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Not all nbn providers are created equal


Posted on November 4, 2019

4 min read

As the National Broadband Network makes its way into your area, we understand picking the best provider can be difficult. Many providers offer different prices for speed and bandwidth each month, but not all providers are made equally. Here is why.

It starts at home

Connecting to the nbn is about more than just plugging in and getting online. In 2019, connectivity is more involved thanks to the number of devices connecting over Wi-Fi in the home.

From our research, we’ve found one in three broadband customers in Australia experience sub-optimal Wi-Fi performance. At the same time, the number of connected devices in the home continues to increase as tablets, gaming consoles, smart TVs and other accessories penetrate the home market (currently 7.8 per customer).

We know how important getting strong Wi-Fi around the house can be, which is why we continue to improve our Smart Modem Gen 2, with its strong Wi-Fi capabilities and mobile backup for more reliable connectivity.

The new Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2 makes it easier for you to get connected. Get online within minutes at home when you walk out of our stores with a device or receive a Self-Install Kit in the mail.

Thanks to its built-in mobile backup, you’ll get online sooner and have the peace of mind of a backup connection in the event of a disruption on your nbn service (nbn is fallible; 6% of nbn customers experience more than five minutes of service disruption per day). It’s also easier for our field technicians to diagnose your network if there’s a glitch and for households to keep track of what devices are connected, and how much data you’re using.

The Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2 also makes sure you’re getting the best of the service you’re paying for. If you ever have any issues with your home broadband experience, our field technicians have one-click access to vital stats on the health of your home network making it faster for our experts to get you back online. Over the past three months, we have tracked nbn migrations and had over 60% less home callouts for support from customers using the Telstra Smart Modem.

Overall, this means less effort for customers and:

  • 50% less support calls
  • 55% less level 0 and level 1 TIO complaints
  • 62% less truck rolls out to a customers’ home

Using the Telstra Home Dashboard App, customers can also map the Wi-Fi in their home, view connected devices and also run a speed test to determine both the speed and quality of the Wi-Fi network in their home.

The Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2 is the first modem device in the world to introduce EasyMesh™ technology for better Wi-Fi connectivity in the home. EasyMesh™ allows you to easily network a series of access points together in the home to extend your Wi-Fi quickly and easily to every corner of your home.

This whole of home Wi-Fi with EasyMesh™ technology could not have happened without a collaborative effort between our Telstra Engineering teams and strategic modem partners, Arcadyan and Technicolor, as well as our chipset vendors to ensure we delivered a world-class and award-winning offering to our customers.

We’re not the only ones who love our modem offering: the global Broadband World Forum recently awarded us with the Best Home WiFi Solution as well as a highly commended award for Best Fixed Access Solution awards for our work on the new Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2. We think you’ll love it too for its ease of use and sheer performance.

And we’re not bluffing, either. We’re here to put our money where our mouth is. With our nbn satisfaction guarantee, our promise to you is if you’re not happy within 30 days of connecting your nbn services, let us know and you can cancel without paying early termination charges and we’ll refund your first monthly plan fee and any hardware repayment costs.

The best of entertainment

We know that using the internet in 2019 is about more than just sending emails. It’s about getting great gaming scores, higher quality video streams and the best entertainment right to all the screens in your home. Our Telstra TV was designed to bring together the disparate programming choices that force you to spend too much time on your HDMI button together, with Free to Air, SVOD services and Foxtel all in one easy onscreen menu. Plus, the HEVC video compression codec lets you watch high definition content using less bandwidth, resulting in a more reliable streaming experience. We offer a range of ready-to-go packages that bundle in a series of entertainment options for your viewing pleasure. From Telstra TV through to Kayo; Foxtel Sport to BBC First. And if you’re a Netflix fanatic, Telstra has been named the fastest internet service provider for streaming Netflix videos in Australia for more than a year straight. Netflix performs its own monthly public tests on home broadband providers to rank its speeds during peak times. We’re very proud of our team’s hard work to make sure our customers have the best streaming experience possible.

The need for speed

As you browse different nbn plans, it’s easy to get caught up in the speeds on offer. From Basic Evening Speed (nbn12) to Standard Plus Evening Speed (nbn50) and right up to Premium Evening Speed (nbn100), each speed tier has its pros and cons. What you need to remember about each, however, is how different providers handle congestion. Congestion is an unfortunate fact of life as millions of Aussies all log on at once either during the morning or evening peaks. We spend more on network capacity to preserve our peak speeds during congested times. The most congested times we find are between 7pm and 11pm. We recently conducted speed tests over a period of months which found that around 90% of our nbn customers (excluding Fixed Wireless customers and those FTTB/N/C customers with a limited maximum line speed) on Standard Evening Plus Speed experienced an average download speed of 45.83Mbps between 7pm-11pm. You can find out more about the typical evening speeds on our nbn services here.

Beware the hidden fees

The fine print will always get you in the end. We’ve been on a mission to reduce the complexity when it comes to buying a new plan. Instead of 50 different options with various contract terms, we have two great ones to choose from. Both include phone line and unlimited calls to Australian mobiles and standard numbers and include the mobile network backup feature with the Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2. If you buy online, you even skip the $99 connection fee, so it’s cheaper and easier to get started than ever. No surprises when you receive your first bill! And we’ve also just removed lock-in contracts. All you have to pay is the remainder of your modem cost if you need to leave before 24 months. So when you’re browsing around for your next nbn plan, make sure you keep these tips in mind and understand that not all providers were created equally!

Things you need to know

Telstra Smart Modem™ Gen 2 requires 4G coverage for the mobile backup connection. You can check your coverage at Your mobile backup connection is limited to speeds of up to 6Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps for uploads. Actual speeds will vary due to local conditions and content accessed. All speeds are indicative only. Speeds experienced may be lower due to various factors including your location, in-home internet setup and wiring. The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime time Netflix performance on a particular ISP and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across the specific ISP network. More information at The spectrum device and ™ are trademarks and ® are registered trademarks of Telstra Corporation Limited ABN 33 051 775 556