Full speed ahead: NBN


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The internet has enriched our lives in many different ways. It’s helped us stay in touch from opposite sides of the world, increased efficiency in business and opened up whole new worlds of entertainment.

Words like “upload”, “stream” and “Skype” have found their way into everyday conversation. But in order to enjoy the treasure trove of awesome internet services like streaming video on demand (SVOD) and online gaming without the annoying disruptions of freezing or buffering, we need internet that is fast and reliable.

Enter the National Broadband Network (NBN): the communications network bringing lightning fast internet to people across Australia. When it comes to the internet, we like to speed, and the arrival of the NBN is music to our ears. But you may be wondering how fast it is compared to ADSL2? Or if these higher speeds are going to put bigger dents in your wallet.

What’s it all mean?

Before discussing the speeds of the NBN, it’s best to know what the speed measurements actually mean in real life terms. NBN speeds are measured in megabits per second or Mbps – the amount of data that has been sent per second.

If you are downloading a photo that is 10 megabits and your bandwidth is 1 Mbps, it will take 10 seconds to download. If your bandwidth is 10 Mbps it will only take 1 second. That doesn’t mean data can transfer faster, but that more data is able to be sent at once. This means download and upload time for photos, music, games and movies is reduced the higher the Mbps.

Full Throttle

So now you know what the speed measurements mean, it’s very important to note that there are a number of factors that can affect the maximum potential speed of a broadband connection. However, if all goes according to plan and there’s nothing in the way of you achieving maximum speeds, here’s what you can expect from your superfast iiNet NBN plan:

  • Standard – 12/1 Mbps – If you aren’t a heavy user, this plan would be well suited to you with a theoretical peak download speed of 12 Mbps, and theoretical peak upload speed of 1 Mbps. This is the basic service, similar to an average ADSL2+ connection.
  • Fast – 25/5 Mbps – Our plans start to speed up with a theoretical peak download speed of 25 Mbps, and theoretical peak upload speed of 5 Mbps. This is the most popular speed plan and suits most home applications. This speed is faster than the fastest ADSL2+ connections.
  • Faster – 50/20 Mbps – Now we’re moving fast with a theoretical peak download speed of 50 Mbps, and theoretical peak upload speed of 20 Mbps. The increased download and upload speeds make this one perfect for a household where multiple people want to connect at the same time.
  • Fastest – 100/40 Mbps – This is as fast as it gets with a theoretical peak download speed of a whopping 100 Mbps, and a theoretical peak upload speed of 40 Mbps. If you’re a household with multiple users and multiple devices (smartphones, tablets, computers, gaming consoles, smart TVs) that are used simultaneously – this is the plan for you.

What’s the hold up?

If you’re not experiencing those maximum speeds, it could be due to other factors including:

  • The device you’re using to access the Internet such as your smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • Your hardware, for example, the capability of your router.
  • The strength of the WiFi network within your home. (Check out our previous blog article for how to trouble shoot WiFi issues.)
  • The limitations caused by the hardware and software in your PC.
  • The site that you are visiting may be experiencing issues. This may for instance be the server you are downloading a file from/uploading a file to.
  • The number of people using the Internet at the same time using different devices since they’re all sharing the same bandwidth.
  • Network congestion: More users at a certain time of day. The network has its own bandwidth pool too.
  • Virus or malware.

With great bundling options and awesome customer service, we want to get you to shift into gear with the high-speed NBN.

Photo credit: Nathan E Photography

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  1. Magpieboy says:

    Not holding my breath in regards to getting the NBN in Girrawheen WA any time soon.

  2. Frank says:

    What’s with the slow walking pedestrian pace of NBN. 1GB in and out as a minimum at least. Let’s get with the rest of the planet.
    NBN is an acronym for JOKE!!!!

  3. ron tisdell says:

    I live in a small village and the nbn cable runs past my front footpath and I can see a fixed wireless tower from my back door approx. 1km,so why cant I get nbn

  4. Staf says:

    Thanks for the info but it’s literally years before NBN will be rolled out in my area. Well done Malcom on crippling a project that could have delivered so much more than it will now.

  5. syd says:

    I was told it would be connected in my area of Pearsall WA by late 2015.
    what a joke it will probably be about 2115 if I’m lucky. I just can’t stand any more promises. I can’t even get adsl2 in my area and if I do get it the speeds are slower than dialup. Just whish these people can get there act together. IINET it’s no good pushing NBN products if we can’t get NBN.

