The NBN’s new kingpin plan: Exetel offers unlimited 100Mbps for $89.99



news National broadband provider Exetel has unveiled a raft of new ADSL and Fibre-based broadband packages that appear to be extremely competitive compared with rival options on the market, including a headline option which offers early customers on the National Broadband Network unlimited downloads and 100Mbps speeds for $89.99 a month.

Exetel’s previous NBN plans, launched in March 2013, also featured unlimited downloads, but only between off-peak times of between 1AM and 9AM in the morning.The plans ranged up to $139 a month for a 100Mbps plan with 500GB of on-peak data and unlimited off-peak data.

However, the company this week unveiled a tranche of new plans for both the NBN and traditional ADSL networks. The headline plan features “anytime” downloads, “unlimited” quota, free uploads, a free public static IP address and a 12 month contract coupled with the 100Mbps speeds possible on the NBN for $89.99 per month.

The plan appears to be currently the best NBN fibre broadband plan offer in Australia. TPG also offers unlimited broadband plans on the NBN, but only at speeds of 12Mbps, while other providers such as Dodo only offer unlimited plans on an “off-peak” basis, and rival providers such as Optus, Telstra and iiNet offer plans which appear to cost significantly more and offer less benefits than the Exetel option.

Other 100Mbps NBN plans offered by Exetel include a 500GB option for $79.99 per month, and a 100GB option for $69.99 per month. The company is also offering more generous shaping terms once customers’ quota is breached. Most other ISPs are restricting customers who have exhausted their quota to between 64kbps and 256kbps, but Exetel is offering shaping speeds of 1Mbps.

The ISP also offers 25Mbps plans on the NBN, including an unlimited option for $69.99, a 500GB option for $59.99 and a 100GB for $49.99. Its 12Mbps NBN plans are priced at $59.99 for unlimited downloads, $49.99 for 500GB and $39.99 for 100GB quota. It does not appear as though Exetel is forcing customers to sign up for a fixed telephone line with their NBN fibre connection, also unlike other providers.

Exetel has also unveiled a range of cut-rate ADSL2+ broadband plans, ranging from $39.99 per month for an unlimited plan, to $29.99 for a 500GB plan and $19.99 for a 100GB plan. Here also, customers are not forced to sign up to a bundled phone line package, although they can do so for an extra $20 per month if they so wish. The shaping speed here is also 1Mbps.

In an interview with Computerworld published yesterday, Exetel chief executive Richard Purdy said his mantra when taking over the company had been “simplicity”. “You’ll find that all of the plans are a lot simpler,” Purdy said. “We’ve gotten rid of hundreds of corporate plans … and all of the plans are much, much simpler,” the executive said.

In my opinion, and it is an informed option, Exetel’s NBN plans are pretty unsustainable for the company; clearly this is a blatant attempt at grabbing market share as the NBN rolls out. I don’t know how long these unlimited options can last as customers start downloading truckloads of data on their 100Mbps fibre connection.

Theoretically, on a 100Mbps connection, you could download about 26.7 terabytes a month, according to my calculations. That’s a lot of data, and I strongly believe Exetel is planning for its customers to download significantly less than that. I also note that Exetel’s critical information summary sheet regarding these new unlimited plans does not include an acceptable usage policy.

However, it’s a bloody good grab at grabbing market share, and there is very little doubt that Exetel’s new NBN plans represent the best options on the market. 100Mbps fibre NBN with unlimited quota for just $89.99 a month, including a free static IP address and no compulsory bundled telephony bullshit? All of a sudden Exetel is looking like a solid option, and companies like iiNet are looking like they are stuck 20 years in the past with their more limited options. The company’s ADSL plans are also great.

Could we finally … FINALLY … be seeing some innovation in pricing and features in Australia’s stagnant broadband market? Let’s hope so. Because we used to see a stack of new plans like this coming out on a regular basis. The iiBorg certainly killed that by buying up every possible competitor and their dog and homogenising the crap out of them. Looks like Exetel, thank God, still has some life in the old dog yet.

