CHOICE membership

Nbn fixed wireless plans

I am referring to the ‘Choice Insider’ 13/12/2019 NBN plan reviews. This is not the 1st time Choice reviews NBN plans but unfortunately ‘fixed wireless’ is again not mentioned. Please advise if I am wrong otherwise please include FW in your next review. Thanks

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There are FW results as part of the CHOICE “HonestyBox” program. IInet, Telstra and Aussie BroadBand are represented in the results.

There has been much discussion of this FW and other types of connection on the following topic:

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Choice partnered with Whistleout.

Although not linked directly Whistleout also provides recommendations for NBN Fixed Wireless.

Note:
Depending on your arithmetic 11% of Aussies are in FW or Satellite service areas. The NBN Co and Govt prefer to talk about a figure less than 10%. Uptake of FW is around 297,000 and Satellite 96,000 out of 6.4million connected premises. So less than 5% of all NBN customers are on Fixed Wireless.

So neither are all that popular.
Though the NBN Co blames poor FW service speeds on the much greater than expected uptake of FW by customers.

FW performance can be very poor. There is discussion in another topic, if you have not found it.

iiNet or Westnet offer existing customers the following Fixed Wireless plans.

Interestingly, I was recently asked to sign up in advance to the following plans for the NBN. They are for fixed line services only. A bit of a laugh given I don’t have the NBN just yet at our rural home, and live in a FW plan area.

The two make for an interesting comparison. The best offer for FW is only 25Mbps. Noting the NBN Co target is a minimum of 6Mbps busy period with cells needing to drop to 3Mbps before they are considered for an upgrade. Satellite service users are even worse off if you read the community comments of some members.

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Thanks @grahroll, there are only four providers mentioned out of a huge number of FW providers on the market?

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The reason is that the HonestyBox tests require enough users of a particular provider and speed plan to give accurate enough results. This means if enough users are not signed on with HonestyBox with those requirements they do not provide a recommendation on them. There is also the ACCC one and that might give you enough insight (or not). As @mark_m mentions above FW users can be very few and far between to give test results and there are other discussions on this site about FW as noted above that might give you greater insight.

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I think that it is difficult to judge FW on ‘popularity’ - for many of us, there is NO CHOICE - it is the only form of NBN on offer…!!

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I can only empathise. Being able to access any NBN service is possibly better than none. Although Satellite followed by Fixed Wireless hardly offers value compared to the speeds and plans on offers to 80+% of the nation.

We could save up to $60pm by moving to the FW NBN when it arrives next year, assuming it can actually service our property. I have serious doubts. In the end the reports on the quality of the FW service suggest it may be no better than our current ADSL. And we will still need to keep the landline which will be an added cost!

I posted a comparison between our ISP/RSP’s plan offerings for Fixed Wireless service vs the higher speed Fixed Line plan options. It’s a confronting comparison for both the speed tiers and the cost differences for a similar level of service.

P.S.
We currently have a usable 12+Mbps ADSL2 service. If we are able to connect to FW (line of sight issues uncertain) we may be no better off. And there is a hidden cost in needing to keep the copper phone line as our mobile service is flaky with both Telstra and Optus, (unless sitting on the roof of course). Apparently you can also keep the ADSL2 as well in a FW or satellite area, assuming your ISP does not drop the service from their offerings? $$$$$$$

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I’ve had an opportunity recently to get more interested in NBN FW plans. The local NBN tower has just been turned on.

There are a large number of RSP’s to choose from.

Knowing I can always change RSP later I have two obvious alternatives. My current provider, or Telstra. Aussie Broadband might be a third.

I’ve not copied over full details of each as they are accessible online and may change.

What stood out with each?

Telstra
FW plans include the phone service which can be either an NBN VoIP or Telstra copper line for the same cost, calls included. $75.00pm
NBN25, 500GB data, fixed copper line - most calls included (see plan for limitations)
https://www.telstra.com.au/internet/plans#existing-customer

IiNet/Westnet
The plans include a VoIP phone service over the NBN. They will support a copper line phone service, at an extra cost.
NBN12, unlimited data, phone call charges not included. $69.99pm
https://www.westnet.com.au/internet-product/broadband/nbn/plans/wireless

Aussie Broadband
They offer a similar NBN service to that of iiNet, faster speeds and support for some BYO Modems for a VoIP phone. Copper phone line service not supported.
Fixed Wireless Plus up to 75/10Mbps, 500GB data, Phone call charges not included. $75.00pm
https://www.whistleout.com.au/Broadband/Providers/Aussie-Broadband/NBN-Fixed-Wireless

Notes:
Whistleout remains the simplest one stop shop for comparing the basic details of current FW plans.

Common to all is the ability to port your existing fixed line phone number to the NBN VoIP service.

Telstra had the best customer service rep and most knowledgeable. They were the only provider to provide direct answers that confirmed as a customer we could keep our copper fixed phone line and service, and revert back to ADSL2 if the FIxed Wireless NBN service was not reliable or better.

Having spoken to several iiNet reps over the previous two months, the common sales line is that when the NBN is complete in our area our copper fixed line will be disconnected and we will have no choice but to change to the NBN. I think this is how they have been told to market.

Aussie Broadband were really only interested in providing a FW based service. They considered it a one way process as I was not an existing customer.

The Outcome.
If you are yet to connect to the NBN on FW and intend to keep your copper fixed line, Telstra seems to have the lowest cost options. It includes basically all calls as a bonus.

For anyone who may need to revert back to their ADSL service because the NBN FW is not good enough, don’t give up your copper line. Move to Telstra or stay with your current ISP and insist on the line being retained. Telstra’s rep indicated I could also transfer to their ADSL and phone from another ISP.

With the exception of one rep I spoke to some time previously, no one was prepared to say you can keep an existing fixed line service and ADSL active concurrently with a new NBN FW service. My understanding is that you can. It will however cost more as they are two separate services and accounts.

It’s difficult to compare the exact plans as each provider has differences at each speed, data or price point. The quality of the FW connection is also not known until after you commit. Depending on the tower congestion levels the service speeds offered all have outs when the detailed offers are looked at thoroughly.

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Though the copper will remain, ADSL won’t necessarily be maintained.

If you say so.
I can only report what I was offered.
Should I live for today or wait for some second coming of Rudd and Gillard?

Telstra has an ongoing requirement to maintain the copper in FW and satellite service areas. Maintaining existing ADSL concurrently is a minor extra.

Satellite will fix all of this of course, but that is a different answer to the same future problem. Once the NBN is sold none of us has any assurance if we live outside the glorious world of fibre. :wink:

P.S.(added note)
Yes, there are some in FW and Satellite areas where the delivery of ADSL over copper clashes with FTTN and there will be no option. The final number and location of consumers with that outcome remains to be provided, if ever.

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