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Ask RiotACT: NBN providers

By Emily Morris 6 December 2016 26

Thinking of switching to the NBN? The first step in the process is deciding on an NBN provider.

With so many plans currently on the market, choosing the contract that suits you can be a real challenge. You’ll need to consider data allowance and cost, as well as customer service and speed.

To make things a little easier for you, we’ve read through our users’ feedback and put together this list of the top three NBN providers in Canberra.

What Makes a Reliable NBN Provider?

Most of us use the internet on a daily basis – a poor connection can be frustrating, and may even result in lost productivity.

When switching to the NBN, you’ll want the very best NBN provider. And, what makes a reliable NBN provider? Here’s what we think.

  • A reliable connection. Dropouts are seriously annoying, and can make it impossible to stream movies and play online games. What’s more, internet that slows down dramatically during peak times can be a nightmare.
  • High speeds. The NBN should deliver faster speeds than your current ADSL internet.
  • Generous data allowances. If your household has multiple Wi-Fi connected devices, and your family tends to stream a fair amount of online content, you will need a generous data allowance.
  • A competitive rate. The best NBN providers offer great service at a competitive rate.
  • Excellent customer service. Let’s face it, Wi-Fi doesn’t always perform as it should. If you run into a technical hiccup, you want a service provider with excellent customer service.
  • A painless transition processes. When switching to the NBN, you’ll probably need a technician to come to your house. They should show up on time, and get your home connected fast.

The Top 3 NBN Providers in Canberra

We’ve read through your comments and experiences. Here are your picks for the best NBN providers in Canberra.

1. Skymesh

Skymesh is a reliable internet provider with a fantastic NBN offering. All setup is completely free, and customers are welcome to change their plans as many times as they want.

What’s more, Netflix use is unmetered, meaning you and your family can stream all of your favourite TV shows and movies without restraint. They offer plan matching too, so you can rest easy you’re getting the best deal on the market.

One of our commenters, DMZ, currently uses Skymesh for their NBN connection. “12m 500g plan for $50, price matched from somewhere,” they wrote. “Excellent experience and works great for NetFlix (HD,not 4k).”

2. Exetel

Exetel is another great option for NBN services in Canberra. Incredibly, Exetel was rated the number one internet service provider for video streaming.

With a range of data allowances and price points available, you’re sure to find a contract that suits your household’s unique requirements.

Commenter arescarti42 has had a great experience with Exetel. “I’ve been happy with Exetel for the last couple of years on NBN,” they wrote. “their service has been fine and they’re significantly cheaper than most other providers.”

3. TPG

TPG is one of the most popular NBN providers in Australia. With a reliable service, fast speeds, and fair customer service, TPG is a good option.

One commenter, Blamemonkey, had this to say. “I would recommend TPG, best dollar for dollar value out of the larger ISP”

Do keep in mind that iiNet – another common NBN provider – is owned by TPG. Many customers believe that although TPG is cheaper than iiNet, both offer roughly the same service. The key difference is iiNet’s superior customer care.

“I’m an iiNet customer and haven’t noticed any slowdowns. TPG owns iiNet so I’d expect performance to be similar in the future,” wrote reader Bolbi.

Which NBN Provider Do You Use?

Let us know which NBN provider you use in the comments below. Has the experience been positive or negative?


What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: NBN providers
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brettlaglin 1:00 pm 27 Jan 16

I used to stay in Harrison with a friend of mine. They were using iiNet. They said their service is great. I am not sure if they are the cheapest. Hope this helps.
Brett

HenryBG 4:39 pm 26 Jan 16

JC said :

Whilst neither travels at the speed of light, copper is always slower.

You might want to look it up before being so certain…

JC 12:36 am 26 Jan 16

dungfungus said :

TPG are currently assigning all their mobile phone customers to Vodaphone despite that operator having inferior coverage to Optus who are the current TPG mobile carriers.
The whole communications industry is incestuous.

