How fast are Optus’ internet speeds?

How fast are internet speeds? And why aren’t my speeds consistent when using different websites or internet services - and at different times of the day?

Well, this is like asking how fast you'll go if you had a Ferrari. Fast, right?

But in reality it will depend on the speed limit of the road you’re travelling on and traffic conditions.

Like roads, our networks have different speed capabilities influenced by many factors, meaning you may experience varying speeds throughout the day.

Factors affecting everyone


In most instances a connection over WiFi will be slower than if you were connected physically to your modem with a cable, particularly if there is a wall in the way or there are multiple users on the same WiFi network. WiFI performance can also be impacted by interference from surrounding devices and nearby users on the same channel.

Congestion Prioritisation

If there is a lot of "traffic" (i.e. lots of people downloading stuff at the one time) your internet speed at home can be impacted, much like congestion on a busy road.

We’re constantly building more "lanes" (i.e. bandwidth) into all our networks to deliver a better experience in those peak times.

We also prioritise some content over others - such as VoIP (voice over internet protocol) voice calls - to make sure the important stuff goes first. You can liken this to a bus lane on a freeway.

Far End Capability

We can only get the data to you as fast as the server on the other end can get it to us! So if you’re downloading from, for example, a small website hosted in someone’s garage which is congested, or has only a small upload capacity, it’s not going to be as quick as a major website with the right upload capacity for its traffic.


Some old equipment is more like a push bike than a Ferrari, particularly when impacted with a virus or malware. Make sure your computer is free of viruses and malware with Optus internet security.

Overseas content

Content you download at home that comes from overseas can be slower than domestic content due to congestion on international pipes (there are literally cables running on the ocean floor connecting. Australia to the rest of the world. Crazy, hey?).

However, we’re working hard to bring the content you want locally and a huge amount of "overseas content" is actually being distributed from local servers, making it super-quick.

Factors affecting different access methods

Non-NBN access methods


Speed potential




Technology factors affecting speed

 ADSL 2+ (ULL)
20 Mbps
8 Mbps
820 Kbps*
384 Kbps
With ADSL there is no simple answer for speed. It starts at 20 Mbps for ADSL 2+ download but gets much slower the further you live from an exchange. So it really depends on your location.
Cable (HSD) 30 Mbps
Base plan speed

100 Mbps
top Speed Pack
2 Mbps Cable networks work by grouping customers into areas known as "nodes". The customers within these nodes share one pipe for all their internet data.

Cable customers can experience slower speeds in peak times. Imagine turning all your water taps on at once - your water pressure is going to be lower. It can be a bit like that sometimes.

Having said that, we continue to invest millions of dollars into our cable network to make sure our nodes are humming.

Also, you do require our latest fancy modem to be able to access the top end premium speed.
Home Wireless Broadband Up to 12 Mbps on 2300 MHz areas
Up to 5 Mbps on other areas
Up to 1 Mbps Whilst the Home Wireless Broadband service uses our 4G network, it is designed to be used in the home and its data speeds are different to mobile and mobile broadband speeds on our 4G network. In metropolitan areas where there is 2300 MHz coverage at your nominated address, download and upload speeds of up to 12/1Mbps are available. If 2300 MHz coverage is not available at your nominated address, download and upload speeds of up to 5/1 Mbps are available.

Your actual speed will depend on a number of factors including congestion, location, local conditions, hardware, software and general internet traffic

NBN access methods

NBN access type

Technology factors affecting speed

 Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) With fibre, distance from an exchange is not important like in ADSL and customers are not grouped into nodes like cable networks.

NBN Fibre also offers the option to add a Speed Pack to increase your maximum speed.

Your speeds can still be slowed by the things we talk about under "ALL TECHNOLOGIES", however, this is the "fastest" access type we provide.
Fixed Wireless The NBN Fixed Wireless network works a little like mobile broadband but helps to deliver a more stable service. You can also add an NBN Speed Pack to increase your maximum speed.

NBN Fixed Wireless is built to service a predictable number of users, who are not changing location. With mobile broadband, the number & location of users connecting is unpredictable, which can sometimes result in slower connections from time to time.

NBN Fixed Wireless can be affected by extreme weather conditions like heavy rain which can reduce the broadband signal strength received by your home.
Fibre to the Node
Fibre to the Basement
With fibre connection all the way up to a street corner or basement of a building this reduces the effect extreme heat or rain has on your Internet connection.

These technologies still use copper for the last few meters to connect your home or business, but usually provide more reliable speeds than ADSL2+ broadband.

Like NBN Fibre & Fixed Wireless you can add a Speed Pack to increase your maximum speed.

Speeds may vary due to outside factors such as temperature, weather and distance from node.

Speeds listed are based on our current in-market plans. Speeds offered on legacy plans may differ.

Your current plan may only provide the base speed offered for your type of technology. Extra speed packs are available as an add-on purchase to base Cable or NBN Fibre plans.



So, what does the download/upload speed actually mean?

You might think for example that as the NBN service maximum download speed is 100 megabits per second ("Mbps") you should be able to download a 100 megabyte ("100MB") movie in 1 second. Right?

Not exactly…

First off, frustratingly, we are talking two different terms: bits and bytes.

When we talk about the speed of an Internet service, we are talking bits.

But when we talk files, such as movies or songs, we’re talking bytes.

8 bits equals 1 byte (now there’s a whole background to this, check out Wikipedia if you're really interested) so our 100 megabyte movie being downloaded at 100 megabits per second would take 8 seconds.

Now, this is all assuming that the download is travelling at 100 megabits per second, which in the real world will pretty much never happen.

Just remember to watch out for the lower case "b" and the capital "B" to recognise if we're talking bits (speed) or Bytes (size).



To work out which plan best suits the way you use the internet, check out our handy broadband usage guide.


Important notes

* Please note Optus does not offer Annex M on our ULL network