Get up to speed on NBN rollout
The NBN will affect us all, so users need to know how to get the most of it for the best cost, writes
THE National Broadband Network rollout is in full swing, and households are being urged to try before they buy into a long- term contract.
About 140,000 NBN services are becoming available each week, with about 60,000 people signing up weekly as the rollout approaches its halfway mark.
However, confusion about the NBN is widespread and
there have been complaints by some about slow speeds.
Research by iSelect has found more than six million household decision- makers are not up to speed about the NBN, and spokeswoman Laura Crowden said this must be addressed because switching would eventually be mandatory.
“After a household is notified it can switch to the NBN, they have 18 months to move their services to the new network,” she said.
Ms Crowden said 40 per cent of NBN users surveyed by iSelect did not know what speed they were on.
The NBN has four speed tiers: nbn12, which is similar to current ADSL2 services, nbn25, nbn50 and the fastest, nbn100, which suits multi- device households wanting to download and stream loads of data at the same time.
Speeds of 25Mbps ( megabits per second) – on nbn25 – or above are considered superfast broadband speeds.
The costs of nbn12 is similar to current broadband costs, and the prices for the three levels of superfast NBN rise about $ 10 a month with each speed tier. The best deals are generally available to early adopters.
Ms Crowden said the nbn25 and nbn50 plans would be sufficient for most households.
“What will frustrate you more – an extra $ 10 a month or your Netflix not working?” she said.
Telecommunications comparison website WhistleOut’s Joseph Hanlon said the network was getting some bad word of mouth from people who signed up to fast plans but were not getting the speeds they expected.
Speeds can be affected by such factors as a home’s distance from an NBN node and a service provider’s equipment.
Mr Hanlon said promotions such as amaysim’s recent free one- month trial were a good idea. “It gives you a chance to dip your toe in. If you are not happy with the service, you have the confidence to go to a different provider. There’s stacks of smaller guys,” he said.
Mr Hanlon said people should consider starting with a slower speed and then perhaps stepping up. “There’s no point paying for 100 if your home only gets 50.”
NBN spokesman Craig Jost said the network should be three- quarters built by mid2018 and compete by 2020.
He said 85 per cent of people were happy with their service.
“Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved, is determined by your service provider and the plan you choose, and depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control, like equipment quality and software,” he said.
EXTRA HELPING: Keen diner Dagny Rocha uses the Liven app. Picture: DAVID SWIFT