The most popular NBN providers: Telstra, Mate Communicate and more

If you’re ready to change to an NBN plan — this useful guide to the most loved providers should help you make your choice

If it’s time for you to switch to the NBN, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a lot of choice around. Too much choice! In actual fact, there are over 150 NBN providers on the Australian market today. How on earth are we supposed to make sense of so many options?

One way is to let all the Aussies who’ve already done the research help you decide. The WhistleOut search engine helps 100,000 Australians choose mobile phone and internet plans every month so they have a pretty clear picture of which NBN providers Australians love the most – and why.

Here’s a quick WhistleOut run-down on what makes each of the most popular telcos unique so you can find a provider that suits you.


If you’re the kind of person who likes to go with the biggest and arguably the best, you’ll want to go with Telstra. There’s a reason why it’s still Australia’s biggest telco. Telstra broadband is known for its quality, reliability and speed of service. And thanks to competition from plucky smaller players, Telstra plans have come down a little in price.

Telstra should be a pain-free choice for switching to the NBN thanks to the new Telstra Smart Modem, which incorporates mobile internet technology to back up your connection during the NBN change-over period.


If you like to bundle entertainment with your broadband but don’t want it to cost the earth, a good choice for you might be Optus. As Australia’s second largest telco, Optus is a trusted name in Australian internet. The Optus broadband-only plans are only cost a little less than Telstra but when you compare the Optus and Telstra entertainment bundles, Optus is the clear winner costing $20 less per month.

With the Optus entertainment bundle you get NBN Standard Plus speed along with a Fetch Mighty set-top box. The set-top box allows you to get Netflix and Stan direct onto your TV, as well as watch live TV and rent from the Fetch TV movie library of 7000 titles.


Don’t be fooled by the unfamiliar brand name, Belong is a Telstra-owned telco offering NBN plans for less. Belong NBN is all about simplicity. There are no fancy add-ons like entertainment bundles. You just choose how much data you want (100GB or unlimited), choose your contract length (month-to-month or 12-months) and your NBN speed (basic, standard or premium).

Be aware though that the simplicity comes with a drawback – no phone bundle.

Mate Communicate

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try out a new face in the internet business, Mate Communicate are ready to reward you for switching with great savings. Mate NBN plans are some of the cheapest around. But cheap doesn’t mean nasty. Customers love the Mate service – just Google “product reviews Mate Communicate” and you’ll see.

Mate customer support is 100% Sydney-based and every plan comes with unlimited data. You can also bundle your landline with the service. But one of the best things about Mate Communicate is that there are no lock-in contracts, no set-up or termination fees. That makes signing up pretty much risk-free – if you’re not happy with the service, you can leave at any time.

Jacqui Dent is associate editor at and spends all day, every day, living and breathing phone and internet plans. So far she has suffered no adverse effects.

* In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.