has a 1.6 out of 5-star rating based on 2,936 reviews on Product Review. Telstra is sitting at roughly the same score, around 1.7 to 1.8.

This is no big surprise. Angry telco customers are often the loudest, and most people who are perfectly satisfied with their service don't go online to leave a review.

Unless you're one of the smaller players, like Aussie Broadband, which is currently rated 4.5 out of 5 out of 5 based on 3,537 reviews. That's an incredibly impressive effort. 92% of the users who rated Aussie were satisfied with their speeds and the customer service alone has a 4.6-star average.

Here's a few of Aussie's most popular broadband plans if you're thinking of making a new friend in the broadband space.

How do I sign up for Optus NBN?

Getting signed up to Optus NBN is simple, especially if you already know which plan is the best for your needs. If you want to get started on the NBN with Optus, it’s a straightforward process:

  • Find the right plan in the table below
  • Check that your address is eligible for Optus NBN
  • Choose between a month-to-month plan or a 24-month contract
  • Select any additional extras like a Fetch set-top box
  • You’re done!

How long it takes to activate your NBN service with Optus is a bit of a guessing game. If your NBN connection has already been installed in your home, switching over to Optus should be fast, but if you have to wait for a technician, it may take a few weeks or months – Optus will let you know when to expect your NBN to become available after you order.

You’ll be sent an email confirmation and an SMS with your installation date, and a few days later Optus will deliver your included Wi-Fi modem to your address. From there, it’s just a matter of giving technicians access on the installation date to connect the NBN if needed, and hooking up your Wi-Fi modem to the NBN connection point in your home.

Optus Ultra Wi-Fi modem

The Optus Ultra Wi-Fi modem comes with 4G backup, with capped speeds of 25Mbps. It's included in your plan for free; the catch is that you'll need to sign up - and stay with - the Optus plan for 36 months. Basically, it’s enabled with 'Connect Protect technology', which pops you onto the Optus 4G network if there's a problem with your NBN connection for whatever reason.

To buy it outright, it'll cost you $252, so it ain't cheap - in fact it's the most expensive branded option for a modem coming from a major provider.

It also struggles to cover large spaces, so it's worth comparing a few modems to find one that suits your needs.

With Optus NBN plans, if you're looking for more add-ons, you can also opt to include a Wi-Fi booster to help boost the coverage of your connection and Optus Wi-Fi Secure, which can help protect against online threats. Some plans even have these included, but like the modem, you'll need to stay connected for a full 36 month plan.

Kate Reynolds
Written by
Kate Reynolds
Kate Reynolds is a writer who's at her happiest when there's haloumi on the brunch menu and a dog to give pats to. She's worked as a travel writer, journalist, theatre reviewer, broadcaster and radio creative, and spends her weekends with as much of the aforementioned haloumi and dogs as possible. She writes on Cammeraygal and Wangal land.

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