Faster NBN broadband: is there a catch?

Fact Checked
Updated 15/03/2024
Faster NBN broadband: is there a catch?

Time to read : 2 Minutes

Internet speeds are set to skyrocket within the next 12 months as NBN Co announces proposed upgrades that will see some Australian households enjoy three- to five-times faster NBN download speeds. While that sounds great in theory, the upgrades don’t apply to everyone. NBN Co has also said the speed upgrades will come at no extra wholesale cost to retailers, however Australian households could still pay more for faster NBN.

What faster NBN looks like

Pardon the pun, but the faster speeds won’t happen quickly. Some parts of Australia may not experience the upgrade until 2025. 

But it’s definitely needed – Australia’s average internet speed is the 95th fastest in the world. That’s because much of Australia’s broadband infrastructure is copper, and it takes time and money to convert this to faster fibre.

  • NBN Co is set to provide five-times faster download speeds to customers on its popular NBN Home Fast product (from 100/20 Mbps to 500/50 Mbps). The company says it’s in response to big changes in technology. 

  • The average household has a massive 22 internet connected devices, which puts a huge strain on internet speeds. 

  • NBN estimates we’ll have 33 devices connected to the web by 2026 as we upgrade to more fancy 4K TVs and online gaming.

Be aware: even if you’re not a heavy internet user, more and more devices have web connectivity. The internet of things (IoT) now includes washing machines, toasters and other white goods.

Is there a cost for the NBN speed upgrades?

While NBN Co has confirmed it’ll provide the speed upgrades at no extra wholesale cost to retailers, it’s unclear if retailers may still have to pay higher transit fees to third-party transit providers to deliver the speed upgrades. 

That means the retailers could pass on these extra costs to Aussie households and we don’t know what prices the retailers will set.

Am I eligible for the NBN speed upgrade?

NBN Co will only provide the speed upgrade to households that have Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) or Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) NBN connections. Check if your home is served by FTTP or HFC connections at

The bottom line

  • While faster internet speeds are welcome, it’s not going to happen immediately and not everyone will be eligible for the speed upgrade. 

  • Although NBN Co has confirmed it’ll provide the speed upgrades at no extra wholesale cost to retailers, it’s uncertain whether retailers will pass on costs to customers. 

  • Take a closer look if you’re interested in faster internet and see if your home has FTTP or HFC connections

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