Internet service provider satisfaction survey 2017


The results of our satisfaction survey will help you choose an internet service provider (ISP).

Satisfaction not guaranteed


How do you rate your internet service provider? It may depend on the time of day or whether you've just been on hold to customer service for 40 minutes trying to fix your bill or reset your modem.

Need to switch NBN providers? Jump over to our Best NBN provider plans.

We understand that your internet connection is both a lifeline and a lifestyle, and we want to help you compare providers – and change providers if you're looking for a new one. Our ISP satisfaction survey rates providers based on their own customers' feedback on how they're performing on key things such as network performance and customer service.

We've launched a broadband measuring program to investigate whether real-world speeds measure up to the ISPs' claims. Find out more and register to have your speed tested.

This year for the first time the CHOICE ISP satisfaction survey is a nationally representative snapshot of how our most popular internet providers are performing.

What are we looking for?

We score broadband internet service providers based on customer satisfaction with a range of factors including: 
  • connection reliability and speed 
  • value for money 
  • customer support. 

We also ask customers about the problems and experiences they've had with their ISP.

What does internet usage in Australia look like?

Even though there's a lot of talk about the national broadband network (NBN), the rollout only hits the halfway mark this year (as of June 2017 there are almost 2.4 million active connections). Our survey reflects this, and shows that more Australians are still on existing ADSL and cable broadband connections, although there are more people on the NBN in regional and rural areas compared to metro areas. 

Our survey provides a snapshot of broadband internet access in Australia. It shows us that:

  • 32% of Australians with internet are on ADSL2 or 2+ connections and 14% are on ADSL.
  • 28% are on the NBN.
  • 12% are on cable, 8% have mobile broadband, 3% fixed wireless and 1% satellite, while 2% of people aren't sure about their internet connection type.
  • People in metro areas are more likely to have ADSL2 or 2+ internet connection (36%), whereas those in regional and rural areas are more likely to have NBN (40%).
  • 31% are on an unlimited data plan, 38% are on plans with data caps between 50GB and 1000GB, and 5% are on unlimited data with some speed restrictions after a certain data limit.
  • NBN customers are more likely to be on a no-cap data plan (36%).

(Base: N=1910 Australian adults aged 18 years and above.)

Why do you change and how do you choose?

Popular ISPs

  • Telstra had the highest take-up with 37% of Australians currently using them as their main ISP.
  • Optus/OptusNet was a distant second with 18% of the market. 
  • 11% of connected Australians are with TPG.
  • 10% are with iiNet.

Loyalty

  • Close to half (46%) have been with their current provider for a period of five years or more. This is consistent for metro and regional/rural areas and across states. Telstra customers are more likely to have been with them for more than five years (59%).

Why change?

Value for money and price seem to be the main reasons for people shifting between providers in the past six months.

  • 29% who changed providers did so due to cost/cheaper plans.
  • 27% changed providers for a better data allowance/better plan.
  • The NBN is also an important driver for shifting providers (23%).
  • 21% changed providers due to connection speeds.

How do you choose?

When it comes to choosing an ISP, some factors matter more than others. In order from most important:

  1. Reliable/consistent connection
  2. Connection speed and value for money (equally important).
  3. Technical support and customer support/service (equally important).
  4. Billing clarity.
  5. Range of plans.
  6. Bundling.

(Base: N=1899 Australian adults aged 18 years and above who knew their current ISP.)

ISP satisfaction scores for all connection types

ISPs Overall Reliable
connection
Speed Value for
money
Technical
support
Customer
support
Bill
clarity
Ease of
setup
Internode (n=48) 81 80 76 78 83        ↑ 82        ↑ 82 79
iiNet (n=194) 78         76 73   78       ↑  76         77        ↑ 81    78        
iPrimus (n=49) 75         74 73    78         75         75         82 81        
Optus* (n=341) 75         75 72   74        ↑ 73      72         76 77        
TPG (n=204) 74         73 71 80        ↑ 71      74         76 74        
Average (n=1899) 73         74 71 73         72       72      77   75        
Telstra** (n=715) 70         73   71    66        ↓ 69        ↓ 69       75      73        
Dodo (n=132) 69         69 67    74         67        ↓ 66        ↓ 75      71        

Notes:
* Includes OptusNet
** Includes Bigpond and Belong
↑ represents significantly higher at 95% confidence interval, ↓ represents significantly lower at 95% confidence interval. Base: N=1899 Australian adults aged 18 years and above who knew their current ISP.

