CHOICE membership

Aussie Broadband and the NBN Experience



I switched in January, like you with Fritz box - fantastic Voip etc perfect.

I’d actually go for the lowest service first as I did, pay as you go not a contract, and only then upgrade to the 50. I say this because the actual 25 service is at least that all the time.

We don’t have enough, well any, national data about the actual usage benefits of the faster speeds. Do most households actually benefit from the faster speed, ie, they use internet services where speed is fundamental? I suspect most don’t need it. I’ve discovered currently I don’t. I can have 20 web sites open watch iview and you tube.

It is a bit like having a dual carriageway outside your front door, but you only use it to get to the shops 2 kms away, the speed it offers becomes irrelevant


The NBN Co does publish some data and there are some who really hammer the fast connections. As people move from standard or less quality of streams to HD and 4K streaming the faster speeds will become more important/relevant to the user experience. Certainly from our usage patterns we use almost all our download speed most days of the week and uploads are also fairly high.

When you watch iView and similar many adjust to the bandwidth they can use successfully so that while watching something on a smaller screen the speed used may only be a fraction of what is the rated speed of your package as the quality of the image/video can be downsized to make it run smoothly eg 480p instead of say 720p and if it is just a windowed display within a screen or a smaller screen it may appear as a reasonable quality.

20 web pages open is just that, once a page is downloaded most elements are static. The real performance hit here comes not so much from what speed of download you have but how much RAM your machine has to support that many pages open. Most people don’t open/refresh 20 pages simultaneously but rather 1 or a few more perhaps rapidly and this shouldn’t normally put much strain on even a 25/5 connection.


Pricing is an interesting component. We do not need the 50 plan but it is only $120 pa more than the 25, and on the odd occasion we actually consume that much data in a go the convenience and speed are worth it to us. Some day we will also start streaming, but have not done so yet and still play with our Beyonwiz U4 PVR for time shifting.

As mentioned, it is an evolutionary and educational experience how one changes their behaviour when the circustance allows.


@grahroll You are just one user amongst 100k. As most have come from an ADSL service that has less than 10% of the most basic NBN speed service, is what I think is most likely to be relevant.

What I am saying is we don’t have the information, to make an informed judgement. It is insufficient to have just a few individuals experience, and at present that seems to only come from those that want the maximum. That is leading many others to think that is what they must obviously require, and I doubt that is actually the case. I have no doubt it will move in that direction, but over years not weeks of NBN experience. However, as with ADSL services it became the role of the ISPs to upgrade their clients at the ISPs expense, to retain their clients, rather than the marketing blurb getting them to buy more they really need.

It isn’t just about speed it also includes volume. Volume isn’t just speed related, although some services need speed due to their volume.

I still recommend members sign up to the slowest speed first, trial it, and only then upgrade. I think they will be surprised.

The bigger players refused to sell the slowest speed until quite recently, now they are all getting into the act, that ABB had from the start. Once they all adopt it prices will fall for the basic service, ie, they will compete. That is why we use Choice to get quality at an appropriate price.


Thanks @longinthetooth. I’m more interested in the 50/20 plan for the 20 upload speed. One thing that makes me tear my hair out is the government’s focus on download speeds only. I seriously considered 100/40, and might yet switch to that in the near future. ( On ADSL2, we have been getting around 14/0.9, so upload is where we expect to see the biggest improvement )

Naturally, I’ll be monitoring our actual speeds and will complain quickly if we don’t get close to what we pay for. :smirk:


From a report on NBN data usage linked in the Optus one above but echoed across many similar pages about the NBN:

“In April 2018, NBN Co undertook a research operation to determine how Australians were using the nbn™ and how much data they needed…//…This particular research in April looked at the usage of 3.7 million active services…//…Like most of the world, Australia is using more and more data every year. Across the 3.7 million premises connected at the time the research was conducted, the average download consumption was 190GB across just April 2018. That’s a serious amount of internet usage. The median consumption was unsurprisingly lower at 108GB.

According to the NBN Co, just 14 percent of premises accounted for 50 percent of the total traffic, leading to a much higher average than median result

In addition to downloading, Australia is no slouch on uploading either. The average upload total for April 2018 was 17.45GB, while the median usage came in at 7GB”

Somewhat more than 100k users and a large amount of data now being moved up and down as people move to newer internet experiences they could only once dream of. But we also have to look at who gets connected by what and if they even have the capacity to use more than they can get, @gordon I am sure would rather have anything else than the current satellite connection NBN Co supplies them. I am sure their data usage both ways would soar above what they currently can get. Some on FTTN are limited to 25/5 Mbps because of line quality and would do more if they could, same for wireless.

