NBN speeds have reached an all-time high, according to ACCC

A young woman is working on a laptop in a relaxed office space.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

NBN speeds have reached an all-time high, with Australia’s consumer rights watchdog recording the highest download speeds to date on the NBN’s fixed line services when it’s at its busiest.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) quarterly broadband report found that the NBN fixed line services it monitors reached 98.5% of their promised plan speed between 7-11pm on weeknights, when demand is at its highest.

The report also found that underperforming services, which are those that rarely or never reach their promised plan speed, also declined. Underperforming services made up 4.7% of all the fixed line NBN plans monitored in the May quarter, which is less than the 5.6% from the previous quarter in March 2023.

Small NBN providers come out on top (again)

Once again, it’s the smaller telcos which have come out on top in terms of speed. Among the providers monitored by the ACCC, Launtel (named for the city of Launceston, where the ISP is based) claimed the highest average download speed.

It exceeded its advertised speeds by 6.7% across all hours, and also managed to eclipse them by 5.5% during the busy hours of 7-11pm.

Trailing slightly behind Launtel was Exetel, which is one of our current picks for best NBN provider. Exetel outpaced its promised plan speeds by 3.2% across all hours, and beat them by 1.9% during the peak period. Both of these providers were ahead of Telstra, Optus and TPG when it came to average download speed.

A bar graph showing the average download speed by NBN provider in May 2023.

(Image credit: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)

How fast is Ultrafast?

The consumer watchdog also monitors the fastest NBN plans on the market, including NBN 1000. Data from its latest report shows that the average download speed on this tier during May 2023 was 798Mbps across all hours, and 717Mbps between 7-11pm.

These figures are somewhat surprising, as among all providers which offer an NBN 1000 plan, the average typical evening speed advertised is currently 511Mbps. This may suggest that some providers are giving a more conservative estimate of their 1000Mbps service.

For those who may have thought signing up to a gigabit plan wouldn’t yield the expected speeds, the ACCC’s findings suggest that may no longer be the case. If you currently have a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) or fibre-to-the-cub (FTTC) connection, you may even be eligible for an NBN fibre upgrade if you choose to take up a plan offering 100Mbps or higher – you can check your address using NBN Co’s fibre upgrade checker.

If you’re keen to try out an NBN 1000 plan, Superloop currently has the most affordable option, starting at AU$99 a month for your first six months. It’s our current choice for the best NBN 1000 plan, thanks to its combination of competitive price and high typical evening speed of 600Mbps. If you’re curious about some alternatives, here’s a look at more offers:

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Jasmine Gearie
Ecommerce Editor

Jasmine Gearie was previously an Ecommerce Editor at TechRadar Australia, with a primary focus on helping readers find the best mobile and NBN plans. During her time with TechRadar, she also reported on important telco news in Australia, and helped track down tech deals to help readers save money.