Don’t know it is incestuous, what you need to understand is the difference between a network operator and a reseller. In Aus there are 3 networks, Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone (used to be 4 before Vodafone and 3 merged).

Then there are companies like TGP, and many many many smaller players who buy airtime off the networks and onsell that to the end user. They can and do change providers from time to time.

rubaiyat 7:56 pm 25 Jan 16

JC said :

rubaiyat said :

JC said :

rubaiyat said :

Grapevine/iiNet/TPG (all the same people) have excellent service because of iiNet.

I have VDSL2 which is excellent but would love to have NBN, even the stuffed up,horrendously expensive Liberal cocked-up NBN. Speed is everything.

You do realise that the Liebral cocked up NBN is VDSL? So if you have Transact VDSL you would just get like for like with NBN.

Actually it is VDSL2, which is a better protocol than ADSL2+.

The medium it is running on though is the issue and can run faster than the current non-fibre cables to the node.

I realise it is VDSL2 and it is better than ADSL2 but doesn’t change the fact what NBN are planning to rollout is the same technology that Transact rolled out 20 odd years ago now and is crap compared to fibre. Plus should also point out transact put in their own copper which is in far better state than Telstras and a thicker gauge which makes a difference too.

You are right!

I looked it up. The VDSL2 is a copper based modulation. Bugger.

I heard that NBN was using VDSL2 and assumed that was on the fibre.

JC 11:34 am 25 Jan 16

gooterz said :

Transact and NBN are both VDSL. However VDSL allows for vectoring. This is planned for NBN after everyone is connected to NBN however in the interim it’ll be similar speeds to tranact. The reason being is that vectoring causes lots of noise to anyone not using vectoring.

With vectoring speeds are about 400mbps. Most on NBN are on the lower speeds anyway because of the high cost. Tranact plans doing 80mbps are about $30 cheaper than NBN prices.

No vectoring speeds are not about 400mb/s. Vectoring improves speed that is for sure but to closer to 100mb/s over a distance no greater than 400-500m.

There are also schemes overseas to increase the spectrum, which could then double that again, and super vectoring which could get close to 400mb/s.

However this is all based on under 500m to the node, plus the quality of the cable, joints and everything else all being 100%. The moment you introduce a bit of noise through a not so perfect joint for example, it drops off rapidly.

Super vectoring

dungfungus 10:23 am 25 Jan 16

gooterz said :

TPG hasn’t had a chance to change iiNet yet.
Iinet still had many still separate systems from its previous takeovers.

Transact and NBN are both VDSL. However VDSL allows for vectoring. This is planned for NBN after everyone is connected to NBN however in the interim it’ll be similar speeds to tranact. The reason being is that vectoring causes lots of noise to anyone not using vectoring.

With vectoring speeds are about 400mbps. Most on NBN are on the lower speeds anyway because of the high cost. Tranact plans doing 80mbps are about $30 cheaper than NBN prices.

TPG are currently assigning all their mobile phone customers to Vodaphone despite that operator having inferior coverage to Optus who are the current TPG mobile carriers.
The whole communications industry is incestuous.

JC 8:12 am 25 Jan 16

HenryBG said :

I believe signals run significantly faster through copper than they do through glass.

You believe wrong, very wrong.

Whilst neither travels at the speed of light, copper is always slower.

Besides the speed at which the signal travels down the medium is irrelevant. What is relevant is how much data can you put onto it. (throughput)

For fibre that essentially means how many times a second can you turn the light on and off and still receive the signal at the other end.

For copper the signal needs to be modulated. The higher the modulation protocol the faster the throughput, but these higher modulation protocols become susceptible to the quality of the medium. For modulated signals the signal to noise ratio is what is important, in other words can you make out the signal over the noise on the line. Hence quality is effected by distance of the run, thickness of the cable, quality of any joints, adjacent signals and of course the quality of the modems at each end.

Fibre will win hands down every single time.

gooterz 11:18 pm 24 Jan 16

TPG hasn’t had a chance to change iiNet yet.
Iinet still had many still separate systems from its previous takeovers.

