Home News and Editorial Incredibly, NBN Co reports that the number of awful 12/1 Mbps connections...

Incredibly, NBN Co reports that the number of awful 12/1 Mbps connections has increased


As if the progress of Australia’s NBN didn’t deserve enough criticism (albeit, largely leveled at its political masters rather than the delivery agency itself), the NBN Co has reported this week that, after a year of decline, it’s starting to see more connections using the lowest possible NBN speed tier.

In the latest Wholesale Market Indicators Report, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reports that over the three months to September 30, 51,300 premises had connected via a 12Mbps plan, 19,400 signed up to 25/5Mbps plan, and 46,700 more premises connected with a 100/40Mbps plan.

However, these figures are dwarfed by new connections at the 50/20 Mbps speed tier (which is now, effectively, the standard offering) – some 385,000 new connections were made at this speed, and most of them were on the HFC network.

At the time of writing, some 2.1 million premises were connected on the two slowest speed tiers available – 12/1 Mbps and 25/5 Mbps. While it is good that the NBN provides speed tiers (and pricing) for those customers that really have no need today for faster internet, these speeds really are appallingly slow by 2019 standards. What we’d like to see is entry-level plans available at faster speed tiers, instead of selling these 1990s speeds to customers today.

The growth in such slow connections comes despite NBN Co advocating for the creation of more affordable, faster speed tiers – such as 100 / 20 Mbps plans, and 250 / 25 Mbps and 1000 / 50 Mbps plans (although those latter plans will likely be limited to HFC and FTTP connections for now, as no other technologies support it at present).

Let us know – are you on a slower NBN plan, at the 12/1 or 25/5 Mbps tiers? If so, what do you use your NBN connection for? Just a telephone? Casual use? Streaming content? Reach out and let us know!


    1. I’m on FTTN and unfortunately can’t get 100/40. I’m on a 50/20 plan and only get 39 with frequent dropouts. I’ve never watched a Netflix show that didn’t buffer at some point and you can see the resolution go up and down. I’d gladly pay for a 1Gig plan if it was available, but it’s unlikely FTTN will ever be upgraded in my lifetime. I’m no fan of 4G/5G as I like wires, but it looks like I’m not going to have much choice.

      • If you can record more than 5 dropouts per day in your modem logs, you should be able to get your ISP to report the fault to NBN. This happened to me, and eventually they got an NBN tech to replace the connection outside my townhouse. The difference was night and day, I went from lousy speed with frequent dropouts to a rock-steady FTTN connection with months of uptime.

    2. Nbn what a joke .had broadband quicker than nbn
      Had to change to nbn ,Internet on and off phone disconnecting all the time .It took 6 months to finally get a semi decent service ,they had to double the speed at no extra cost so l had what l was paying for before nbn
      It took awile but get the telecommunications ombudsman involved

    3. I am on a 50/20 plan, but FTTN connection only delivers about 33/8 at best, and frequently (randomly) drops down to about 20/5. Would make sense to downgrade to a 25 Mbps tier, but my provider doesn’t offer this option. Probably should shop around for a cheaper plan elsewhere.

    4. I can’t get a high speed so I have a lower plan. I wanted 100/40, then tried a 50/20, now I’m on a 25/5 fttn.
      I especially love my videos randomly freezing, and various pages on Chrome not loading, it’s fantastic.

      I can’t reach anything past 25 down, the nbn is a joke.

      • Netflix should stream FHD in 8Mbps. Pages not loading on Chrome sounds like an underlying network connectivity issue which might be caused by your internal network, copper to node, congestion at NBNCo to RSP interface (PoI) or RSP network issues.

        Have you investigated the root cause of the issue? Having a professional review your internal network might help?

    5. I used to get between 60-70Mbps on cable service with unlimited data and no drop outs for $79/month was made to change to nbn and had to pay $100/month for unlimited data and only got 38-42Mbps unless I paid another $20/month for a speed boost let alone the constant drop outs sometimes for days at a time…. Well I ended up disconnecting it and now only use my mobile and the 60gb data I get on that

      • Why is it that people accept quotas on mobile but not on NBN?
        If the NBN had quotas, then speed tiers could disappear.