This table represents satisfaction scores for ISP providers for all types of connections. The separate scores for providers are below showing the differences when looking at just ADSL/cable services and then just NBN providers alone.

In this table, we can see that there are no significant differences between individual ISPs' satisfaction scores, and none of the providers performed exceptionally well on satisfaction. Significant results show:

  • Five providers received scores which were above the category average.
  • Internode receives the highest satisfaction score (81).
  • iiNet (78), iPrimus (75), Optus/OptusNet (75) and TPG (74) perform above average (73) for overall satisfaction.
  • Telstra (70) and Dodo (69) received scores which were lower than the average overall satisfaction scores for the category (73).
  • Telstra also scores the lowest for value for money (66); significantly lower than TPG (80), iiNet (78) and Optus/OptusNet (74).
  • Dodo users rate their provider significantly lower for customer support (66) and technical support (67). Telstra users echo their sentiments when it comes to technical support satisfaction with a low score of 69.


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ADSL2+/cable satisfaction scores

While we might hear a lot about the NBN, most of us are still waiting for it and therefore remain on the 'legacy' services of ADSL, ADSL2, ADSL2+ and cable. Here's how we rate these providers.

  • Internode (78), iiNet (77), Optus/OptusNet (74) and TPG (73) perform above average (72) for overall satisfaction.
  • iiNet customers score the provider significantly higher for customer support (79) and technical support (76), compared to TPG customers (73 customer support, 69 technical support).

ADSL/ADSL2 or 2+/cable providers

ISPs Overall Reliable
connection
Speed Value for
money
Technical
support
Customer
support
Bill
clarity
Ease of
setup
Internode (n=32) 78 77 73    76      84         85         83         80        
iiNet (n=121) 77   75    71    77     76         ↑ 79         ↑ 81         79       
Optus* (n=185) 74   74   71    72   71         70         75         77  
TPG (n=136) 73   72   69    79         69        ↓ 73        ↓ 76         71   
Average (n=1097) 72 73 70 72    71 71 76 74
Telstra** (n=411) 69         73      70    66         69         68         75         73   
Dodo (n=86) 67         67      63     75         66         65         76         70   
Notes:
* Includes OptusNet
** Includes Bigpond and Belong
↑ represents significantly higher at 95% confidence interval, ↓ represents significantly lower at 95% confidence interval. Sample N=1097 Australian adults aged 18 years and over.

ADSL/2+/cable problems

When it comes to our legacy services, only 37% of people said they'd had no problems with their ISP in the past six months. Speed and performance are the main bugbears for those who'd had problems – half (51%) had issues related to very slow speeds, while 45% mention disconnections/dropouts/variable performance. Of all the problems people had with their service in the past six months, 83% related to speed, variable performance and connections, which can include failure to connect, very slow speeds, disconnections/dropouts/variable performance or being left without connection for hours/days.

ADSL/Cable: Your ISP, in your own words

"High charges, fixed two-year contract, slow internet speeds. Will charge extra for faster speeds on NBN but not deliver on their promise. Misleading." – John, NSW, Telstra, ADSL 2/2+

"What was supposed to be a simple change over from business to residential and from ADSL to cable took over three months to get in place and the additional charges were enormous. Finding someone who understood English was extremely difficult." – Margaret, Vic, Telstra, cable

"I have never ever been happy with TPG! They are rude, they will not compensate for their mistakes and they will not put customers through to management. They hide and tell you there is nothing they can do. I will not recommend them and will be leaving them as soon as possible!" – Nicole, Qld, TPG, ADSL

"Excellent customer service, but wait times can be up to two hours; however, the call back option is great and someone always calls me back." – Qld, iiNet, ADSL 2 or 2+

"I rarely experience dropouts with Internode. Whenever I have an enquiry it is easy to email them and conduct a request online, rather than have to call. I wish they had a live chat feature though." – ACT, Internode, ADSL 2 or 2+

Suspect your Wi-Fi could be to blame for sluggish speeds around the home? Check out our wireless router reviews.

