Tuesday , August 22 2017

Can’t get the NBN? Your ADSL/cable sucks? Could wireless broadband be the answer for now?

If your home “broadband” connection is anything like mine then you know the frustration of not being able to get a decent connection to the internet. What do I mean by decent? Dan and Jason have NBN, Chris has 100mbps cable. Me? I’ve got ADSL which tops out at a miserly 3mbps.

The problem is for many Australians, including some in built up and metro areas, is the only connection option is ADSL at the end of a very long run of copper. This means poor speeds, unreliable connections and a life of digital frustration. It took me a full eight months to upload less than half of my photos to Google Photos. Yeah, it’s digital hell.

Just wait for the NBN I hear you say. With the slow rollout of the NBN, I’m not going to see the NBN this side of 2019, and even then, that’s if the NBN Co don’t continue their track record of running late, or changing schedule dates on connection rollouts. I suspect the same is true for many for many others.

Long story short, a wired connection isn’t currently solving the internet issues for many users. When the NBN does reach most of us, it may be great, assuming it’s not already outdated by then. Until then, there is a glimmer of hope for those stuck in a situation like mine. I have been tracking the progress of Wireless Broadband over the past few years, however, until recently the cost was prohibitive and the data caps laughable.

This seems to be changing to a point. Last month we reviewed the Optus Home Wireless Broadband plan, and found it to be a great alternative. As such, we thought we might take a look at the other options available that may address the big issue faced in that review and that was effectively a monthly data limit of 250GB.

To refresh, Optus offer a Home Wireless Broadband plan For $80 a month, on a 2-year contract, with 200GB of included data and every additional 10GB costing $10. All of this is delivered at a pretty stable 15 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up.

It’s pretty good, compares somewhat well to wired options that others can access, and offers a viable alternative.

Telstra offers a Home Wireless Broadband plan, and it’s utilising the Nighthawk M1 which if you’re living in the right area could deliver phenomenal speeds. Unlike Optus’s offering, Telstra doesn’t constrain the data rate – you’ll get whatever is faster near you. However, with a maximum data cap of 80GB costing $150 per month, I still don’t consider this a real replacement for a wired broadband connection; it’s simply too expensive with too little data.

Vodafone does not offer a dedicated Home Broadband plan, and their mobile broadband plans aren’t really suitable for a home internet connection — not enough data included to be seriously considered, unless you’re just looking for a SIM service for your iPad.

Enter Vivid Wireless. Vivid has been on my radar for a few years, but unfortunately for me, they only covered the inner metropolitan areas of Brisbane. That’s changed now, and they have expanded their coverage. What’s special about Vivid? They offer an unlimited plan. Yes, unlimited home LTE internet.

What’s the catch? Firstly, the service is restricted to a 10Mbps down / 1Mbps up connection, which for me is still lightning fast. It’s quicker than ADSL1, or ADSL2 too far from the exchange, and offers more than enough throughput to stream video, upload photos and more.

Secondly, it costs $89 per month. Now that’s a price that I consider reasonable. I’ve seriously looked at options that cost hundreds of dollars a month to deliver less speed than that. Having the ability to go on a month to month plan, assuming you purchase the modem outright, and get 10 Mbps down is something I was only dreaming of last month.

While $89 is more than the $50 is per month I pay now for my questionable 3mbps connection, for me who relies so heavily on the internet, it’s a price I’m willing to pay. An extra $39 a month to more than treble my internet speed, with unlimited data? No brainer.

If you find yourself with slow internet, no hope of an NBN connection anytime soon and willing to pay the slight premium that currently comes with Home LTE connections perhaps you should look into options for your area? I’m switching and feel so excited about the prospect of using the modern internet. I hear you can stream video these days.

If you know of other great Home Wireless Broadband Options sing out in the comments, even if it’s restricted to certain areas, you just may help a fellow reader out of internet hell.

 

Duncan Jaffrey   Journalist

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23 Comments on "Can’t get the NBN? Your ADSL/cable sucks? Could wireless broadband be the answer for now?"

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PhilD
Valued Guest
PhilD

I bought Vivid today and I’m pleased so far. Telstra and the 5 Mbps is being waved goodbye to tomorrow. NBN is not coming to me until July 2018

Member

The one problem with LTE wireless broadband is that when it become popular the network gets loaded and the speed goes down. This is starting to happen here in Kiwiland where plans start at about $52 for 100Gig and $88 for unlimited. It’s great if you’re renting an apartment though..

Member

They should never offer unlimited on LTE in the first place. Leechers effects the network for everyone. Even limiting it to 1TB would be bad enough, but would help to some degree.
We had our major telco have an unlimited day due to previous issues and they couldn’t handle it, let alone someone like Vivid.

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred

I have both the vivid wireless and Netgear Nighthawk M1 and find the Telstra option serves me better because it is both faster and is mobile unlike to Vivid offer which is very much slower and deliberately designed to be used in a fixedly location ..it is much more expensive and limited to 80 gb but a better option for mobile internet …

ddobovsek
Valued Guest
ddobovsek

That’s is why TPG spent a fortune on mobile spectrum. Once NBN will show its weak side, mobile internet will be the way to go and NBN will be waste of money.