Image credit: Shinkai, Creative Commons


  1. Didn’t Exetel penalise heavy downloaders under their “unlimited” ADSL plans or am I thinking of a different company? I seem to remember the Lintons being very vocal about “leechers” on Whirlpool some years ago.

      • Business is business. There is no obligation to continue offering an out of contract service to someone if it is costing you money. Exetel have always – to the best of my knowledge – “grandfathered” old contracts well beyond their original terms (mostly 12 months), but at some point you need to pull the pin on the desperately unprofitable customers.

        • Several views on it.

          FIrstly, that its bait and switch – offer excessively generous plans to get people onto contract, then throttle them at some point in the future. They are either tied into the contract, or think its a case of better the devil you know.

          Secondly, that its poor consumer affairs. There is a contract involved. Usually the powers that be frown upon you changing conditions without appropriate warning, or a new agreement, and the ISP’s hide under fine detail clauses that are easily missed, either through being buried, or tied up with complicated language.

          Yes, they are running a business. But they’ve also signed a contract, and the base conditions of that contract (in this case, !00Mbps for $89.99) are the key condition of that contract. To use a loophole to negatively change that later is deceptive practice.

          If that happens (and theres nothing to say it will, but their throttling in the past suggests it could happen) then I would expect the ACCC or others to come down on them heavy.

          • It’s quite possible that there wasn’t a contract involved, Exetel has a lot of month to month users.

          • They do use a bait and switch with their contracts.
            I personally ,was in a 12 month contract with them, which they cancelled 8 months into it and increased the price by $20 per month. Roughly a year ago.If you go through the fine print of the contracts you will find the clause that allows them to do this.A lot of people would miss it, and it is poor customer relations.

          • There is always a contract involved, even for month to month users. Fine detail can vary from person to person, but there is a joint agreement between them to offer certain services, and to not use those services in certain ways.

            That wasnt the point though. Not really. Its more that when someone offers a very good deal like this, then changes it 6 months down the road, it changes what the user expected when they signed on.

            People dont want to be changing ISP’s every 6 months or so, and they know it. So they know that while some people may change if conditions do, most people dont.

  2. Did they mention contention ratios at all? if they load up the customers on a connection, it could be doable (but of course folks will rage about the download speeds during “prime time”).

    • Exetel actually publish their bandwidth on a domestic and international level.

      Current sitting on 68/7 for all their Queensland customers (the circuit i’m on).

      Tells you a little bit about the sort of contention residential internet services can (and do) get away with and why bandwidth caps dont mean much.

      I’m on a grandfathered NBN plan with exetel (300gb at 100mb for $70) which is pretty close to these plans, I doubt they are unsustainable as much smaller ISP’s like AusBBS offer pretty similar plans as well.

      Also Renai TPG *still* don’t offer the NBN plan you linked for the record.

  3. “In my opinion, and it is an informed option, Exetel’s NBN plans are pretty unsustainable for the company; clearly this is a blatant attempt at grabbing market share as the NBN rolls out. I don’t know how long these unlimited options can last as customers start downloading truckloads of data on their 100Mbps fibre connection.”

    Sorry Renai but there shouldn’t be a problem with them sustaining these plans at all, because the Malcolm Turnbull Mess that is about to be dumped on Australians will deliver less speed or fractionally greater speeds than we are currently receiving and Exetel are coping with these speeds without issue. Tony, Turnbull and the band of arse kissing Telstra rejects are killing off FTTP so Exetel will be able to offer what ever they want on fibre because there will be SFA people using it so once again no problem handling data being offered.

    • While I can generally agree with what you are trying to say, a less childish way to put it would be, “that since there are so few people that can (or will be able to under the CBN plan) actually connect at 100Mbps, it is unlikely to have any adverse affect on their overall long term sustainability.”