  6. Tahlia says:

    Any news if NBN is coming to Beechboro in Western Australia? Cannot even get ADSL at my place.

  7. Sam says:

    The speeds are great it’s just hardly anyone can access the NBN yet! I’m in a wealthy inner city suburb of Perth, near to a university and hospital, build it here and the uptake rate will be massive!

  8. neil Blakeley says:

    NBN, Not in my life time in Thornlie Perth

  9. Mytwocents says:

    I will be happy to switch to NBN in 10 years time…when it comes to Kingsley WA

  10. Jet says:

    All very well for these emails, but looking at nbn progress, I’m not expecting anything in Myaree until 2020! (Some areas around me have it!!!)

  11. John Ryan says:

    As a long term user of iinet all I can say is tell us the truth,you will need to pay 5000 to get fiber to your home depending on how far you are from the node.
    the 2nd level is about what most will get as old copper wire or pair gains will limit speed,Turnbull shout be shot for giving us an NBN that will cost more and deliver less

  12. James Quigley says:

    How about a bit more substance in these updates…like a realistic rollout date for NBN in Richmond, Vic…my Telstra Business DSL crawls at about 5mbps making even a 30 second YouTube clip a 30 minute ordeal. Meanwhile I can see Telstra and Optus cable lines from my kitchen window…so close, yet so close!

  13. gary Bass says:

    thankyou for informative snapshot..bigger picture include 10MB picture. many people would read your example and be disappointed at not achieving you simple thumbnail sketch.
    very few people talk in Mb as MB are ‘real’ file sizes

    a HD movie for example..
    the mp4 versions are 400-600MB to fit on a regular DVD
    how fast for ‘your’ NBN example

    this shows even the 20mbps transfer rate is inadequate
    factor in the hybrid NBN where speed is ‘shared’ down the line…the more people ‘on’ the slower the feed.
    already since netflix my ADSL2+ has become unusable after 4pm (school’s out!) ..good again after midnight..

    For business, satellite seems the likely solution..or 4G+(5G)..or move to New Zealand as several business’s are already doing

  14. Tony Willis says:

    I am 75 and live in Morley, connected to the Bassendean exchange where I am lucky if I can get 3 Mbps. I don’t fancy my chances of seeing NBN in my lifetime and judging by the way this government is stuffing it up, I don’t think I will be missing much

  15. Brett Keane says:

    All very well Iinet advertising the NBN, but where I live (Robertson NSW) isn’t even on the NBN rollout listings. Not EVERYONE in this country lives in a city or major you know………..

  16. Richard says:

    While Australia plods on the rest of the world have speeds of over 200Mbps. By the time this country wakes up the horse will have fled for good. Pathetic.

  17. Bruce Eickelman says:

    I was one of the very first to connect to the NBN when living at East Gosford NSW almost 2 years ago. The fibre and hardware has been installed in our subdivision Point Clare (West Gosford) for nearly 6 months. The date for switching on the NBN has been pushed back again and again it’s currently said to be Jan. 2016. What a crock! Seems like we are a victim of political infighting. Gee I’m so surprised! The letters WTF come to mind. How about getting it done! please!
    Ever the Optimistic

  18. David D says:

    when are we even getting on the radar for the North West of Tasmania. I see rural outskirts are connected but not populated areas.
    Do schools and business enterprises get prefferential treatment over houses as well.

  19. Brian Baines says:

    Over 2 years ago the listing for NBN starting in my area was a go, then all of a sudden we are not even on the starting list, how long do we have to wait and why do new homes built in our area get NBN before we are considered, we have been on broadband from day one does that not any bearing to a long time user. Look at all the dollars we have passed on to internet companies over the years, I will be dead before NBN rolls onto my computer.

  20. OzJohn says:

    Never mind Girrawheen – I’m still struggling to overcome intermittent WiFi and telephone connection dropouts at Mount Nasura !!

  21. Adrian says:

    I have the wireless NBN cable running right past my door to the tower on the hill 600mtrs away , but because I am in town we can’t get the NBN , hope dumb is that
    Tenterfield nsw

  22. Gordon Giles says:

    why is it that every shire in Perth has at least one area with NBN but the Bayswater it Not B????? Needed?