    6. Been on the 12/1 plan for at least 4 yrs. No problems with the download speed. And I consider our family as relatively heavy users. Initially like a previous commentator my OneDrive/GoogleDrive would choke my downloads, I have limited via QoS upload to 950 mps to fix. We often steam Netflix and prime simultaneously.

    7. Well I complaint to Telstra, as I’m on 50/20 and some 1200 metres from fttn node and can only provide 30/9 and I made a complaint throught TIO now I get a discount of $30 off per month for life of contract.
      Telstra and any of the providers who cannot provide 44Mbps to your door on 50/20 you’re entitled to a refund on the different.
      As they’re selling you short in the first place.
      So please my a complaint to TIO.

    8. Even though I live 2kms from a country town and have water, natural gas, electricity and a copper line that leads underground to my house, NBN in their infinite wisdom have deemed me too hard to reach via cable. I’m stuck with a Fixed Wireless service which is supposed to be 25/5 Mbps but is more like 6-8 Mbps at peak times. So I’m one of those statistics that deems me opting for a slower service but nothing could be further from the truth. I’d gladly pay for 100 Mbps but will never have it as an option. It seems my tax dollars didn’t go far enough. City vs Country divide just got bigger while we wait and hope for 5G

    9. I am on the 12Mbps plan, on HFC, and I use it for streaming from Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime and Foxtel. It works fine, despite all the advice I was given on the speed I would need for streaming.

    10. Liberals should be held accountable for this. Anyone else spending peoples money and delivering a product in this way would face jail time.

      • Should Labor also be punished for building a FTTP network with speed tiers and the expectation that close to 50% would be connected at 12Mbps in 2026 and less than 1% at 1Gbps?

        If speed was your benchmark, then the LNP changes to CVC pricing resulting in RSPs upgrading people from 25Mbps to 50Mbps for no cost should be considered a winner.

        • Got a source for that? I don’t remember any of Labor’s FTTP policy predicting a 12 Mbps speed, nor a delivery of 2026.

    11. Well I would love to get at least NBN 50 but fiber to the node can only give be 25 and even these drops out frequently

    12. I signed up for 100mps on the NBN and only received 5mps. The NBN is already an expensive out dated technology. I’m currently using 4G and receiving 100 plus mps during the day and 20 plus mps at night

    13. A lot of these 12mb connections are a result of elderly customers being on a package deal. they only use the phone but are offered internet as a package to get unlimited calls. So when i go and activate a service they have no device to connect to the modem.

    14. Pretty obvious. People concerned with speed adopted early and at higher speeds. People less concerned with speed (grandparents) waited until they had to convert over, and then did so at the cheaper plan. Hence slower speeds are weighted towards the later timeframe.

    15. Since when could we get 12/1Mbps in the 1990s?
      Whilst I understand that you are just trying to illustrate a point, this statement is just ludicrous. Do you remember dial-up and/or ISDN, and the speeds available?
      I could only get 3.5kbps on dial-up in the late 1990s and early 2000s until ISDN massively boosted my speed to around 64kbps.
      Even when ADSL became available, the maximum I could get was 3.5Mbps until around 2016, when I was finally able to get around 12Mbps…
      As I said, I understand your point, but wildly inaccurate statements like that completely remove any credibility to an article.

      • I had Telstra cable and (earlier) Optus cable in the 90s, and they easily offered 12 Mbps downstream (or more, often up to 30), and 1 to 2 Mbps upstream. So, yes, those speeds are late 90s speeds or – at best – early 00s speeds. They’re not what we should be seeing 20 years into the 2000s.

        And, for the record, yes, I used 33.6k modems, 56k modems, and I even had a dual channel ISDN connection at one place where we couldn’t get anything better.

        12/1 connections are a relic.

