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Getting internet service (NBN) set up at your home in Australia

Updated on
min reading

Whether you are moving to Australia for the first time or just relocating within the country, getting fast and reliable internet service set up at your new home as quickly and smoothly as possible will no doubt be near the top of your to-do list. While some Australians do make use of mobile connections for their home internet needs, by far the most popular option is the National Broadband Network (NBN), a nationwide system of fibre-optic cables designed to make fast home broadband internet accessible to as many people in Australia as possible. This article covers the steps required to get an NBN connection set up at your home, as well as what to do if you are moving house within the country. We then introduce you to some of the most popular internet providers in Australia and the variety of internet plans that they offer to customers via the NBN.

Whether for work, study, or entertainment, a fast and reliable internet connection at home is considered essential by most people in Australia these days.

As in many countries around the world, the number of people working from home in Australia increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic and parents with school-age children witnessed a massive uptick in the already-rising emphasis on online learning. Streaming services also continued to overtake conventional television as our main purveyors of home entertainment. All of this has caused increased demand for fast and reliable home internet, as well as higher expectations of access and quality.

Fortunately, over the past decade, the Australian government has been doggedly persisting with expansion and improvement of the National Broadband Network (NBN), a nationwide fiber-optic cable network designed to provide broadband access to residences and businesses across the nation. This network has now essentially replaced older and slower ADSL connections.

What are my options for home internet in Australia?

For the vast majority of homes in Australia, you essentially have two options when it comes to home internet:

  1. Mobile internet - some residents in Australia do not bother with a broadband connection at home and simply opt for mobile internet (3G/4G/5G) for all their home internet needs. This is generally to save on costs or because their internet requirements at home are minimal. Mobile internet at home is usually accessed via phones or routers that connect to mobile networks.
  2. Broadband internet - while there are private broadband networks in some areas, the National Broadband Network (NBN) is by far the most popular choice for home internet in Australia, providing fast and reliable broadband service to customers across the nation. Customers can choose from a range of different NBN internet providers that supply internet service via the NBN and offer different deals, plans, and incentives.

As of 2020, just 16% of Australians used mobile-only connections at home for their internet needs (down from 21% in 2015), although the percentage was slightly higher among younger Australians.

Broadband service via the NBN continues to be the preferred option for most Australians. But how do you go about getting it up and running at your home?

Broadband service (via the NBN) - Advantages and Disadvantages

 Advantages

*If you are in a new apartment building or house, you may be charged a $300 development fee. If a technician needs to be sent out to your residence to install equipment, you may be charged for this. Speak to your provider for details.

  • Speed - fairly quick, with evening speeds of 25-100 Mbps (depending on your plan, usage, location, etc.).
  • Quick and easy setup - just turn it on and connect to the Wi-Fi network.
  • Unlimited data (usually) - useful for those who use the internet extensively for work, study, or entertainment (particularly useful for multiple-person households).
  • Stable connections - important if you need the internet for video meetings or similarly high-bandwidth online activities.
  • No setup/installation fees - you will not usually need to pay* for NBN setup or installation at your home in Australia.
 Disadvantages
  • Setup/installation - it can sometimes be tricky to arrange an appointment, meaning that installation/setup generally takes 2-20 business days (or in some cases up to 6 weeks!).
  • Cost - while you can choose from different providers offering different plans/deals, NBN broadband will still put a dent in your wallet ($30-$150 per month).
  • Availability - while the extent of the NBN is very impressive and continues to expand year by year, residents in some areas (more rural regions, etc.) may not be able to connect to the network.

How can I get NBN internet service set up at my home in Australia?

Because NBN is a national government project, it has been developed with the goal of providing residents all over Australia with easily-accessible high-speed broadband internet.

That said, getting internet service through the NBN set up at your home can still be a bit of a hassle, especially when you are in the middle of moving house with so many other things to think about.

For this reason, we have provided simple steps to follow (below) in order to get NBN broadband set up as quickly and smoothly as possible at your home in Australia!