  23. Barry says:

    I’m 68 I wonder if I will be alive by the time Padbury WA gets the NBN

  24. UAIXY says:

    iiNet have NO plans for FTTN which poor saps are going to get because of the short sightedness of this Government and Malcolm Turnbull who for a techie is a good merchant banker/lawyer. Their lack of imagination is staggering.

  25. Darryl says:

    I don’t expect to have NBN within the next 5 years, even though I live on the Gold Coast. Possibly the biggest tourist destination in the country and with an international airport bringing many Asian and Europeans into the country, it would be expected that the NBN would be here now. But no, I expect no one did their homework and who cares about the international tourists anyway?! I guess the businesspeople staying here can always go sit on the beach and think about how much better is the IT communications in their own country!!

  26. Lew Nyeholt says:

    Can anyone tell me WHEN will I get NBN in my area ??????

  27. ray henderson says:

    can we expect inet at murwillumbah n.s.w. soon?

  28. Paul says:

    Found a roll out timeline on the the Telstra website at the link below that may be handy if you don’t know when you will get the NBN in your area:

  29. Marty Funkhouser says:

    Talking to TELSTRA, the NBN is now safely tucked away 2 years behind schedule and getting worse. If it happens at all your FTTP SPEED (if you can afford it) will be 32mb download with 6.5mb upload. FACT.

  30. Gary dodd says:

    Hi team how are we going with satelite nb broadband? In rural wa south west where we are?


  31. tony says:

    Sunshine coast is dinky, my liberal MPs have NBN, my Councillor has NBN and the roll out is a neat little blip in a sea of nothing for their addresses.

  32. Greg says:

    I agree with Frank’s comment.

    While NBN is welcomed, I do not understand why the speeds are still stone aged compared to the northern hemisphere.

    I work with Singaporeans and Koreans and they are getting speeds of 600Mbps…. Why not here in the lucky country.. ?

    Lets have an explanation please.

  33. Geoffrey Payne says:

    I am currently getting Download 1 to 1.5 Mbps, forget the upload, this is not much better than dialup, there is fibre just 12 paces from my pc, laid 7 years back for Jail & industrial estate just round the corner.

    I experience regular drop outs in winter now, my experience online is not good at all, cannot play videos except You Tubes on occasion.

    Sure I am paying for ADSL 2 but would like to experience the advertised Specifications.

    What will happen to my email address with new owners ?

  34. Kevin says:

    Cmon NBN stop patting yourself on rhe back and use the arm to dig more line in

  35. Michael says:

    The rollout is certainly a huge joke.
    But I feel more like crying than laughing.
    I am in Bentleigh – the SE suburbs of Melbourne, long established middle class communities.
    Yet if you zoom in on the availability map to this part of Melbourne there is SFA in the way of connections.
    At this rate my (yet to be born) grandchildren will be retired before it gets here!!!

  36. slobodan says:

    Internet in Australia is 50 years behind the Europe. The slowest internet service in developed countries. Shame.

  37. Paul Rawlings says:

    I no longer bother to read the reports or look at the progress of NBN I can’t even get a reliable mobile phone connection especially during peak hours. I will just plod along with ADSL2

  38. Chris says:

    Here I am in the middle of Canberra – with Labor we would/could have had NBN fibre to our door already – but now… I don’t think we will ever see it, and even if it comes though – I’ll still have to contend with the 30 years old copper infrastructure to deliver it to my door.

  39. Les says:

    Megabits? Who has ever heard of Megabits?

    It takes 8 bits to make a byte. Each ASCII character (letters of the alphabet, numbers, quotation marks) take 8 bytes to produce, therefore this amazing 100 Megabits speed is actually only 12.5 Megabytes per second. I already achieve 12 Mbps on my copper wire connection in a remote Rural setting (not utilising ADSL2).

    A 10MB picture is 80Mbs in size (pictures are measured in MegaBytes not MegaBits). Somewhere above in the IINet blurb they are confusing the 2 measurement scales (using as a reference a 10Mb photo ie a 1.25MB photo). My camera takes 24MByte photos. This confusion of interchanging MB and Mb or talking of Bits and not Bytes is as confusing as when the Pollies were first talking of the NBN.

    The NBN is being run-out in my town now; though I wonder when it will be available in my house.

  40. Des Smith says:

    I am informed that satellite dishes will be used for the NBN in remote areas and smaller country towns. With a maximum speed of 25 mbs (I have a letter from Turnbull stating this) satellite could only be described as the poor mans broadband. Not everybody is going to get fibre to the node – despite the glossy advertising!