      • Mate I am on adsl2 as nbn still not available in my street and the fastest I have seen via speed check is 3.5mbps. I live 4.9km from the exchange and people 200meters away from have nbn but apparently my street, which is only 300meters long, is a no through road and has only 10 houses on it, apparently needs a major upgrade before nbn will be available.
        It’s an absolute joke. When I moved here 2 years ago I was told the nbn would be available September 2017. Now they tell me April 2020. I know a lot of people aren’t satisfied with the nbn but it can’t be any worse then what I currently have

      • I’m only getting 3Mbps on adsl now, although that is to be expected @ 3.5kms from the exchange. 12kms from Sydney CBD the nbn build will not be completed here until July 2020, if then.

    16. I’m on a 25 plan simply because my maximum potential speed is around 17. FTTN and it costs more than my old ADSL connection which topped out at around 14. 4g at my house runs about 45 with the same ping, so the NBN is going when the teen-ager leaves

      • What you may find is that dropping to a 12/1 plan means you lose even more speed. Duncan had 100/40 on his FTTN but could only get 50Mbps top speed. When he dropped his plan to a 50/20 plan, his top speed dropped to below 40. Damned either way.

    17. Got a 25/5 that got bumped by my ISP to 50/20 at no extra cost. Physical line is only capable of 27/6, with a cable length of ~900m from the node, so no point paying for a higher plan.
      Would happily pay for 100/40 or higher, but the $14k technology upgrade means I’d move to an FTTP-provisoned area first.

      • If you are not renting then moving is probably false economy. $14k is almost certainly less than cost of stamp duty. On top of that you need to add real-estate agent fees.

    18. Could it be that people are selecting the lower speeds because the connection they’re provided won’t handle the higher connection rates reliably? I know of people who sign up to faster connection speeds and the FTTN service will not provide the speed they signed up for so they elect to drop down to save money as they are not getting the speed they signed up for.

      • For some people that is definitely the case, but a study of ACCC NBNCo Wholesale Market Indicators report shows little variation between the fixed line technologies.

        Secondly demand for speeds faster than 100Mbps is minuscule, even with AussieBroadband offering 150 & 250Mbps.

    19. My previous house had optus cable (50mbps), but moving one suburbs across left us with very slow ADSL (5mbps downloads, 200kbps uploads) so while being on a budget, when NBN came along, we moved to the same priced 12/1 plan.

      We can stream music and video concurrently, unless my OneDrive is syncing, then we have problems. Looking to upgrade, even to 25/5 for the 5x faster uploads, as its my entire photo library that’s hogging our network.

    20. There’s nothing wrong with my 12/1 connection. It fulfils my needs perfectly. I watch Netflix, do my web browsing, banking, etc. I have no need for anything faster. And 12mbps is not 1990’s technology. Back then we had 56k modems. ADSL just started to arrive after the turn of the century.

    21. We’ve moved from 100/2 Mbps cable to 50/20 Mbps NBN because the 100/50 NBN plan was about $30 more expensive. That means we’re paying more for an upload speed that is 10x faster. What’s happened to the 1Gbps plans we were promised?

      Actually it’s not as bad as we feared. We’ve only had a few outages on the NBN… the longest one being 20 minutes… and that was weeks ago. Since then it’s been behaving itself. Furthermore the download speeds seem to have increased despite the speed reduction. Go figure? The ping times on NBN are 1/3 of that on cable (4 ms v’s 12 ms)… which is nice if you want a snappy connection? Might also be part of the reason download speeds appear to have increased?

      The increased upload speeds mean that synchronising data with the cloud suddenly becomes less time consuming… as does uploading large files or sending larger emails.

      I still think it’s a retrograde step to be paying more for less! …but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel with 1 Gbps plans on the horizon. As we have HFC we’re going to be one of the first to be offered 1Gbps. The only downside is that we probably won’t be able to justify 1 Gbps? That probably means the price of 100 Mbps will probably drop… so we’ll sneak up to 100 Mbps… then slowly progress to 250, 500 & finally 1Gbps?