I used ADSL until I couldn’t be connected in an area I moved to then I used a Small Business Internet provider over a Wifi network then to FTTN then to FTTP. I do understand moving from ADSL service to alternative services and even to NBN. I help friends all the time who are moving from ADSL to NBN, nor do I most times recommend buying higher speeds first off and have stated this on this forum. I only suggest higher packages for those I know will use large amounts and who are lucky enough to have the type of service that will reliably provide a faster service than a standard 25/5. FTTP being king of that but HFC can also be rock steady at 50/20.

One of the reasons for moving up in plans than down it that it is easier to increase your plan than to downgrade, another is that the variability of what someone can even get can be widely different and 25/5 might be close to their actual obtainable speeds and only after connection can line quality be more accurately determined.


No! The NBN does publish some data. Singular - it’s a company!

/rave off

Tell Chrome that. I have an addon to offload inactive web pages. While I’m currently down to 130, at one point I had over 1,000 - and I don’t know any machines that would have supported that the way Chrome eats memory.

Which is the entire point of building a future-proofed NBN (I know, I’m preaching to the converted).

This is important given that we should all have off-site backups. (There is plenty of peer to peer backup software that will allow e.g. families to back up between their homes, and encrypt those backups.)


Corrected it, thank you for the pickup and I am happy for you to edit my grammatical mistakes when spotted :smile:


Is it not correct that English, as differentiated from American, treats a company as either a collective (plural) or as an entity (singular)?


You seem to be agreeing with me. That when converting from ADSL to NBN the best approach is to adopt the basic service first, trial it, and only then if it doesn’t suffice, upgrade.

I’m going a little further than that, because I think strategically this is better for everyone, the Nation, as it will force the ISPs to gift the higher volumes and speed to us, to retain us as clients, as they have done for decades with ADSL.

Also your data supports my opinion, ie, the data is all relative to the maximum, it isn’t related to the satisfaction of those on the basic. For years most providers didn’t even supply the 25, the minimum was 50, hence much of the satisfaction data is useless. Likewise the references are to volume, not to satisfaction with speed, and speed is the primary marketing message.

Analogy - Why own a Ferrari, if you seldom use freeways and regional highways, and have no intention to do track racing? Instead use a Hybrid or Electric car and get the benefits.



The Gregg Reference Manual by William Sabin says that when using orga­ni­za­tional names, treat them as either sin­gu­lar or plural (but not both). Ordinarily, it sug­gests you treat the name as sin­gu­lar unless you wish to empha­size the indi­vid­u­als who make up the orga­ni­za­tion. In that case, use the plural.

(Yes, that manual is for US English.)

Logically, a company is singular. There is only one Google, there is only one Facebook. Even if referring to “the Alphabet group” (i.e. Google’s parent company, Google and everything else in that melange) one would use the singular - referring to a single group. One exception to this is when you are referring to the members/employees… thus “Alphabet and its constituent companies are planning…”.

There are plenty of online references to UK/US differences, but this seems largely (based upon my two minutes of research) to be a problem with the BBC getting things wrong.

It is one of those grammatical things that frustrate me, in the way that media is plural and forum is singular (so more than one forum should be referred to as fora).


My Hilux and (insert all the other scaremongering vehicles) doesn’t yet come in electric!


Edit: neither does the Ferrari - which will undoubtedly be a worry for many of our politicians in their post-politics lives.


Amazing. Your US sources state American is correct and the BBC is wrong. Who would have known! :laughing:


I do not often rely upon US sources, but the references to the BBC were not all US-based and the logic I apply below the quote is my own.


This has gone widely off the topic but my final bit to this particular debate about speed and data.

At the data levels used the slower speeds would be taxed to provide such levels in the given time frame in a normal household usage. Speed in this case equates to the amount of data (volume) to be transferred in a given time and why it is relevant. Your usage at a slower tier is then not as relevant, as you remark mine is at a higher tier to the larger group of users on lesser tiers, to those who desire or require the higher speeds. MTM NBN has given us poor choices, poor outcomes for many, and an inability to really see what high speed and thus ability to use very large amounts of data could do for us. Maybe we would all be using the Ferrari!

