What you need to know
Optus is Australia’s second largest telecommunications provider (or ‘telco’), and has over a million customers across Australia on its various home and business internet plans. But what is its NBN service like, and are Optus NBN plans good value?
Optus NBN plans start at $85 a month for unlimited data and 50Mbps speeds that are enough for streaming video, uploading photos or downloading from the ‘net, and the fastest 100Mbps speed option is an additional $30 per month.
In a nutshell, Optus’s NBN plans are more expensive than the competition, but come with a good range of extras like live football streaming, a TV set-top box, and a home phone line. Speeds are fast, too, even during busy times and peak streaming hours.
If fast speeds and sport are most important to you, then Optus NBN is your best pick.
Optus NBN unlimited data plans
Optus has recently changed its NBN plans to include unlimited data on every plan, from the cheapest to the most expensive on offer. Unlimited data means you don’t have any quota or usage cap on your internet service, after which you’d be charged extra.
This is a great feature for peace of mind, since you know that you can stream video or download content to your heart’s content without having to keep tabs on your usage or download less at the end of each month. It does cost a little more for that convenience, though – if you can manage your data, a cheaper plan with a data limit might be better.
How fast is Optus NBN?
Like other NBN service providers, Optus offers a range of plans and speeds, starting at the Standard Plus Evening Speed tier – also known as NBN50, or a 50Mbps connection speed. You can also pay extra for Premium Evening Speed – NBN100 or 100Mbps downloads
Similar to other telcos that sell NBN plans, Optus doesn’t promise you’ll always get the maximum speed available during busy periods. Its typical evening speeds are around 80 per cent of the maximum speed tiers – 40Mbps on its NBN50 plan and 80Mbps on NBN100 plans.
Speed tests run by the ACCC show that during busy hours – usually between 7PM to 11PM in the evening, when more people are at home and using the internet – Optus delivers around 90 per cent of its advertised speeds. This is a good result, and Optus has some of the fastest NBN plans in this testing scheme.
The best value Optus NBN plan for families
We think the best Optus plan for families is probably the $85 Bundle Plan, which includes unlimited data for $85 a month over a 24-month contract. We like this plan because it includes the option to add on a Fetch Mini set-top box for an extra $5 per month, which gives you access to some great streaming TV services and the bundled Optus Sport subscription.
The main advantage of this plan is its included unlimited data, which means no need to worry about how much data you’re using at any point during the month. The included Basic speed pack, which operates at the 50Mbps speed tier, should give you speeds fast enough to share amongst a family even during busy evening periods.
Optus NBN Customer Service
In the last few years, Optus has had a rise in the number of complaints about it to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), the government group that deals with telco disputes. In general, though, Optus has a pretty solid reputation and a long history of customer service in Australia – and that means you should be able to solve your problem quickly and by talking to a real human.
Optus’s customer service for its NBN plans includes:
- A broadband specialist customer service team on 1300 205 624
- General customer service, available Monday to Friday 8AM to 7PM, on 13 39 37
- Live chat through the Optus website, available 24/7
- A Yes Crowd support forum where other Optus users can help
Optus NBN Fetch TV and Home Phone plans
All Optus’s NBN bundles include a Wi-Fi AC modem that hooks up to all kinds of NBN connections, so you can get up and running as soon as your home or business’s NBN connection is ready to go. You’ll also get an unlimited data allowance on all plans, so you don’t have to worry about hitting your data cap and getting charged an extra fee for excess usage.
If having a home phone is important to you, Optus includes a phone line through the NBN at no extra cost with all its NBN plans. There’s no way to remove home phone service to lower the cost, though.
If you sign up with Optus, you’ll also get an Optus Sport subscription included free with each plan – its main draw-cards are over 1000 live English Premier League football matches each season as well as a variety of other international leagues, but it doesn’t have any other sporting codes like basketball, rugby or motorsports.
Cheaper Optus NBN plans let you add on a Fetch Mini set-top box for an additional $5 a month, but you’ll get a Fetch Mighty box free if you’re buying its more expensive NBN50 and NBN100 bundles. Fetch is a streaming TV service that runs on the NBN, with different live TV channels and premium packs for kids, documentaries, sport and lifestyle, or drama content. Fetch starts at $6 per month for each of its streaming packs or $20 for all four.
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 for you above or below on this page
- 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.