NBN satisfaction scores

The national broadband network had around 2.4 million connections as of mid-2017 and the network rollout is expected to hit the halfway mark this year. There are stories coming out weekly on the performance of ISPs providing NBN services. We found that no provider does significantly better than others when it comes to performance. In terms of individual provider results, we can report that:

  •  iiNet (81) and Optus/ OptusNet (75) customers scored their providers above average (75) for overall satisfaction.
  •  TPG (74), Dodo (73) and Telstra (70) customers scored their providers lower than average (75) for overall satisfaction.
  •  Telstra NBN customers also scored their provider low for value for money (69), customer support (69), technical support (70), ease of initial setup (72) and connection speed (71).
  •  TPG (73) and Dodo (73) customers scored their providers low for reliable/consistent connection.

NBN providers

ISPs Overall Reliable
connection
Connection
speed
Value for
money
Technical
support
Customer
support
Bill
clarity
Ease of
setup
iiNet (n=57) 81      81 80       81       80       77         85         78     
Optus* (n=83) 75 76 73     77      75     75        76      78    
Average (n=539) 75 76 75     75     74     73        78       76   
TPG (n=57) 74 73    74   80     74    73     77       78    
Dodo (n=43) 73   73   74 75    72    71     75     73     
Telstra** (n=195) 70 74   71   69    70     69      77         72      
Notes:
* Includes OptusNet
** Includes Bigpond and Belong
↑ represents significantly higher at 95% confidence interval, ↓ represents significantly lower at 95% confidence interval. Sample N=539 Australian adults aged 18 years and over.

NBN problems

Unfortunately, our brand-new NBN is not without its problems when it comes to providers delivering service on the network. Speed features prominently in reported issues. Specifically, we found:

  • 60% of people on the NBN had issues with their provider in the last six months – 44% of those issues were related to very slow speeds.
  • 42% reported disconnections/dropouts/variable performance issues with their NBN provider in the past six months, while 31% mentioned problems connecting to the NBN.
  • The incidence of problems remains consistent across various providers and across NBN connection types.

NBN: Your ISP, in your own words

"I have nothing bad, all the contact I have had with them has been excellent. They go out of their way to make sure you are happy." – Fay, NSW, iiNet, NBN

"Reliable connection and generally very good speeds." – Alan, SA, Optus, NBN

"Dropouts when streaming movies are really annoying. The NBN is not as good as our ADSL 2+ it replaced." – Peter, NSW, TPG, NBN

"Telstra sold us a modem and told us when it needs to be repaired that it wasn't their modem. Since getting NBN, internet connection has been slow and keeps dropping out. Telstra said that they cannot do anything to fix the problem yet they still charge us when we haven't had any connection for a couple of months."– NSW, Telstra, NBN

About the survey

The CHOICE internet service provider (ISP) survey was conducted in May 2017. Australian residents aged 18 and over who had an internet connection (N=1910) completed the survey. CHOICE designed the survey, fieldwork and survey execution was managed by Research Now and survey results have been weighted to be nationally representative of Australian population as per ABS Census 2011.

The survey asked respondents about their type of internet connection, type of NBN connection (for those who have NBN) and usage limits for their current ISP. It also asked them to rate their ISP on various attributes and overall satisfaction, and report any problems they'd faced.

Scoring the satisfaction rating

A provider needed 30 or more respondents to be included in the table. Satisfaction scores are calculated out of 100 by asking respondents to rate their service provider on various attributes and overall satisfaction on a seven-point scale ranging from terrible to excellent. The results are statistically tested and any significant differences between the scores have been highlighted.

For the scores tables, the average score refers to the category average and includes not just the brands listed but also all other brands that had a sample of N<30 and that didn't make it into our scores tables.


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