      What it will do, is generate free advertising, since (as people that read the CW article would know) Exetel have zero advertising costs instead relying purely on “lite agents” and word of mouth. To have over 100,000 customers purely from word-of-mouth is a pretty good achievement. These plans certainly wont be doing them any harm.

      NB: Renai’s opinion piece at the end it pure gold today. No coffee this morning?

    • “Tony, Turnbull and the band of arse kissing Telstra rejects are killing off FTTP”…

      If it weren’t so sadly true I’d LOL at the description… +1 Malcolm

      But on the plus side, we can now refer to NBNCo Mk2 by their new official name BAKTR…

  4. I thought Optus offered unlimited 100mbit as part of their unlimited bundle. I know the advertised price is 12/1 although you can purchase the speed tier.

  5. Coming from the UK I’m astonished at what Australians are prepared to pay for their broadband. I know there are all sorts of different factors at play, but in the end I can’t help thinking that margins here must be high. Just because this look good against the competition doesn’t mean its not sustainable.

    As to whether this offer is sustainable…. We know that the access circuit is $38pm and the CVC portion will be $20pm (if contention ratio is 100:1). That leaves $31.89 pm to pay for everything else including $0 for advertising.

    Considering that the cheapest plan at my ISP is $39pm (+$20pm for phone line) I’d guess that this is not only sustainable but disruptive to both the market and political FTTN plans. Once volume has been built for their CVC budget 1Gb plans become attainable. If that happens before July the Minister for Communications has an ever hard choice to make.

  6. I used to download a lot of movies and TV shows, but eventually I filled up my HDD’s. I reached the point where I realized I would never watch half of what I collected, so why was I even bothering?

    Basically, I wanted big download quota’s for so long, when I finally got it, I went a bit crazy.

    Now I know I can usually download what I want, whenever I want, on a fast 100Mb cable connection, so I don’t hoard as much, or waste money buying more HDD’s to fill with useless content.

    If I was on the NBN, I think I would hoard even less, and move to streaming my media instead, whenever possible.

    So, long-term I think it might work out okay for Exetel to offer such a plan.

    Whether or not it is feasible in the short-term I cannot say, but if it succeeds or fails, I think it will benefit all of us, by being a lesson for all NBN RSPs on how to manage and offer high consumption plans.

  7. Could be half that price and I’d never deal with Exetel again. A shameful company, with garbage service and willing to kick people off the network for using the contracted amount of data that Exetel offered to them!

    • We were on their Fixed Wirless NBN until a scheduled “1 hour Routine Maintenance” event that killed our connection introduced us to their “Tech service Dept”
      After 3 weeks of no internet & with no end in sight we found another provider.

  8. 27 terrabytes per month is 7 of those shiny 4TB HDD’s — each and every month.

    there is a PRACTICAL limitaton to what people can download and store on their systems, and exetel are finally breaking new ground and realising this.

    yes, we all want 100mbps down, we dont want limits, we’ll pay $90 for it, but we won’t be on 24x7x364x100mbps each moment…. but give it to us anyway and we’ll sign up to it by the truckload.!!

    now, when do i get my NBN!?!?

    • Yes, it will require BT users to change how they do things. Instead of downloading TB of data they never look at or use and deleting it to make room for more every few months they will have to clear it much more often. Maybe they can direct everything they download to a null device and save the extra work it will create.

  9. Just a pity that most of us won’t be seeing 100Mbps for a very, very long time, if at all…


  10. And mister Henry “$200 NBN plans will be the norm” Ergas is currently running Malcolm’s CBA – frankly this whole situation is so utterly insane that if it was written as a story for Yes Minister, it’d be thrown out for being utterly implausible and incapable of allowing the audience to suspend disbelief!

  11. Majority won’t get plans like this now.

    How about ‘we told you so’ about million times right now under this government.

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