NewSprout Support Articles

nbn™ speed expectations

in NBN

Typical Evening Speeds

Typical evening speeds are between 0.1Mbps and 100Mbps.

You may ask: “Why can we not be specific?”

Answer: Speeds are determined by many factors and this is what the NBN™ say multiple times on their website regarding speed:

nbn™ is a provider of wholesale speeds to internet service providers.

Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside nbn’s control (like your equipment quality, software, broadband plan, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network). Speeds may also be impacted by the number of concurrent users on the nbn™ Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods. Satellite end customers may also experience latency.

What they say is correct but there is even more to add.

There are too many factors in the mix. Therefore if we give you an exact figure for a typical evening speed then we would be misleading you.

We are required by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) to make this info prominent on our website and we couldn’t agree more. However at the same time, we don’t want to mislead anyone in any way.

They are responsible for the regulation of telecommunications, broadcasting and the internet, which includes overseeing compliance with the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code C628:2015 (the TCP Code). The TCP Code sets out rules for carriage service providers that supply telecommunications products and services to residential or small business customers.

The ACMA has undertaken a review of the NBN-related information Retail Service Providers make available to consumers on their websites against the requirements of the TCP Code.

Long story short.

We need to tell you the evening speeds you will expect, which are between 0.1Mbps and 100Mbps Download and the Upload will be between 0.1Mbps and 40Mbps.

As explained above, this all depends on the plan you select, the quality of your copper (in the case of FTTN connections) and the amount of backhaul bandwidth the backhaul providers purchase (who we have to use and who we are dependant upon). We use more than one, yet the same issue exists, they buy the minimum because at the moment the nbn™ cannot sell their infrastructure at a price that is competitive to the rest of the world.

Expectations too High

To try and clarify the situation a little better without too much political or media talk – honestly and bluntly from a consumer and service providers point of view.

The government simply set the initial expectations way too high. And now it’s become a carrot dangled before every election, so more and more promises keep being made and broken.

Australia is a huge country with a small population. It’s an expensive and tricky solution to solve. Yes, it probably could have been done better to begin with, however 20/20 vision won’t get anyone far and we are where we are now.

Focusing on getting the network completed should be the only goal now. In almost all cases it will be better than ADSL was and it will continue to improve over time.

It is a tough market, a tough government run system and tough margins we are all working with. All providers are offering very similar speeds given the constraints of the way the network currently works. No one can offer better speeds as some claim, until the network as a whole sorts itself out.

So rather focus on good customer service and no contracts.


Moving on…what speed should I expect with the nbn™?

For now, better than ADSL and cheaper, as you don’t need a phone line anymore.

You might be on one of the faster speed tier plans?

You will not get the speed of your “plan tier”, but it may come close in certain areas. This is due to the big backhaul providers not purchasing enough backhaul from NBN to the towers and nodes. It is also due to the towers having limited capacity. In some areas the copper will affect speeds more so, and at certain times of day speeds will be worse due to congestion. Generally speaking speeds are ok and the NBN is good, however many providers are not being truthful about their typical evening speeds and many have already been fined over falsely advertising speeds that cannot be achieved consistently.

It will keep improving and getting better!

The good news is, improvement will happen continue to happen once the initial rollout completes. Copper from the Node or MDF to the premises will systematically be replaced. When the NBN™ can begin to drop their pricing in line with the rest of the world (which will happen over time), this will mean the backhaul providers will start to buy excess bandwidth, which in turn will improve speeds and overall pricing will begin to drop.


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