What you need to know about switching to the NBN this year
2019 will see a larger number of users transition to NBN internet connections than any year so far.
It will also only leave one year left before the NBN rollout is fully complete, making it the de facto internet connection for most Australians.
So, what should a prospective NBN purchaser be aware of ahead of an NBN move?
The first thing to work out is which NBN service suits your needs.
Data allocation used to be a key decision-making component, but nowadays the majority of NBN deals offer unlimited data or more data than almost anyone could need.
Today, it's the speed of your internet connection that's most important, along with pricing, of course. You just need to work out how fast is fast enough for you.
To get an idea of the speed your current service delivers, run a quick speed test. That should help guide you towards which NBN speed tier would be best for you.
We find 50Mbps is fast enough for many people, and these plans are typically about the same price as those on the slower 25Mbps speed tier.
After you've picked the service you want, make sure you're not still under contract with your current provider as you could be hit with early cancellation fees. It may be worth contacting your ISP to find out how much it will cost to leave early if you're very eager to make the change.
Once you're out of contract, all you need to do is place your NBN order (either online, via the phone, or in a retail store), and your new ISP will take care of switching your internet service - and your landline number if you have one - over to your new plan.
Your new NBN provider will organise an installation date and time, plus guide you through anything else you need to know to get connected.
If you rent then make sure you have your landlord's permission before installing, and if you live in a unit or apartment you may need to double-check with your building's management or strata before hooking up your service.
Be prepared for a small period of downtime between switching off your ADSL and switching on your NBN service. If you're without internet during the changeover period for more than three days, your carrier is obliged to offer an interim service while you wait.
If you're already on the NBN but want to change providers then the process should be straightforward, thanks to an industry-wide agreement on switching protocols.
It's possible to be connected to your new NBN provider on the same day that you make your order - it could even take less than an hour.
When it comes to equipment, nearly all NBN plans include a new NBN-ready modem which will probably be bundled into the cost of your plan if you're signing a contract.
Or you might be charged an up-front fee for the modem if you go down a no-contract route. While getting the NBN installed is free, some providers may charge you a service set-up fee, particularly if you've chosen a contract free option.
If your new ISP is asking you to buy their modem and you already have one that's NBN-ready, it may be worth contacting them to see if you can negotiate.
However, if the modem comes free with the plan then why not upgrade and get yourself a newer one that might serve you better?
And that's about it! While switching broadband providers might seem like a difficult process, it's actually quite easy.
And there are lots of service providers who want your business, which means good deals are to be had. You just need to find the right one for you.
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