The NBN promises to deliver a better internet experience but if you want the best evening internet speeds at the best prices, you’re probably best off closing your Bigpond or Optus email address before moving to the NBN.
Large pockets of the Sutherland Shire are readying to move over to the NBN as it is rolled out across Sydney. Many of us are taking the opportunity to consider leaving our current service provider.
Unfortunately, moving service providers can come with undesirable consequences especially if you’re using an email account attached to your service provider subscription.
Yes, it’s time to talk about your decades-old Bigpond / Optus email address.
The rise and fall of ISP email addresses
Many Australians got their first email address when they signed up with their service provider for internet access in the 90’s. Email hadn’t really taken off back then. We rarely gave out our email address and few ever asked for them.
Over the years, email use exploded. Email became essential for staying in touch with friends and family. Internet services like Facebook, Ebay & Skype demand email addresses. Online purchases aren’t possible without verifying your email address first.
Many of us stuck with that first email account even as free email services became widely available. In 2016, Roy Morgan found that as Gmail overtook Hotmail / Live. Outlook as Australias most used email service, almost 3,000,000 Australians still used a Bigpond email address.
Some of us have moved house numerous times and stayed with the same service provider because, in Australias old copper-based internet world, we knew the service provider we chose had little bearing on our internet speeds.
With the NBN, that’s no longer the case and many Australians are only just starting to realise it.
The NBN service provider you choose will impact the speed you get during peak hours
Fast forward to 2017. The NBN project is well underway right across Australia. With this new network has come a change of the rules.
The service provider you choose on the NBN will impact the speeds you get and it will be most acutely felt during peak hours.
Every week, there is a new story in the news about the poor performance of the NBN.
The importance of internet speeds is no longer lost on us.
We want Netflix without the stuttering.
We want fast speeds for the kids to play their games.
We’re fed up with the inconsistent internet performance that we suffer today.
The NBN can deliver these for us but we may need to do our own bit to get the best out of it.
Peak hour internet usage and NBN speeds
Our daily internet usage grows gradually during the afternoon and spikes as Australians get home from work and school. Kids want to watch YouTube. Students want to research subjects for their homework. Adults want to relax watching Netflix. We all want fast internet speeds at the same time.
This peak in demand can cause a slowdown of our internet speeds because our service provider may not have purchased enough NBN bandwith for all of their customers. Behold the dreaded 6pm slowdown.
The ACCC recently published their first broadband speed monitoring report which highlighted the peak hour speed difference between the major Telcos.
TPG topped the list, hitting an average of 90.7% of their max speed during the evening. Telstra were not far off the pace on 88.1% however Optus were languishing behind at 80.7%.
The logical conclusion is clear: if you value stutter free Netflix in the evening, TPG is the major service provider most likely to meet your expectations.
You get what you pay for on the NBN, right? Hmmm, not quite.
We often overlook the higher costs of “premium” service providers because we’re expecting a “premium” service. Let’s look at how that stacks up on the NBN.
An 18 month, TPG NBN 50 Mbps unlimited data contract will set you back $69.99 per month.
The equivalent plan costs $75 on Optus and a whopping $100 on Telstra (includes Telstra TV & Foxtel Now).
Telstra’s $100 plan probably represents good value for money if you like Telstra TV or Foxtel Now. If you aren’t using them though, you should be considering a switch. If you’re only watching Telstra TV because Telstra gave it to you, perhaps you might want to think about whether it’s worth it.
Perhaps you prefer calling Australian call centres to complain about the 6pm slowdown. That’s fair enough. Most of us would rather not have to speak to a call centre at all though, and a fast internet service means one less reason to call them.
The problem with changing service providers
Many Australians aren’t happy with their existing service provider and are just looking for a reason to move. The NBN rollout could be that catalyst. The speed rankings coupled with lower pricing might be the icing on the cake.
Unfortunately, leaving your service provider may mean you lose your ISP email address unless you meet other criteria to retain access to it.
How can I keep my Bigpond or Optus email address and move service provider?
Telstra customers have free access to their email for a year after canceling their plan. It will cost $79 per year to keep it active thereafter. Paying $79 every year for something you can have for free elsewhere really doesn’t make sense to us.
Optus customers will have 90 days to access their email account and then it’s gone. You’ll need to sign up for a postpaid internet account (which starts at $60 per month) if you want to keep it. Ouch.
It’s time to close your Bigpond, Optus or any other service provider email address
There’s no way around this unless you want to stick with a more costly yet slower internet service, or, you want to continue spending money on something you can get for free.
We know you’re attached to your email address but it’s no different than being attached to a physical address or a phone number. Moving is inconvenient but, once it’s done, you’ll be free to choose a better performing service provider at a cheaper price.
We recommend replacing your existing account with Googles Gmail if your ISP email is the only email account you have. You’ll need to sign up for a Google account which will get you access to Gmail (complete with market leading spam filtering) as well as:
- unlimited photo storage on Google Photos
- online docs and spreadsheets on Google Docs
- contact syncing on Google Contacts
- online calendar on Google Calendar
You’ll also be able to use your Google account to leave Google reviews too.
Thankfully, closing an email account is not difficult, but if you need help, leave us a message below or on our contact form and we’ll get back to you asap.