      In the meantime NBN reliability will presumably continue to increase? One other positive note is that Optus was identified as the fastest NBN provider and we’re on Optus. Surprisingly the connection comes close to maxing out the 50/20 speeds they promise almost all the time… even during high volume times. That’s not bad.

      P.S We were promised 18 months to transition to the NBN… didn’t happen. If we hadn’t complained long and loudly they would have slugged us even more for the connection: we’re paying $90/month which is the same as our old cable plan. We’re still trying to work out what features we’ve lost under the new NBN plan (some Fetch TV channels I think and maybe some phone calls?).
      PPS. Optus spent all it’s time trying to downgrade us to 50/20 to avoid a hefty price increase. If we had opted into exactly the same services as we had previously at the same speed it would have cost us ~50% more. As it is just to maintain the line speed at 100 Mbps it would have cost us 1/3 more.

    22. NBN refuse to let me connect to the FTTN in the street, despite my neighbours (same copper line length as me) getting a full 100MBPS sync. I’m told that “satellite is the appropriate technology for my home” and have tried for 6 months to get that looked at unsuccessfully

      With no 4g coverage at my house, I’m stuck on 10MBPS ADSL for the foreseeable future 😦

      So much for the NBN providing for my children’s future!

    23. It’s more likely they are on fttn and are getting such garbage speeds (in my case worse than the dsl2+ I had previously) they are dropping the plan to match the maximum speed nbn can provide. So many people on fttn and so many not getting this supposed 25Mbpd guarantee. Total dud.

    24. Technicians had to repair our FTTN line just so it could barely reach 12/1 most of the time, so we’re on that plan because that’s all we can have.

      • The so-called Fibre To The Node (FTTN) – which is essentially old copper cables connecting to a hotbox on the street – is so appallingly bad that it’s best not to sign onto it at all.

        It is so slow that it can’t be used for modern day activities. It is a scam to name this as the ‘National Broadband Network,’ as it’s not broadband.

        You’re better off getting a 4G or 5G wireless data connection, to avoid the pain of FTTN.

        • > FTTN … is so appallingly bad that it’s best not to sign onto it at all.

          Reality differs with your bias when you consider two facts: average speed on FTTN is 68Mbps and >85% of Australians are ordering 50Mbps or slower.

          > You’re better off getting a 4G or 5G wireless data connection, to avoid the pain of FTTN.

          However those plans come with data quotas and most Australians don’t like those.

    25. I’m actually not so much outraged by the speed on the slowest plan, more so just the price of it.

      For some households, and probably not many of them are Ausdroid readers, it’s all about the cost. It’s easy for us who are doing okay to lose sight of that sometimes.

      For pensioners, especially those who live alone, the lowest speed is all they can afford.

      • Why did the government spend tens of billions of dollars of public funds when they charge above-market rates to use it?

      • Pensioners are a great example of those people who could benefit from 100Mbps or faster. At this speed a family group chat in front of the TV becomes possible. Quality and effectiveness of remote consultations with health care professionals improves care significantly. Those with mobility challenges can remain connected.

        However pensioners aren’t going to pay $40/month for faster speeds. We might give our parents a nice video conferencing kit for Christmas, but are much more unlikely to commit to paying for a monthly connection.

      • 100% price is a factor. Not all households have expendable income to throw 80 plus dollars a month at fast internet.

        We have the 12/1 on iiNet as that’s what we can afford. Yes the 50mbps is only $10 per month more but we just dont have it spare. Absolutely appalling that a first world nation like Australia is made to pay over 60 per month for half decent internet speeds.

            • Thanks Chris.
              With the monthly download limits that have been the standard here since the days of dial-up, I figured it’d be worth checking.
              That cheap price, for actual FTTP, with unlimited downloads, on top of the fast symmetrical speed, really emphasises how pathetic the Notional Fraudband Notwork is, and how it will only serve to hobble Australia for the future.

