Rural Broadband Connectivity Options for Internet Access
Broadly speaking you have five options to connect to the Internet available to you:
NBN FTTP – NBN Fibre to the premises (if you are really really really lucky)
NBN FTTN – NBN Fibre to the node (still pretty rare)
NBB Fixed Wireless – A Wireless connection from an antenna on your roof to an NBN Tower (fairly common)
NBN Satelitte – Connection to satelitte via a dish on your roof (Common in places as a last resort service)
Cellular 4G – Offered by Telstra and Optus
If you can get FTTP or FTTN, you probably won’t be hunting around for a better solution, so I won’t go into any more detail about them here. I will discuss the last three options, which is often where we get involved.
Fixed wireless NBN can be a suitable solution it is pretty stable and problem-free most of our customer’s issues with Fixed Wireless NBN center around its availability and its speed. We see people getting speeds into the mid-teens i.e. 10-16Mbps often between 6-8 depending on how loaded the tower is and how good of a clear line of sight you have to the tower. If can get good speed from a Fixed Wireless Solution it can be pretty good. However, some people simply can’t get Fixed Wireless NBN and this is where the NBN via your ISP will suggest a Satellite solution to you.
NBN satellite is an option of last resort and to be honest I would not suggest it to anyone unless it is the only way they can connect to the internet. The problems range from being very slow to not even being able to run all applications. Things like video streaming and gaming are not workable because of the way data is sent and received from the satellite and even some internet Banking applications simply will not work over a satellite connection. So only go down this route if there is nothing else.
Even if you can get NBN Fixed Wireless, it is not without issues. If you are a big video streamer or online gamer or work from home and use zoom, you may find the speed you get, especially in the evenings as others use the tower may not be enough.
Cellular Broadband is worth consideration even if you can get NBN Fixed Wireless the speeds van be considerably superior to NBN Fixed Wireless ( I have seen speeds over 100Mbs) especially using Optus 4G Broadband.
There are often some pretty good plans on offer, and you will find either an Optus or Telstra Tower close enough to give you reasonable signal strength.
Where the signal strength at ground level is not suitable to get you the connection, you need there are options in terms of external antennas to boost your signal strength.
So if you consider an NBN Fixed Wireless Connection, I recommend you consider your option for a Cellular Broadband connection at the same time.
If you can’t at least 3 bars now on Telstra or Optus call us and we can look at your location concerning towers and provide a free on-site survey to review just what service you are likely to receive.
NOTE: If you are currently struggling to get mobile phone reception for phone calls read are Q&A article on WiFI calling. We have customers where we have used an external antenna to give a cellular Broadband connection and now they use that connection for WiFi calling.