Nearly 4000 CHOICE members answered our customer satisfaction survey, rating their internet service providers (ISPs) for overall satisfaction, internet speed, cost, reliability, support and billing, as well as any service problems.
Find out how your ISP rates in the grand scheme of things, and if you're thinking of changing your provider, take a look below to see who performed the best overall for quality service that doesn't cost the world.
The best and worst of ISPs
Westnet, Internode and iiNet were the top three performing internet service providers in our customer satisfaction survey. They outperformed all other ISPs and achieved the highest overall satisfaction rating for their ADSL services.
On the other end of the scale, Telstra and Optus rated the lowest for satisfaction and came in well below the average for ADSL providers.
The quiet achievers
Although only a few of our survey participants are customers of Exetel or Adam Internet, these users rated their provider relatively well on cost and user support.
Optus vs Telstra
Among cable users, 32% of Optus customers rated the cost as Excellent/Very Good, compared to only 12% of Telstra users.
National Broadband Network (NBN)
Our initial impressions of the NBN are promising, with average satisfaction scores for our small number of NBN users trending close to or above the average for the top-rated connections.
Can't get no satisfaction?
Generally, the people we surveyed had relatively good things to say about their ISPs, but there were a few in the bunch who were extremely dissatisfied with the service they received.
- Overall, 46% of our survey participants rated their satisfaction with their provider as Excellent or Very Good, but 4% rated it as Terrible or Very Poor.
- Of the billing experience, 50% rated it as Excellent or Very Good, while 3% thought it was Terrible or Very Poor.
- User support was rated Excellent or Very Good by just under half of participants, and Terrible or Very Poor by close to one in twenty.
- Over half of people rated the provision of a reliable, consistent connection as Excellent or Very Good, while 3% rated it Terrible or Very Poor.
- When it comes to cost, just under one in three rate the cost of their plan as Excellent or Very Good, while 6% say it's Terrible or Very Poor.
- On connection speed, 41% rate it as Excellent or Very Good, while 5% say it's Terrible or Very Poor.
What's your problem?
We asked what has gone wrong in the last year and how often.
- Some 35% of participants haven't experienced failed connection attempts, but for 3% this is a daily problem.
- 29% haven't had disconnections and drop-outs, but 14% found them at least a weekly problem.
- Almost a quarter didn't report any slow connections, while 10% find it happens daily.
- Some 84% haven't had excess usage charges, while 2% have found this a monthly problem.
- 79% haven't had billing problems, and 2% have found it a monthly problem.
- Of those people who reported they had a problem with their internet service, 61% contacted their provider to get help. Of those, 79% had their problem resolved by their provider.
Downloads go to the data limit
- Only 4% of customers have a data plan that allows more than 500GB of downloads per month, while 20% have a plan from 151GB up to 500GB and 26% have a plan with 31GB to 150GB allowance.
- Close to one in five people have a plan that allows between 6GB and 30GB.
- Only 3% of customers go over their download limit on average, while almost three-quarters stay well within their monthly limit.
- We found 64% of people don't have separate peak and off-peak download limits, which suggests internet providers are moving away from download quotas for set times.
Costs, contracts and billing
- Most people pay less than $70 a month for their internet plan – 26% spend between $31 and $50 per month, while 28% spend between $51 and $70. About 21% spend $71 to $100.
- Most people take advantage of the cost savings that come with bundling, with 70% combining their internet service with landline and/or mobile phone.
- About half of those who bundled their internet combined it with only one other service, while 36% combined it with two.
- Bundling with a landline was most common, with 90% combining their internet with a home phone and 39% bundling with a mobile plan. Of those who bundle services together, 87% receive a discount off their internet bill.
- Just over half of those surveyed are on a contract with their ISP. Contracts are often for a couple of years, and 40% of those on a contract are into their second year.
A snapshot of the internet in Australia today
This is what our 3867 survey participants told us about their internet connection.
- ADSL2/2+ is the most popular type of connection, used by 46% of participants.
- ADSL is used by 21%, while 16% have cable and 7% have fixed wireless.
- Some 58% of participants use a wireless modem or router in their home.
- Telstra accounts for 41% of internet connections, followed by iiNet with 14%, Optus with 12% and TPG and Internode with 7% each.
- About one-third of participants chose their provider because it was their phone company.
- People are likely to be loyal, with 67% saying they've been with their provider for more than four years.