            • Barcelona in particular had some interesting factors which made rolling out fttp quite sensible but across Spain generally it was a wise investment and mostly by private enterprise rather than government. They use the fttp to deliver internet, tv and phone and the packages are next to dirt cheap because they can be. I agree – it makes our NBN look like a joke

    26. > “While it is good that the NBN provides speed tiers (and pricing) for those customers that really have no need today for faster internet”

      WRONG, SO VERY WRONG. It has been stupid from day one that the NBN had speed tiers, because as Labor correctly predicted most Australians simply cannot see value in paying for faster speed tiers.

      In an alternate universe, Labor would have set a cheap flat rate ($20/month) for 1Gbps NBN FTTP connection and many more people would have connected. Unlimited plans would be rare and expensive, but off peak quotas would be large.

      LNP were able to sell FTTN & HFC because 85% under Labor on FTTP were connecting at 25Mbps or slower.

    27. It’s a farce that the NBN even offers 12Mbps plans.

      12Mbps is slower than ADSL. It defeats the purpose of the NBN existing at all.

      Years ago I lived close to a telephone exchange. My ADSL2+ was tested with a download speed of 19Mpbs. Now, after most of $100 billion has been spent, then NBN offers 12Mbps?

      • You can thank Labor for 12Mbps speed tiers. Labor in the NBNCo Corporate Plans predicted that close to 50% would be connected at 12Mbps in 2024.

        You can thank the LNP for bundling CVC with AVC making 50Mbps the most profitable plan for RSPs to sell.

    28. Chris, it sounds like you may have been spoiled with great connection speeds. Where I am (Sydney suburbs) there is no NBN yet. Up until a couple of years ago I was on ADSL getting 2-3Mbps max which was awful. The reason it was so slow is that my suburb is stuck slap bang in between two exchanges – 5km away from each. This wasn’t 1990s, it was 2 years ago.

      So then I moved to Optus cable where I now get 30Mbps and it serves our needs just fine for video streaming and general internet. 25Mbps (not far from 30Mbps) isn’t some awful hardship.

      • Hey Phillip, you’re right – at the moment, we are spoiled. After years of substandard internet at home, we’ve finally got an FTTC NBN connection and it’s fast. We get just about maximum speed in both direction, and I’m happy with that. However, for the past few years yes, we’ve had slower speeds at most of the places we’ve lived than I had 20 years ago on Optus cable in Melbourne. ADSL is a 20th century technology, and it’s garbage.

        25 Mbps isn’t a hardship – for many, it would be nice to have. For me, if I had 25 Mbps symmetrical, I’d be quite happy, but 100 / 40 is definitely better.

        Both, I might add, are better than the 15/5 we struggled with on 4G for years, and the woeful ADSL before that.

        • 30Mbps is barely adequate to watch a streaming movie at 4K resolution.

          Such connections are designed for a bygone era, when they had no 4K video. Designed with yesterday’s uses in mind.

        • That is one thing I have never understood is why the NBN and so rsp’s don’t offer synchronous connections? It is as if their advisers don’t realise that uploading is as much if not more important now and in the future especially for those who want to work from home. Also if telehelth is going to take off the ability to talk to you doctor in 4k is a must too.

    29. For the small difference we got with nbn which i suspect in some cases may actually be slower than some people’s old broadband set up s ,
      it is hard to see the value for all the billions spent by the Australian tax payer for an already out dated system.
      We have the unlimited fastest speed plan.
      i would say lag wise , it is marginally better than the old broad band it replaced which was pretty lack lustre .
      To my mind iit s still rubbish , we still get times when pages freeze up for 20 or 30 second s , if were stream 4k on the telly the service often struggles to keep up without having the little spinny things happening on the screen with a pause in video.
      laighably we have one of the alleged better
      nbn internett carriers .

      • As with many things, NBN experience varies wildly depending on provider, location, connection technology and more.

        Our NBN connection is better than any internet connection we’ve had for years. We get minuscule lag to most services, and fast download speeds from just about everything. I won’t disagree that, as a whole, the NBN is a botched project, but to say it doesn’t deliver value for anyone simply isn’t true. There are those for whom the NBN isn’t all that beneficial, but I’d say they’re in the minority.

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