If you’re looking for a consistent NBN experience, your best bet is looking for a “congestion-free” plan, which has typical evening speeds that match its speed tier. For example, you’ll get 100Mbps on an NBN 100 plan and 50Mbps on an NBN 50 plan. This means these plans shouldn’t see any slowdown, no matter what time of day.
Before we look at congestion-free NBN plans, it’s important to note that individual circumstances can prevent you from achieving the typical evening speeds advertised. In-home wiring and your equipment can all impact your download speeds, as can abnormally high usage in your area. There have also been providers that have once advertised congestion-free typical evening speeds but then reduced speed guidance down the track.
With that out of the way, here are the cheapest congestion-free NBN plans that are currently available.
This article has been updated since it was first published.
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The cheapest, congestion-free NBN 50 plans
Many providers now offer NBN 50 plans with typical evening speeds of 50Mbps. Even on the budget side, it’s easy to find an NBN 50 plan that shouldn’t slow down during peak hours. Unfortunately, some FTTN connections can’t even get full NBN 50 speeds.
Dodo is currently one of the cheapest options: you’ll pay $53.80 per month for your first six months. The price jumps rather significantly after, going up to $75 per month. You can however save a further $10 per month if you’re in NSW or Victoria and also get your gas and electricity from Dodo.
Exetel has a similar offer where you’ll pay $53.99 per month for your first six months and $74.99 per month thereafter. Exetel’s NBN 50 plan also gives you five free speed boosts to NBN 100 per month. Each speed boost lasts a single day and could be great if you want to download a game quicker but don’t normally need a faster speed tier. Speed boosts are only available to those on HFC, FTTP, and FTTN connections, however.
Tangerine is another great pick if you’re looking for a no-frills provider. You’ll pay $59.90 per month for your first six months and $79.90 per month after that. Tangerine also has the benefit of having a risk-free trial period. If you’re not happy during your first two weeks, you can get a full refund of your plan fees.
The cheapest, congestion-free NBN 100 plans
If you’re after an NBN 100 plan with typical evening speeds of 100Mbps, there aren’t quite as many options to pick from. The internet providers currently reporting maximum speeds of the NBN 100 speed tier are Belong, Exetel, Optus, Southern Phone, SpinTel, Swoop and Telstra.
It’s also worth noting that FTTN connections need to be within 400m of a node to even have a shot of achieving NBN 100 speeds.
Exetel is the cheapest option here, charging $68.99 per month for your first six months and $84.99 per month after. As with its NBN 50 plan, you’ll get five free speed boosts to NBN 250 per month. You’ll have to be on an FTTP or HFC connection to take advantage of these, however.
SpinTel has pretty similar pricing. You’re looking at $69 per month for your first six months and then $79.95 per month thereafter.
Southern Phone costs a bit more than the two aforementioned plans, but it has the benefit of a year-long discount period, instead of the usual six months most internet providers are offering. You’ll pay $75 per month for your first 12 months and $85 per month after that.
The cheapest, congestion-free NBN 250 plans
At present, the only internet providers that are advertising NBN 250 plans with typical evening speeds of 250Mbps are Southern Phone, Swoop and Telstra
Swoop currently has the cheapest plan of the trio, which will set you back $84 per month for the first six months you’re connected. After this discount period ends, the cost of Swoop’s plan will increase to $119 per month.
Up next is Southern Phone, which is offering to discount your NBN 250 plan for the first 12 months you’re with the provider. You’ll pay $95 per month for your first year and then $115 per month after that. Of these three providers, Southern Phone has the cheapest full-price NBN 250 plan.
Telstra‘s NBN 250 plan will set you back $115 per month for your first six months and $135 per month thereafter. As a bonus, Telstra will also chuck in two free months of Binge and four months of Spotify Premium for free.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.
Image: Universal Pictures
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