Why All NBN Plans Are Not Equal

18 August 2016

Despite the appearance the NBN has levelled the playing field for all internet service providers (ISPs), this is not really the case. Why can one provider offer unlimited data allowance, while another has limitations on speed/allowance – where price is about the same between the two?

CVC congestion

Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) is the technical term to describe how much bandwidth (how big the pipe is) at each of the NBN’s connectivity points. A connectivity point may serve a town or a few suburbs depending on the size.

Each ISP must purchase CVC capacity at each connectivity point to be shared by all users of that point. Budget and home-based ISPs often do not purchase enough capacity for the number of subscribers they have connected at that point. The result is very poor performance on the NBN when everyone starts using it (for example streaming videos/TV/movies in the evening).

This poor performance if often found even if the 100Mbps plan has been selected. During periods of low use (e.g. overnight) you’ll have no problem hitting the maximum speeds provided by your service. It’s during the peak periods of afternoon and evening that the issue of speed arises.

Business grade service

Why is this important? If you’re running a business you cannot afford for your systems to slow down due to your ISP’s NBN congestion. You can’t afford to put up with jittery remote access, slow email delivery and abysmal uploads of media files – all because your neighbour wants to stream their favourite TV show in high definition.

The solution in most cases is to purchase a business grade NBN service. Most ISPs offering a business grade service prioritise business traffic so they are not affected by CVC congestion. Business grade services also have the advantage of faster resolution times for outages, and inclusions like static IP addresses (important for servers).

If you would like any more information about connecting to the NBN or help selecting a NBN plan please don't hesitate to contact us.

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