Member
You could look at all the bespoke fixed wireless broadband companies in Australia too. They are: nuskope uniti red broadband netspeed the signal co clear networks hyperwave Lightning broadband BigAir Vertel Rocket networks Node1 Nuskope & Uniti are the 2 biggest though. Both are in Melbourne and Adelaide now and have plans to expand to every major Australian city. I have Optus HWBB now and have used Vivid prior to that. They are awesome so long as your tower is not too congested. (mine is not, a mobile phone on Optus can reach over 100mbps any time of day) However… Read more »
Choo Loh
Valued Guest
Choo Loh

If you have telstra cable running on your street, consider contacting telstra. I was on asdl and only got 1mb per sec download. After connecting to cable in epping nsw, the download speed became 30mb per sec.

Vargralor
Valued Guest
Vargralor

Unfortunately cable is not an option for a lot of people. If you are renting in an older apartment complex the approvals and cost to get cable installed (especially when trying to figure out where to drill holes and run it though) can be prohibitive.

Duncan_J
Valued Guest
Duncan_J

For me Telstra cable is 1 street over, soooo close yet unobtainable.

Katherine Douglass
Valued Guest
Katherine Douglass
Be pretty careful before signing any contracts. These speeds are reliant on reception and checking your phone doesn’t cut it since the modems accept less bandwidths than your phone does. I recommend you speak to the tech support before signing up for anything to ensure you will in fact receive those speeds. I signed up for Optus home wireless and because the 2500mhrtz ends three streets away I only got 5mbps. Even though I can see an optus tower from my balcony I didn’t get those promised 12mbps speeds. Cancelling was painful, disorganised and left me stuck on adsl again.… Read more »
Member

There is a tool available on the whirlpool forums to lock the optus moden to a particular LTE band, in this case band 40.

Also the modem vivid sell is locked to band 40 as its only allowed to be used on that radio band. With vivid you either have a signal at 10mbps or you have nothing. Cancelling is also much simpler

Member
Interesting article! Broadband is absolutely essential these days, and I think anyone not being able to get decent ADSL 1 speeds should be offered government assistance for some type of rebate on the tech as described here. Funny enough, I got a letter Friday from TPG saying NBN is coming to my area and to pre-order. But even doing my own research over the weekend I find speeds are still limited on FTTN due to copper length, So no point in me paying for a 100Mb link when in real terms I will only get 25Mb (Still great, and twice… Read more »
Russell Cook
Valued Guest
Russell Cook
Yep I joined Viivid in Oct last year. My ADSL was 4.5Mbp with a good provider – SpinTel. However I got fed up with the low speeds. Technically I’m not in a Vivid coverage area, but I’m next door to one and the Optus towers around me have 2300MHz. So I took a chance and except for when Optus took down my closest tower all has been good. I’ve moved the modem to get better signal and am using a power line network to connect my Billion Rtr to the Vivid modem. Overall very happy I’m getting 8-9Mbps – double… Read more »
BrainBeat
Valued Guest
BrainBeat

While 10/1 may be enough for you I get the now on ADSL and find it not even close to enough especially on the upload side as I often could need to upload multiple GB of photos a week for work. It is still must faster for me to drive in to work on most occasions and save directly. In SA there are a few other wireless providers the biggest one seems to be Unity which can offer speed of 50/5 I think but their pricing and caps I feel are still too expensive to bother with personally.

Member

Similar here. I get 10/1.5 in ADSL2+ with iiNet but need / would like more, especially upload.

Chris
Valued Guest

Sadly there’s even fewer of these in Sydney, and with many safe Liberal seats, we’re not likely to see a fast NBN in most electorates any time soon.

Duncan_J
Valued Guest
Duncan_J

10/1 being enough is a relative statement, compared to 3/0.2 it’s awesome

sortius
Valued Guest
sortius

Yep, I had 5/0.5 a while back, I fought tooth and nail to get problems fixed that only increased speeds from the woeful 2.5 it had with faults. I would have killed for 10/1 at the time. Anyway, I moved house specifically to be in an FTTP area, as per Turnbull’s advice, so now I have 100Mbps. I spent a full week just downloading big files and watching the speed.

Duncan_J
Valued Guest
Duncan_J

Lol

Lucas Buchanan
Valued Guest
Lucas Buchanan

I also use Vivid. Whatever criticism people have, it sure beats my old snail-paced ADSL1 connection. It’s a great option until there is the necessary infrastructure installed in my area for something better.

Member
Adam J

Looks like Telstra finally clued on that $160/mth for 25GB was not competitive. That was their maximum plan size less than a year ago, and I had to survive on that until NBN finally arrived. Nice to see they have something slightly less exorbitant.

ezwest
Valued Guest
ezwest

I’ve been using Vivid for the last 3 months. Great little service for anyone who is sick of their underwhelming ADSL connection.

Jeenee and OVO also offer decent data on Optus’s full 4G plus network for anyone who isn’t in Vivid’s coverage area.

Grafico Projeto
Valued Guest
Grafico Projeto

I use vividwireless it has been great so much better than the 1+Mbps ADSL service I was paying for

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