For new NBN customers

Whether you are moving to Australia from another country, moving out of mom and dad’s place, or finally bidding a fond (?) farewell to life with roommates, you can follow these steps to apply for NBN internet service at your new residence:

  1. Check whether your new residence is compatible with the NBN - you can enter your address into this handy NBN search tool (or rollout map) to confirm whether NBN service is available at the property. If you get a negative result, the date when NBN service is expected to be extended to the property should be displayed.
  2. Choose an internet provider and service plan - check which internet providers offer NBN plans in your area. Take some time to compare their services and prices. You can find a list of popular NBN internet providers further down in this article.
  3. Contact your chosen internet provider and provide them with all necessary details (your address, moving-in date, payment information, etc.).
  4. Your internet provider will send you everything you need, including a modem and full instructions. They will also let you know whether a technician will need to visit your home to install any additional equipment, as well as any additional costs that this might incur.
    1. If a technician’s visit is not required, all you need to do is install your modem when it arrives (follow the instructions) and connect your devices to the Wi-Fi network that it generates.
    2. If a technician’s visit is required, you will need to schedule an appointment for the visit at a time when someone over 18 can be present at your home. After the technician’s work is complete, you can install your modem (follow the instructions) and connect your devices to the Wi-Fi network that it generates.
  5. Job done–enjoy your new NBN internet connection!

Is the NBN available everywhere in Australia? Not quite (yet). While NBN is currently available to more than 90% of homes and businesses across Australia (an impressive achievement!), some regional and rural areas have not yet been connected. You can easily check the availability of NBN at your address (even before you move in) with this handy NBN search tool (or rollout map). If NBN is not yet available, it should still display a date when NBN service is expected to be extended to the property.

For current NBN customers who will soon be moving house

If you are a current NBN customer who is relocating within Australia, you can follow these steps to either transfer your current provider’s service to your new residence or apply to a new provider:

  1. Cancel the NBN service at your current residence (if you require internet right up until you leave, you can select your disconnection date as the day after you move out).
  2. Check whether your new residence is compatible with the NBN - you can enter your address into this handy NBN search tool (or rollout map) to confirm whether NBN service is available at the property. If you get a negative result, the date when NBN service is expected to be extended to the property should be displayed.
  3. Decide whether you want to continue with the same internet provider or not - most internet providers offer a relocation service as long as you are moving house to an area where they also operate.
    1. If you are happy to continue with the same internet provider, simply let them know where and when you are moving and they will let you know what to do.
    2. If you would like to change internet providers, contact the new provider and let them know when and where you will be moving (as well as your payment information, etc.). Moving house is a good time to re-evaluate whether your internet provider and plan is really best for you (and your wallet). Take some time to compare different services and prices. You can find a list of popular NBN internet providers further down in this article.
  4. Your internet provider will send you everything you need, including a modem and full instructions (if you are using the same provider, you may be able to use the same modem at your new home, but be sure to ask). They will also let you know whether a technician will need to visit your home to install any additional equipment, as well as any additional costs that this might incur.
    1. If no technician’s visit is required, all you need to do is install your modem when it arrives (follow the instructions) and connect your devices to the Wi-Fi network that it generates.
    2. If a technician’s visit is required, you will need to schedule an appointment for the visit at a time when someone over 18 can be present at your home. After the technician’s work is complete, you can install your modem (follow the instructions) and connect your devices to the Wi-Fi network that it generates.
  5. Job done–enjoy your new NBN internet connection!

    Here at Selectra we understand that finding an NBN internet provider or plan in Australia, especially if you are new to the area or the country, can be overwhelming. We're here to help! Feel free to contact us at any time for a free consultation on which internet providers in Australia could best suit your needs (and your budget!).

    How can I save money on my internet bills in Australia?

    While some people in Australia do choose to save money on their internet bills in Australia through eschewing broadband altogether and using mobile internet (3G/4G/5G). While 5G speeds are said to rival or even exceed those of broadband these days, they do come with considerable disadvantages in terms of data limits and reliability/coverage.

    For the vast majority of Australians these days, access to the National Broadband Network (NBN)’s fiber-optic cables is the preferred option as it offers fast stable connections, generally with unlimited data.

