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National Broadband Network (NBN)

With so many people now given the opportunity to connect to the NBN I've decided to write this material to explain a bit about the NBN and if you should or should not connect.

In the long-term you will have to connect to the NBN because there will be no alternative as far as broadband is concerned. You will have a period of time, approximately 12 months, after you have been notified that the NBN is available, before your existing Internet connection will be no longer usable,

So there is no need to rush into a decision about changing and you should not be rushed by any sales person or person that contacts you on the phone in relation to the NBN.


I only know what I know , and don't know what I don't know. Hence all the information contained below is based on what I know and may not necessarily be true because I get the information from other people and I don't know if what they're telling me is the truth. Take this information as you will, because based on the above, I take no responsibility for it's accuracy .

Is extremely difficult to get accurate information about broadband and NBN as most of it is hearsay and the NBN don't disclose much in the way of technical information. The Interent Service Providers (ISPs) also do not provide much inside information because it could be of use the ther competitors.

How is the NBN different to your existing Internet connection?

It is not different much at all. Just like there are multiple ways to presently connect to the Internet, under the NBN there are also be multiple ways to connect, the main difference being that the wholesaler, Organisation that your Internet service provider purchases broadband from, will only be the NBN. Currently the major wholesalers are Telstra and Optus.

Ways to connect to the NBN

The other major difference will be that generally Internet speeds will be higher with the NBN than is presently the case.

Stay with Existing or Change Providers

Most of the existing Internet service providers will also be able to provide you with the NBN.

Generally you are not under any obligation to use your existing provider. Exception to this, is if you are on a contract with your present provider and the contract has not yet come to an end, in which case you may have to pay out the remaining part of your contract. Again, generally, if you go on to the NBN with your your existing provider before your contract comes to an end you can do so without having to pay an end of contract fee. If you do not know if you are still in a contract check your bill or online account. Remember you have about 12 months before you have to change to the NBN so unless you have just started a 2 year contract it is unlikely that you will have to stick with your present provider.

Do different providers provide different services?

As all providers will be purchasing the Internet from the wholesaler, NBN Co, the end product, the movement of data, will be no different between providers. The same applies for the maintenance of your Internet connection in the streets, this will all be done by the NBN Co.

The difference between Internet service providers, will therefore be ther customer service and the prices they charge. Just like it does not matter where you buy your petrol or electricity from, as it all comes from the same place there will be no difference in the product of the internet, the ability to move data, you get from various providers. However just like with electricity companies and petrol stations they will make some way to try and differentiate themselves from ther opposition.

This could be in the form of:

  1. - bundled deals
  2. - fee for a router
  3. - equipment delivery fees
  4. - supposed special deals
  5. - the length of the contract
  6. - fee for moving location
  7. - contract period
  8. - termination of contract fee
  9. - how and when you pay
  10. - credit card usage fee
  11. - fee for printing invoices

or the way they advertise their product.

It is up to you as a consumer to assess each of the providers and make a decision as to which one you wish to go with. Generally you can find details of all this information from the providers websites. Some are more revealing than others. However, under government regulations, some Internet service provider have to provide a Critical Information Summary so that you can compare them. This is the information you should be looking for. Do not accept what you're told by a salesperson or someone on the phone It is what they do not tell you that can be important. It is best to read the critical information summary. If you are unable to read or understand these it is best to get an independent person to explain the details shown on such summaries

Amount of Data

The more data you purchase generally the less the cost per unit of data.

With the exception of one, most providers now have unlimited plans. That is, for a certain fee, you can use an unlimited amount of data.

With the NBN providing higher speeds and so many services, (eg operating system updates) automatically downloading data it can be very difficult to know how much data you are using or likely to use. Also you do not know what is liable to happen in the future in relation to Internet applications. Presently there are some people that cannot use some functions on the Internet simply because they do not have sufficient internet quota (amount of data they get each month).

In these situations, provided you can afford it, it may be better to go for an unlimited plan, and not have the worry of going over particular limit or be restricted on what you can do with the internet in the future

Speed of Data

Currently the NBN Co has multiple speeds. Basically slow through to fast. Each Internet service provider charges more for the higher speeds, although some are providing the one up from slow speed as an inducement, for the same cost as the slow speed, to sign up with them.

Basically, because all of the Internet service providers get their data moving capability from the NBN Co, there is no difference between the above speeds for each of the providers. However for a number of technical reasons and marketing concepts, ther can be differences between providers speeds.

In the past, internet service providers did not charge for going to a higher cost option but did charge to go from a higher cost option to a lower cost option. You should check this out.

The past has shown us that internet charges generally reduce over time, so it is best to have a shorter contract as possible or a contract that allows you to go to a cheaper option, without penalty, should it become available in the future.

Because of the above it is probably worthwhile initially going for a slower speed if it's not going to cost you any extra to change to a higher speed later.

Will the NBN mean everything will work faster?

Sometimes. Ther are many other factors, other than connection speed, that affects your overall function of using the Internet. 2 that are worth talking about are congestion, a whole lot of people using the Internet at same time and the load on the server, where the data is coming from. No matter how fast your Internet speed is or even the speed of the Internet connection at the server end, if to many people are trying to access it at the one time there will be delays. In that respect the Internet is a bit of like road traffic.

nbn.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/24 15:47 (external edit)