Sometimes we stay with a provider for convenience, but when other factors play a part and are removed: it’s time to rethink. Despite the continued good speeds and reliability of my Internode NBN connection, the call centre for support moving overseas means I’m moving too.
At this time — apart from a brief issue of my speed being provisioned incorrectly after the speed trials last year — I’ve had no issues with Internode and am not unhappy with the connection. The issue for me is that I’m a reasonably parochial person by nature, I love it when Aussies thrive but I’m also a pretty loyal person. So for me, if the move of support services overseas wasn’t enough to drive me – former work colleagues (I previously worked for Adam Internet, absorbed by iiNet who also purchased Internode) losing their jobs in such a difficult time certainly is.
Now the problem is, which provider should I choose?
There are a lot of NBN providers out there, and, to some extent, the results are going to be similar with different providers. But straight out of the gate, I want to try to stick with providers based in Australia for support. I also want to avoid the big names because I’ve not had the greatest experience with them in the past, so I’ve narrowed it down to a few.
I am fortunate enough that my property was on the early rollout of NBN FTTP, so I have the capacity to connect as fast as I want to. Until now, I’ve been connected to the 100/40 plan and am generally very happy with it; even when other members of my household have been streaming media I’ve not seen any service interruptions, so a high “typical evening speed” is essential to me for my day job as well as Ausdroid work.
Clearly, the cost is a factor in the final decision but that has reduced somewhat in the current age of unlimited data options because who wants a data cap? What does quickly make a difference is the speed, particularly uploads and the flexibility to change plan if I want to.
This combination of factors narrowed down my options to just a few contenders: Aussie Broadband, Superloop and Launtel.
Commonalities and points of difference
I’ve already outlined the fact that I’m a supporter of businesses that support local jobs. I accept that Adelaide isn’t the largest city in Australia so, it often won’t be the base for companies. So in this instance, considering I’m considering “local” to be Australian-based support. All three of the finalists cover that, although Superloop has Adelaide-based support; funnily enough, Aussie’s SA office is a few doors down from my previous provider’s office.
One thing I’m particularly fond of with providers these days is services without lock-in contracts. This — in theory at least — forces companies to keep their prices competitive and their services sharp. None of the providers I weighed up seriously had lock-in contracts, allowing me to chop and change as I need to should I be, or become unhappy with the service delivery.
Access to a static IP is important to me for a variety of reasons. It allows me to not worry about DDNS or other options that can fail at times, as well as some of the work I do being IP locked, the feature just makes life easier.
- Superloop charges $5 per month
- Aussie Broadband charges $5 per month
- Launtel charges either: 15c per day, or a $100.00 fully refundable lease: Longer term, this is by far the more attractive option
All three providers have a referral program which is a nice touch. In my experience, the fact that a friend or family member has recommended a service is usually enough, but a little reward for switching is always nice.
Reputation: It is important because it’s born of experience
When I’m using a service personally, I tend to do quite a bit of reading and research. In this case, I checked out several reviews on the three contenders. Most of which was pretty positive, although a couple of comments about the lack of optional extras on Superloop has swayed me ever so slightly away. Having said that, were I unable to get an NBN connection and looking for a fixed wireless solution, Superloop would be the first stop I’d make.
Aussie Broadband is well established, has a great reputation and is competitively priced. The vast majority of customers I know using Aussie are very happy with the service delivery as well as the customer service; some very big boxes ticked on that front.
Launtel is a lesser-known company but is quickly developing a reputation for excellent service and speeds. Due to their billing being per day, the ability to change speeds online without financial penalty and having more speed options available for times when I really do need the extra speed for a few days.
A close race, but it seems Launtel wins… for now
The winning point for me is extra speed tiers available through Launtel that aren’t on other providers for residential customers such as 400/50 which is the speed I’ve chosen to connect at. While 1000/50 would be nice to have, I just don’t need the extra download speed, at least right now.
So it seems I’ve decided where to shift to, so all I have to do is pull the trigger and change over. In a couple of weeks, I may well report back on the changeover process and results.
This article is not sponsored or paid for by Launtel. It is a reflection of the thoughts and research conducted in deciding which NBN provider to change to.