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The best fixed wireless NBN plans for remote internet access
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
- : SpinTel NBN Unlimited Standard
- : 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. Though Tangerine's NBN50 plan (see below) is cheaper, that's only the case for the first six months. The Tangerine plan also only offers typical evening speeds of 27Mbps compared to SpinTel's 40Mbps, which is why the latter is our top pick.
Spintels' NBN Unlimited Plus plan doesn't have any special promo pricing, but at $64.95, it winds up being the best value Fixed Wireless NBN 50 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 an NBN Standard plan (and theoretically capable of speeds up to 50Mbps), Tangerine reports typical evening speeds of 27Mbps. That's not bad, but considering SpinTel's 40Mbps speeds, it's not the best either.
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
SpinTel NBN Fixed Wireless Standard
SpinTel's plan takes first spot as the cheapest Fixed NBN plan at $49 per month for the first 6 months (it is an extra $10.95/month after). Over 24 months, Internode's NBN Bronze 100 is cheaper though at $49.99/month but it also comes with slower evening speeds.
The SpinTel NBN Fixed Wireless Standard Plan is an NBN Basic II plan that comes with unlimited data and typical evening speeds of 21Mbps. Like its more expensive sibling (see our top pick overall), you can add unlimited national calls for $10 per month on top of your NBN plan cost.
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: Basic (12Mbps), Standard (25Mbps), and Standard Plus (50Mbps) but select providers (like Aussie Broadband) will offer a Fixed Wireless exclusive speed tier, Fixed Wireless Plus. Fixed Wireless Plus plans claim to achieve potential evening speeds of 70Mbps, 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.
Here are the fastest Fixed Wireless Plus NBN plans available, sorted by popularity.
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.