Understanding your NBN needs

@RosPage explores how to choose the best NBN plan based on the needs of your household. Use our guide to help estimate what size data plan you will need, what speed NBN and where to go if things go wrong.

Have a question about the NBN? Ask in the comments below.


If this is helpful - I would not go with HarbourISP. We had not used the service since 1st Jan 2017, but were paying up to end of February. We tried for 3 months to cancel & they kept ignoring us & kept charging our credit card. In the end I got really mad and reported them to Consumer Affairs which I haven’t got a reply (about 3 months) Then HarbourISP threatened to “wreck our Credit rating” so we paid up - it is $45 per month & their last account was for $128 - which we paid in full. Then this month AGAIN they have taken out another $46+ from my credit card. When I asked for a refund they then wanted my Credit Card number, which they Must have to be able to debit it. The CBA tells me the only way to stop this & get it back is to cancel my C/Card and get a new one. This is VERY inconvenient as we use it for business. SO, try about service company - maybe Active8 if it is available in your area.


Product Review has lots of customer reviews of many NBN/ADSL providers. Many of them are very overweighted toward “terrible” with the major gripes being customer service and the lack thereof (hold time, inability to fix problems like billing, clueless technical support) and NBN performance.

The reviews need to be taken as anecdotal noting those unhappy are usually more prone to review than those who are very happy, but it still seems a useful resource as there is no commercial arrangement to taint it. I was surprised that a few companies seem to be so well reviewed and whether those reviews are all dinkum - one claims they are all from verifiable customers.

It is also interesting that some providers follow and respond, and others are not so interested in responding to their respective poor reviews.


There is an interesting point raised here which Choice needs to investigate - why can’t a consumer cancel a credit card payment? It’s their money after all. I have heard this problem a number of times. My daughter lived in Sydney and cancelled her gym membership when she moved to the country because the gym had no facilities - all in accordance with the terms and conditions. It took 3 months to stop the payments - why?


We put together this direct debits guide, but to my understanding the issues occur when either a bank or a merchant fail to follow the rules. We’ve heard a lot about underhanded tactics from gyms so your daughter is not alone there.

Thanks for flagging this, I’ll do a shout out on another thread to see what else comes up.


We went with TPG in the end after agreeing to waive CSG, this is detailed in another thread, and from when we ordered to when we were online with the NBN took 10 days. The internet is over FTTN and the VOIP phone was available the same day as the internet through them, so we are happy with that outcome.

I checked distance from the node to our house and speeds should be and are around 96 Mbps (Mega Bits Per Second) down and 37 Mbps up when at best but we do notice occasional drops to the point of no service 2 or 3 times a day.

The modem is their supplied HUAWEI Home Gateway HG659 with no external antennas for improving wifi signals or place/s to add them with AC version wifi , B (11 Mbps), G (54 Mbps), N (150 or 300 Mbps) are earlier versions of wifi standards with reduced max speeds and the modem does support these for older equipment. Most of our other wifi enabled equipment is N band using both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz but we noticed the 5 GHz band from the modem is poor even in the same room as the other equipment and so most of our equipment reverts to the slower 2.4 GHz usage and so we get maximums around 150 Mbps. If you are going to get TPG FTTN I would suggest looking at perhaps another modem with external antennas to improve your wifi experience.


I was helping a family member select his ISP last year and he went with TPG but decided to bring his own modem. Reason, at the time there were lots of HUAWEI used modems for sale on ebay. Most included they they worked on TPG and the user was upgrading :wink:


NBN made a huge mess of my installation. they have rectified it now. a very rude technician came at first and told me that he was too busy to talk to me and to leave him alone to do his job when i asked him questions. he gave me NO CHOICE where to put the box and told me it HAD to go near my foxtell which resulted in a long chord stretched right across my living room to reach the computer which had no other place to go. then he told me he had NO IDEA how to install a modem and to work it out myself. when he left i had to call my supplier who were very helpful 4 times to get it working properly. he ruined my foxtell and i had to call foxtell to fix it. they told me he had removed a chord and it was a wonder foxtell worked at all. the foxtell guy had to go to his truck to get a new chord for me for the foxtell. once the foxtell was fixed the nbn chord across the loungeroom was proving dangerous. i lodged a complaint. after having to prove myself and sending pics of the issue they finally condescended that they would fix it but refused to admit that it was DANGEROUS to have a chord stretching across a lounge room for OH&S. I pointed out that my soon to be born grandaughter or myself could fall over the cord and the case manager refused to acknowledge they had done the wrong thing but they would ‘fix it’. They did. They came and sorted it the other day. After a two week wait. However they were supposed to come between 8 and 12 and text me to say they were behind and would be there 1 to 4pm. no regard for the fact i took the morning off work. anyway i made a fuss and rang them and they did get there by 11 as i managed to find a helpful customer service officer at nbn. however my case manage when i called her was very unsympathetic and said it was out of her control. she apologised profusely which would not help with the lost wages from taking the morning off. she made no attempt to call anyone to sort it. thank goodness for the customer service person. its now ‘fixed’. I hope. NBN has terrible unsympathetic demanding customer service and one very rude technician. The other guys that fixed the mess were very nice. Shame on you NBN


If you have the time @Choosegood, it might be worthwhile reporting this technician to your NBN provider, as it sounds like a nightmare. I’m glad the others came through to help sort it out.

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Get a small say $500 limit credit card just to use on the internet. Thats the only way then when this happens, and it does, they just go on taking money all too often - stop it at the bank they will issue new card. Means main business card is unaffected. That what I do.
And I am disgusted you didnt get reply from Consumer Affairs write to your state MPs. Not good enough!.
And tell your bank - maybe not too late to get back the money, they will go to bat for you.

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I did report the technician. Apparently they get $80 for every connection they do. So if they spend a lot of time with you that’s all they get for a few hours work. So they are looking after their interests when they are being quick. Someone else told me that - not the nbn crowd - a technician who knows people that work there.

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Thank you Choosegood, we were with them for several months at $45+ per month so they did get money out of us. But the problem was when we cancelled they ignored us & kept charging & threatening us. I think the banks could be more helpful & reverse the payment AFTER I had an email from HarbourISP confirming that it was cancelled. Them asking for our Credit card number is not on as they would already have that to be able to charge on it.

We do have a small credit card and keep about 200-300 on it. This doesn’t help when the amounts are less than that. Thank you as it might help others. It was the CBA who suggested we do this.

I am going to the CBA Again & see if I can fill out a form to try and stop these payments to HarbourISP, I have a horrible feeling that they will charge again on 10th June!!!

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Interesting. I once asked my bank if I could get a list of companies that have direct debits from my accounts and they said, basically, “Look at your transaction history”. Given that I can only see six months worth of history, I found this unhelpful. The reason I asked is that I found out that I had been paying a yearly fee for an online service that I haven’t used for years and I was concerned there might be more. In the end, I had to search the online company’s website to a deep level before I could stop the payment.

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They will…count on it. A quick fix right now is to cancel your card. If you have lodged a " dispute a transaction" with your credit card provider than the money will be credited back to you account.

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