    For NBN users, however, there are still choices when it comes to how much they want to spend on home internet. To access the NBN, you need to apply to one of the internet providers that operates in your area. Internet providers in Australia offer different internet (NBN) plans with different monthly rates (as well as other associated fees such as installation/setup), so it is worth taking some time to compare the plans and services that these different providers offer.

    Connection Speeds Required for Typical Online Activities

    4K Video/Onling Gaming 25 Mbps
    Online Meetings (Zoom, etc.) 10 Mbps
    Streaming Video (1080p) 5 Mbps
    Streaming Video (720p) 3 Mbps
    Internet Browsing

    Messaging Apps (LINE, etc.)

    Email
    1 Mbps

    It is worth keeping in mind that an NBN connection speeds are generally fast enough for most typical online activities (though the number of people/devices in your home using the connection is obviously also a factor to consider).

    You can also select from 7 different tiers of NBN connection speeds depending on your particular internet needs (number of people, number of devices, typical activities, usage, etc.). Obviously the price rises along with the speed (in general). The higher the speed (measured in Megabytes per second, Mbps), the higher the price.

    NBN Connection Speeds - Tiers

    Tier Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps)
    NBN2 12Mbps 1Mbps
    NBN25 25Mbps 10Mbps
    NBN50 50Mbps 20Mbps
    NBN100/20 100Mbps 20Mbps
    NBN100 100Mbps 40Mbps
    NBN250 250Mbps 25Mbps
    NBN1000 1000Mbps 50Mbps

    Network speeds do vary based on factors such as the infrastructure in your building/area as well as your modem hardware and the layout of your home. Speeds are also affected by the time of day, slowing down the most at peak evening times when usage of the network is highest.

    Keep in mind that when your internet provider is trying to charm you by advertising lightning-fast speeds (up to 1Gbps, etc.) that these are maximum speeds and not necessarily the actual speeds that you will be experiencing at home.

    Do different types of NBN connections exist in Australia? Yes! Aside from direct fibre-optic cable connections into your home (the fastest option available and thus the preferable one), there are other options available. For example, fibre-optic cables from the larger NBN network can be connected to the existing copper wires or TV/internet cables in your home. There are also cases where NBN cables are connected to a central large Wi-Fi transmitter from which residents can access Wi-Fi. In extremely remote areas not serviced by conventional NBN connections, it may be possible to connect via an NBN satellite dish, though obviously speed and data will be much more limited.

    Note that if your building is not connected to the NBN but to one of the private networks (such as OptiComm) that also operate in Australia, you will not be able to apply to an NBN internet provider; you must apply to a provider that works with that specific private network.

    Which NBN internet providers offer the best deals/plans in Australia?

    There are many different internet providers Australia that offer a range of deals and plans for access to the NBN network.

    Major differences in plan prices are primarily based on the speed of your internet connection. You should note that while only some homes in Australia are equipped to access faster internet speeds (such as NBN250 or NBN1000), most residences with an NBN fibre-optic connection will be able to access speeds up to NBN100 (100Mbps), which will generally be more than sufficient for you and your family’s home internet needs.

    Below you will find lists of popular NBN internet providers in Australia based on three different available NBN speed tiers (NBN25, NBN50, NBN100).

    Here is a list of popular NBN internet providers in Australia offering plans at the NBN25 speed tier, ranked by price* (/month).

    Price (/month) Features
    Spintel $44 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 20Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    TANGERINE $44.90 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 25Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    exetel $53.95 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 25Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    dodo $55 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 15Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    superloop $58.95 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 22Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    mate. $59 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 19Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    kogan $63.90 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 25Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    origin $64 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 24Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    Moose $64.80 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 24Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    Belong $65 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 25Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None

    *All prices provided here are for reference purposes only. Please check the websites of individual providers, as prices change frequently.

    Here is a list of popular NBN internet providers in Australia offering plans at the NBN50 speed tier, ranked by price* (/month).