  41. james says:

    nbn = National Boneheads Network
    Politicians = Boneheads

  42. Ralph says:

    I notice a glaring omission in the listed reasons for sub-optimal speeds. Why no mention of distance from the node? FTTN suffers a drastic drop in speeds if you are any appreciable distance from the node, potentially dropping below standard ADSL rates and into the realm of dial-up if you are too far out. The quality of the copper lines running form the node is also a critical factor.

  43. Mark Kelly says:

    NBN is not needed when we have 4G and soon to be 5G on our mobiles ( phones and tablets ) and why have STAN & PRESTO slow things down when we should have FOXTEL for everyone

  44. Frostie says:

    NBN should be stopped now before we waste anymore taxpayer money. It was obsolete before it was even considered by Labor. Nationally they should just roll out G5 throughout the mobile networks. It’s 10 times faster than NBN ever can be and far more stable. Do away completely with copper and or fibre optic cables as they are all too slow to install and too high a cost to maintain.

  45. Kes Keesha says:

    Three broken appointments for installation with no explanation or warning (telstra). NBN may be blazingly fast but getting connected is glacial

  46. Peter says:

    I have a real NBN a month per year when I pack up my laptop an go on a family visit in Europe. In a small country town, approx 15.000 people, they have all fiber to the premises. Even better: it’s connected and it has 150Mbps up AND download.
    And then I arrive back in Australia….and read that speed issues are all in my head and nobody in the world has speeds higher than 100Mbps…. even the word ‘UTOPIA’ was used.
    Oh, and by the way: the cost per household is less than 50 Euro per month and this includes phone calls, Television (30+ channels, and more on request) and 150/150Mbps Internet

    Stop treating us a mugs.

  47. James says:

    Sorry, but I don’t find these speeds all that special.

    I’m on Telstra CABLE broadband, and my typical speeds are around 80 to 90 Mbps on any online speed test.

    In terms of actual file download speeds, around 5 to 6 MB (that’s mega BYTES) per second would be more typical of consistent download speeds of large files. I’ve seen much faster, but that would be my general ‘real world’ expectation speed during peak times.

    Truth is, even my 4G connection is faster than half of the NBN plans listed above!

  48. JASPERCONNOR says:


  49. petern says:

    i already get 34mbps on cable… i am in WISHART QLD, a long way from the exchange and in a street built in 1980 with copper wires. i am not worried about getting it. i can’t complain. but then, i don’t download movies.

  50. Sean says:

    You missed in item in the list for “If you’re not experiencing those maximum speeds…..”

    – The copper between the node and your house is appaling. Nothing can be done, please come back in 10 years.

  51. cyril says:

    I am in Coffs Harbour and i get 96 download and 46 upload…on the NBN Not bad really.

  52. Dodgydee says:

    NBN wireless after satellite, totally loving it!!!! and I live in a rural community in central Vic!

  53. scotty says:

    im in noosa Qld pop 50k ppl swells too 200k in holidays and we arnt even listed on NBN, yet 30 km away in a hick town called nambour pop 15k, they will have NBN, and maroochy 30 km south will have nbn, and 100 north will have nbn???? Telstra this is BS…

  54. Greg says:

    I have NBN 100/40 from iiNet. It is worse than my original DSL service here in Darwin. Over subscribed nod under capacity. Infrastructure changes promised to fix it but always delayed or never enough. NBN/iiNet rubbish!

  55. SEAN says:

    Why is everyone so surprised. Even before it started it was obvious it was never going to get finished. Then not long going it became obvious that it was not going to deliver to those who need it the most. The NBN has become a political football and Malcolm knows more than anyone that Rural Australia is not where the votes are.

  56. Allan Clarke says:

    I live not far from Newcastle N.S.W and my NBN as well as internet has always been very slow. IPSTAR Is my internet.

  57. Dom says:

    ..”a Whopping 100Mbps”…how cute!

    Meanwhile Japan is offering up to 2000Mbps

    This is what happens when non-technical people try to plan in the technical sandpit.

    As for the mentioned photo size…. “If you are downloading a photo that is 10 megabits…” come on! When last did windows/Linux/mac tell you your photo size was 10 megabits! 10/8 = 1.25MB (Megabytes)