Transact and NBN are both VDSL. However VDSL allows for vectoring. This is planned for NBN after everyone is connected to NBN however in the interim it’ll be similar speeds to tranact. The reason being is that vectoring causes lots of noise to anyone not using vectoring.

With vectoring speeds are about 400mbps. Most on NBN are on the lower speeds anyway because of the high cost. Tranact plans doing 80mbps are about $30 cheaper than NBN prices.

HenryBG 11:34 am 24 Jan 16

rubaiyat said :

JC said :

You do realise that the Liebral cocked up NBN is VDSL? So if you have Transact VDSL you would just get like for like with NBN.

Actually it is VDSL2, which is a better protocol than ADSL2+.

The medium it is running on though is the issue and can run faster than the current non-fibre cables to the node.

I believe signals run significantly faster through copper than they do through glass.

The drawback of the Liberal-cocked-up-NBN-under-orders-from-Murdoch lies less in the speed of the signal through the medium and more in the overall usability of the medium.

The Liberal plan to use copper was completely rubbish from the outset, for the following main reasons:
– achieving decent speeds required the construction of many, many tens of thousands of new “nodes”. This investment in new infrastructure to support a deficient, legacy technology was *unbelievably* senseless.
– the Liberal plan *assumed*, for all the preserved copper, cabling standards far *higher* than those that actually pertain to most of it. This meant their plan was completely wrong on paper, and could only translate into far lower throughputs, OR, many, many thousands of additional (senseless) “nodes” to be built.

It’s quite a comment on the politicisation of the ABC that their writer Nick Ross who was both knowledgeable and honest about the abysmally corrupt Liberal policy has lost his job:
https://newmatilda.com/2016/01/21/false-balance-abc-news-boss-directed-journalist-nick-ross-to-target-alps-nbn-plan-for-insurance-against-coalition-attacks/

IdlePeasant 8:20 pm 23 Jan 16

IdlePeasant said :

That’s more or less what the poster was saying. You seemed to have missed the bit where they said “in the future”. It was the line before your quote above.

I didn’t miss that comment. I was disputing the comment made by Bolbi that the only difference between iiNet and TPG BEFORE the buy-out was customer service and price. That’s not really true because there were significant differences in how the two entities they did international routing.

I have no doubt performance will become similar now that iiNet has been bought out. I agreed with him on that.

JC 12:49 pm 23 Jan 16

rubaiyat said :

JC said :

rubaiyat said :

Grapevine/iiNet/TPG (all the same people) have excellent service because of iiNet.

I have VDSL2 which is excellent but would love to have NBN, even the stuffed up,horrendously expensive Liberal cocked-up NBN. Speed is everything.

You do realise that the Liebral cocked up NBN is VDSL? So if you have Transact VDSL you would just get like for like with NBN.

Actually it is VDSL2, which is a better protocol than ADSL2+.

The medium it is running on though is the issue and can run faster than the current non-fibre cables to the node.

I realise it is VDSL2 and it is better than ADSL2 but doesn’t change the fact what NBN are planning to rollout is the same technology that Transact rolled out 20 odd years ago now and is crap compared to fibre. Plus should also point out transact put in their own copper which is in far better state than Telstras and a thicker gauge which makes a difference too.

DMZ 11:03 pm 22 Jan 16

Skymesh

12m 500g plant for $50, price matched from somewhere.

Excellent experience and works great for NetFlix (HD,not 4k).

rubaiyat 9:49 am 21 Jan 16

JC said :

rubaiyat said :

Grapevine/iiNet/TPG (all the same people) have excellent service because of iiNet.

I have VDSL2 which is excellent but would love to have NBN, even the stuffed up,horrendously expensive Liberal cocked-up NBN. Speed is everything.

You do realise that the Liebral cocked up NBN is VDSL? So if you have Transact VDSL you would just get like for like with NBN.

Actually it is VDSL2, which is a better protocol than ADSL2+.