    Price (/month) Features
    dodo $53.85 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 50Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    exetel $53.95 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 50Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    Spintel $54 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 50Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    TANGERINE $54.90 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 50Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    superloop $58.95 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 48Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    internode $59.99 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 50Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    kogan $68.90 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 50Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    mate. $69 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 42Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    Moose $69.80 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 47Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    origin $74 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 48Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None

    *All prices provided here are for reference purposes only. Please check the websites of individual providers, as prices change frequently.

    Here is a list of popular NBN internet providers in Australia offering plans at the NBN100 speed tier, ranked by price* (/month).

    Price (/month) Features
    TANGERINE $62.90 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 92Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    dodo $63.85 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 100Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    exetel $68.95 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 100Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    Spintel $69 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 100Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    superloop $73.95 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 95Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    kogan $78.90 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 90Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    mate. $79 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 83Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    TPG $79.99 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 90Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    iPrimus $80 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 97Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None
    Southern Phone $85 Data = Unlimited
    Avg. Evening speed = 96Mbps
    Fixed contract term = None

    *All prices provided here are for reference purposes only. Please check the websites of individual providers, as prices change frequently.

    As you can see, there tends to be very little difference in the basic features offered by different providers. Data is generally unlimited under all NBN plans and providers tend not to require restrictive fixed-term contracts. Average evening speeds do vary slightly, but you should keep in mind that these are estimates rather than exact speeds.

    Special deals and discounts

    Another factor to consider is the fact that many providers offer special deals and discounts. For example, some providers offer discounts on your internet plan if you bundle it together with a mobile phone plan. Other providers offer a discounted monthly rate for your first 6 or 12 months with their company.

    Some companies also offer discounts on setup/installation/connection fees under certain conditions.

    These discounts and deals come and go constantly, so it pays to keep checking. Don’t be afraid to ask different providers what kinds of special discounts they can offer. It’s a competitive market and they want your business!

    Here at Selectra we understand that finding an NBN internet provider or plan in Australia, especially if you are new to the area or the country, can be overwhelming. We're here to help! Feel free to contact us at any time for a free consultation on which internet providers in Australia could best suit your needs (and your budget!).

    How can I pay my NBN internet bills in Australia?

    Ways to pay your NBN internet bills in Australia vary slightly from provider to provider, but these are a few of the most common options:

    • Credit card (online/telephone)
    • Direct debit (automatic withdrawals from your bank account or credit card)
    • BPAY - another way to pay directly from your bank or credit union account

    Many internet providers allow you to make an online account with them (some have apps as well) that allows you to manage payments and services.

    Pay your internet bill on time! If you forget to pay your internet bill on time, you may incur additional late fees!

    We all lead busy lives and forget things sometimes, so setting up a direct debit from your bank/credit union account or your credit card (or any other similar automatic payment method) is a good way to avoid any annoying late charges.

    Getting your NBN internet service set up in Australia - FAQ

    Question 1. What is this NBN thing I keep hearing so much about?
    Answer

    The NBN (National Broadband Network) is an Australian government initiative designed to provide fast and reliable broadband internet infrastructure nationwide via fibre-optic cables. Currently, the NBN covers over 90% of Australian residences and businesses and continues to expand. It is by far the most popular option for internet access in the country.

    Question 2. Is NBN my only option for internet access in Australia?
    Answer

    No. Some Australians opt for mobile internet instead, either to save money or because their use of the internet at home is limited (NBN is also not available in certain areas). Certain buildings or areas are also covered by private broadband networks rather than the NBN. Still, NBN is by far the most common option.

    Question 3. How can I save money on NBN internet in Australia?
    Answer

    The best way is to shop around through the different NBN internet providers and see what rates (monthly) they offer. The main difference in price is based on speed (Mbps) with the most common residential internet speeds at 25Mbps, 50Mbps, or 100Mbps. You should also ask about discounts that many companies offer for certain periods of time or for bundling your internet with mobile phone plans.

    Check the above article for more detailed information on prices and plans offered by different NBN internet providers.

    Question 4. How can I pay my NBN internet bill in Australia?
    Answer

    With most providers, a range of payment options are available such as credit card payment or debit card payment online or over the phone. Automatic direct debit from your credit card or bank/credit union account is also a useful option so that you don’t forget to pay on time.