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Move over to a faster regional NBN plan.
The NBN rollout is done and dusted, but things aren't quite as simple as signing up to a run-of-the-mill NBN plan for those who live waaay outback. If you live in regional Australia and are miles away from an NBN PoI (Point of Interconnect), there are two far-reaching Internet connection types you might be eligible for: Satellite NBN and Fixed Wireless NBN.
If you're less than 14 kilometres from a Fixed Wireless NBN tower, it could be your best option for getting faster broadband speeds at home. We've rounded up the best Fixed Wireless internet plans available.
- : SpinTel NBN Unlimited Plus
- : Tangerine XL Speed Boost Unlimited
- : Dodo nbn50 Unlimited Plan
- : Internode NBN Wireless Bronze 100
Best Fixed Wireless NBN plan
SpinTel NBN Unlimited Plus
If you're looking for a nice balance between good value and decent speeds, SpinTel comes out on top as the best Fixed Wireless NBN plan with unlimited data.
SpinTels' NBN Unlimited Plus plan will set you back $54 per month for your first six months and $64.95 thereafter. Even at full price, it winds up being the best value Fixed Wireless Plus plan in the long run.
You can also save by bringing your own modem, or you can pay upfront for the one provided by SpinTel.
For an extra $10 per month, customers can also add unlimited standard national calls. Otherwise, you'll simply be charged at PAYG rates.
Here's how it compares to other Fixed Wireless internet plans that offer similar speeds and unlimited data.
Next best Fixed Wireless NBN plan
Tangerine XL Speed Boost Unlimited
The Tangerine XL Speed Boost Unlimited plan is a solid second pick, especially taking into account the six-month promotional pricing ($54.95 instead of the standard $69.95). There’s no contract so you can leave at any time, and Tangerine offers a no-risk 14-day trial, so you can try before you buy.
Though it's a Fixed Wireless Plus plan (and theoretically capable of speeds up to 75Mbps), Tangerine reports typical evening speeds of 27Mbps.
Like the SpinTel plan above, you can also bundle unlimited national calls for $10 a month on top of your Tangerine NBN plan.
Check out other popular Fixed Wireless Plus options with unlimited data below.
Cheapest Fixed Wireless NBN plan
Dodo NBN 50 Unlimited plan
Dodo's plan takes first spot as the cheapest Fixed NBN50 plan at $53.85 per month for the first 6 months (it is an extra $21.15/month after). Over 24 months, iiNet FTTB Ultra Broadband is cheaper though at $59.99/month and it also comes with higher evening speeds.
The Dodo NBN 50 Unlimited Plan is an NBN Standard plan that comes with unlimited data. With this plan, you can save up to $10 per month when you bundle it with an electricity and gas plan from Dodo.
Check out this cheap Fixed Wireless NBN plan next to other affordable picks below.
Next cheapest Fixed Wireless NBN plan
Internode NBN Wireless Bronze 100
If you're not a heavy internet user and simply want the cheapest option that'll keep you connected, Internode's NBN Wireless Bronze 100 plan is the cheapest Fixed Wireless NBN plan available.
Of course, cheapest doesn't necessarily mean the best value, and Internode's offering is quite bare-bones. Not only is this an NBN Basic I plan (meaning 12Mbps speeds), but it only comes with 100GB of data to use each month. That's perfectly fine for sending emails and shopping online, but it might struggle with Netflix streaming at the same time.
Here's how it stacks up against other cheap Fixed Wireless NBN plans.
What is Fixed Wireless NBN Internet and how does it work?
Where Sky Muster NBN satellite customers connect via a literal satellite orbiting the Earth, Fixed Wireless customers get their Internet in a more familiar fashion, with data transmitted over a radio signal emitted from a tower. Not unlike the way we connect to the Internet with our smartphones via a 4G/5G mobile tower.
Satellite NBN plans are still quite expensive, and, out of necessity, offer capped data usage to prevent congestion on the network. Fixed Wireless, on the other hand, offers more traditional NBN speeds. Fixed Wireless connections aren't as stable as Fixed Line connections because they're at the mercy of the same outages and stability issues of any mobile network.
Think of Fixed Wireless as sitting somewhere between Fixed Line and Satellite NBN; it's not as reliable as Fixed Line, but it offers faster speeds and more data than Satellite NBN.
How fast is Fixed Wireless NBN?
The ACCC's trusted broadband speed testing program doesn't extend to fixed wireless technology. There are, however, some standard NBN speed guides to follow if you want a better idea of what to expect.
Fixed Wireless customers have access to three NBN Speed Tiers: NBN 12 (Basic), NBN 25 (Basic II), and NBN 75 (Fixed Wireless Plus).
Fixed Wireless Plus is a speed tier made for Fixed Wireless NBN users that has effectively replaced NBN 50. Fixed Wireless Plus is now the most widely offered option for Fixed Wireless NBN customers, with some providers no longer offering NBN 12 or NBN 25 plans.
Fixed Wireless Plus plans claim to achieve potential evening speeds of 75Mbps, but the factors that impact mobile 4G/5G signals will also affect Fixed Wireless customers. Outages, environmental obstructions, and home satellite positioning can all impact Fixed Wireless speeds.
NBN Co says Fixed Wireless plans will reach at least 25Mbps once per 24-hour period.
Here are the fastest Fixed Wireless Plus NBN plans available, sorted by popularity.
Who has the fastest Fixed Wireless NBN?
Fixed Wireless NBN providers don't have to disclose typical evening speeds in the same way that providers with fixed line plans do.
Fixed Wireless plans are a lot more prone to congestion, and even on the fastest speed tier - Fixed Wireless Plus - you're only guaranteed to get speeds of up to 25Mbps once per 24-hour period.
If you want the best shot of getting good Fixed Wireless NBN speeds, pick one of the providers offering a Fixed Wireless Plus plan in the table above.
How to fix a slow Fixed Wireless NBN connection
If you're not getting the speeds promised on NBN Fixed Wireless, there are a few first steps to take as recommended by the ACCC:
- Contact your ISP: They may be able to tell you if you are connected to a congested cell.
- Change providers: If talking to your ISP doesn't help, it might be time to switch to a provider with less congestion on its cell.
- Reduce streaming quality: Streaming services like Netflix and Stan allow you to lower the quality of your stream and the bandwidth used. Dropping the bit rate on your stream could improve your speeds for every other online activity.
- Pause downloads and updates: If you're downloading a game on your console while your PC is running a software update, you're going to notice a drop in speed. These activities hog a fair bit of bandwidth while running, so it's worth putting them on pause if you need to prioritise another online activity.
How to choose the right Fixed Wireless NBN plan
The important thing to know when picking any internet plan is to determine which speeds you need, and whether the plan you're signing up for reaches those speeds.
If you're a heavy internet user, speeds of 12Mbps will struggle to keep up with demand. Likewise, if you just want to browse your socials and do a bit of online shopping, you don't need 100Mbps to get by. Unlike fixed-line NBN plans, providers of Fixed Wireless plans aren't required to self-report their typical evening speeds. While speeds harder to predict than fixed-line NBN connections, providers tend to follow the fixed-line trend of offering unlimited-data plans for Fixed Wireless NBN customers.
What equipment do you need for Fixed Wireless NBN?
If you've got a Fixed Wireless NBN connection, the following equipment will be installed at your home by NBN Co, free of charge:
- An outdoor antenna on your roof
- A connection box inside your home
- A wall outlet to connect the two
You'll also need a wireless router to plug into the connection box. In some cases, your NBN provider may give you one for free or offer to sell you one. If you have an existing router, you may even be able to use your own.