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.

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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!

Chris Rowland: @ozcjr Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

View Comments (62)

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.