The medium it is running on though is the issue and can run faster than the current non-fibre cables to the node.

JC 9:28 am 21 Jan 16

IdlePeasant said :

Bolbi said :

In the past the difference between TPG and iiNet was that iiNet had better customer service and TPG was cheaper.

Not true. The back-haul that TPG uses are different to the (more expensive!) links that iiNet uses. The result is that TPG has awful international routing because they want to save that extra penny. I wouldn’t go with iiNet since the buy-out though. TPG have started influencing iiNet as users have caught TPG sneaking in their hosts when they do trace routes.

RIP iiNet.

That’s more or less what the poster was saying. You seemed to have missed the bit where they said “in the future”. It was the line before your quote above.

IdlePeasant 9:00 pm 20 Jan 16

Bolbi said :

In the past the difference between TPG and iiNet was that iiNet had better customer service and TPG was cheaper.

Not true. The back-haul that TPG uses are different to the (more expensive!) links that iiNet uses. The result is that TPG has awful international routing because they want to save that extra penny. I wouldn’t go with iiNet since the buy-out though. TPG have started influencing iiNet as users have caught TPG sneaking in their hosts when they do trace routes.

RIP iiNet.

arescarti42 8:45 pm 20 Jan 16

I’ve been happy with Exetel for the last couple of years on NBN, their service has been fine and they’re significantly cheaper than most other providers.

Grail said :

Sorry to take so long to respond. I had to figure out whether this was a satire post or if you actually think you are going to get NBN connected.

I will say this as cautionary advice: do not count your chickens before they hatch.

If the place is already connected to the NBN (i.e. if the NBN modem is already installed) then it’s quick and easy to get connected with a new ISP.

If it’s not, then it will probably be a lengthy wait for an NBN contractor to come out and install it.

JC 2:46 pm 20 Jan 16

rubaiyat said :

Grapevine/iiNet/TPG (all the same people) have excellent service because of iiNet.

I have VDSL2 which is excellent but would love to have NBN, even the stuffed up,horrendously expensive Liberal cocked-up NBN. Speed is everything.

You do realise that the Liebral cocked up NBN is VDSL? So if you have Transact VDSL you would just get like for like with NBN.

nicnacvb 1:33 pm 20 Jan 16

I’m a very happy DevotedNBN customer 🙂

They truly are devoted. I was their first ACT customer. They called me on the install day to see how it went as they were very excited to have an ACT customer. This was about 2 years ago that I signed up.

Everything has just worked for me. I’ve never had to call them. Speeds are good. Prices are competitive. What more can you ask for.

Good luck.

Mysteryman 11:52 am 20 Jan 16

Blamemonkey said :

I would recommend TPG, best dollar for dollar value out of the larger ISP

Dodo has similar pricing but I wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot pole
if you have happy with Optus service and get bundling would also be something to consider.

I’ve been with TPG and Dodo. I was with Dodo some years back, then made the move to TPG, and now I’m back with Dodo. I won’t go back to TPG. Their customer service wasn’t as good, and the quality of their connection while using DNS services was terrible (accessing US netflix was slow and unreliable for no reason). They also have some sneaky charges hidden in their contracts when it comes to moving/cancelling. I used to have a mobile service with them as well, and between the dodgy charges, the decision to change my plan to provide me less data at the same price, and their decision to move to the Vodafone network without providing me with a compatible SIM or even notifying me, I have decided that TPG does business in a way I don’t like – clearly putting their customers a long way behind their shareholders.

People often assume Dodo’s low cost plans to be a reflection of their service and their network. My experience has been that you get a lot more than you pay for.

JC 10:01 am 20 Jan 16

Leo61 said :

SkyMesh works for me.

Good thing about sky mesh is no contract. You can go month by month.

Though in the Canberra region sky mesh only service (currently) the civic POI not the QBN poi. So Braddon and Gungahlin will be ok. Believe they will go to the Qbn poi when there are enough houses to justify the back haul cost.

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