If 14% of 3.7 million people are heavily using data and thus speed then this is relevant particularly when compared to how many are given only access to less than optimal speeds. FTTP and HFC are only a small part of those connected, the rest are left in a mire of luck of distance from a node, choice of service eg satellite, and quality of connection. What if they could use more but can’t, how do we measure that desire for more in terms of data used. Ans. is we can’t we just measure then some level of satisfaction.

The increasing large usage of data points to an increasing need for speed and many who cannot achieve this are perhaps like an old saying " what you’ve never had you never miss"…but as the quote from an author Tonya Hurley says " We don’t miss what we never had, but we miss terribly things we almost had". You won’t even see much innovation of products/businesses that will rely heavily on speed and data. Sure 4K streaming will come here but very few will be able to enjoy it’s viewing benefits and so a whole swag of TV sales may be limited by that lack. Trivial as it is it is just an example of what will be stifled by limited speed.

RSPs cannot provide the free gift of higher speeds as they do not control the wholesale market only NBN Co does that. Until the Govt reduces the cost to be recovered for the MTM NBN then you won’t see much change to the cost of speed tiers. MTM NBN is why you are paying so much for even basic levels of speed.

I link to a post by @Drop_Bear in a topic about selling the NBN and highly recommend reading the linked article in that post:


Our nbn installer arrived 20 minutes early this morning, at 7:40. There was a minor problem in that the HFC coax had already been run through the PVC conduit under the house, but it hadn’t been connected to the nbn box on the side of the house. That was easily done, and then he ran the coax through to the study. I gave him a hand to pull the coax through the floor, using a disused phone extension cable that was already there.

He then installed the coax wall socket and connected the NTD. Within ten minutes we had all green lights ( at around 09:00 ) and I connected the NTD to our Fritz!Box 7490. This step was plug-and-play - as soon as the 7490 saw that there was an internet connection on the LAN1 port, it started to use that in preference to the ADSL that was still connected.

At this point, I did a speed test that showed 47/19, and then jumped into the 7490 user interface to remove the ADSL configuration and the VOIP configuration, because…

Until such time as our existing phone number is ported over from iinet to Aussie, we want to keep the VOIP active. I have an older 7390, and configured it to connect to ADSL just to provide VOIP. I plugged a regular phone into the back and made sure that VOIP was still working.

So, all is good, and we now have the ADSL and NBN connections running side by side. As soon as Aussie advise that our phone number has been ported, I’ll disconnect the 7390, put the Aussie VOIP configuration into the 7490, and finally when all is working smoothly, I’ll terminate our iinet account.

Both Aussie and nbn have kept me informed with multiple SMS and email ( from Aussie ) messages. I’m a very happy camper thus far.

( I note that although Aussie advised that there would be paperwork to sign-off on the nbn install, I wasn’t asked to sign anything )


That exactly reflects my installation experience except I was asked to sign off on the install. If you use them, you will find VOIP ‘features’ are a discovery process. If you use it, the ABB mail site is pretty basic, no filters, no forwarding, not much of anything with a lone clue about thunderbird tags. I decided to try adding the ABB email account to thunderbird and it happily made a POP connection, but no security to enable/disable as with gmail.

My previously posted displeasure about the SPAM/Physhing labels from the ABB smtp server to gmail addresses is resolvable by my setting the gmail smtp server for my gmail accounts and the abb smtp server for ABB accounts if/when I use that account for anything.

If you have not noticed yet, you can add email accounts under the NBN service selection.


I’ll have a play with that over the weekend. I have an iinet email that I keep as a backup backup email address ( can’t have too much redundancy, or can I ? :wink: )


We are really only hanging on to VOIP for overseas calls, as relatives don’t like calling our mobiles. I doubt that there are any ‘features’ we’ll use, but I’ll do some exploring when I have time.


Chuckles - those that exist are undocumented beta. Here was their response to a query

Most standard VoIP features (Call forwarding, waiting redirecting) are handled
by the ATA or on our end(if there is nothing configured to handle it in the
end device it will go through us).

There are some star codes that can be used:

For example:
Unconditional call forwarding is - *72(followed by the number and then #)(*92
to remove)
Anonymous blocking - *77 (*87 to remove)

This was implemented fairly recently and hasn’t been completely tested at this
point. We are working on some documentation for this currently and it should
be available in the future.