Internet Access

The following information has been reproduced with permission from the book
Rural Living MANUAL‘ 2nd Edition by author Bernie Webb.

RURAL-Internet-Access.pdf (257 KB)

Your access to the Internet on your special rural or rural property will vary depending on your location (distance to suburbia) and the availability of different technologies in your area.

ADSL2+ Broadband

If you are reasonably close to suburbia there is a reasonable chance that ADSL2+[1] is available via the fixed copper phone lines.  A special filter is installed on a subscriber’s telephone line to split existing copper telephone lines  between regular telephone (voice) and ADSL2+ service and is most commonly offered in highly-populated metropolitan areas and subscribers must be in close geographical locations to receive ADSL2+ service (usually within 3km of an exchange or a RIM[2]; the further away the slower the service).

4G / LTE / 5G Mobile Broadband

Mobile Broadband uses the same network as your mobile phone, is often very fast 50Mbps to 100Mbps but data plans are often more expensive and limited in size. Reliability and often speed can be improved with the addition of a directional antenna on the roof pointed towards the nearest Mobile Tower and plugged into your modem (must be a designed for 4G/5G).  An added benefit is you can take your Mobile Broadband with you when you travel, even if you only fit the Sim into your suitably equipped tablet.  (At time of writing (2020) we were successfully accessing the internet this way).  Also available is Home Wireless Broadband, works on the same network, usually more Data available but often slower download speed than Mobile Broadband. Modem & antenna probably supplied by provider.


By the time you read this most ADSL2+ may already be history and will have been replaced by NBN[3]  (completion planned for 2020). NBN is probably your best (possibly only) option.

NBN – Fixed Wireless

In some circumstances some or all of the above will not be available but Fixed Wireless NBN may be available, mainly in rural areas. A diamond shape antenna is fitted to your roof and pointed at a nearby base station (the antenna & modem will probably be supplied and installed by the provider). Fixed wireless connections to the NBN can have severe issues regarding bandwidth due to massive oversubscription.

NBN – Satellite Broadband

Failing any of the above there will be a very good chance that Satellite Broadband (Sky Muster Satellite) is available (Satellite Dish & Modem supplied and installed by the provider).  Note: it is not usually an option if any of the above are available. Since you must send data to space, to your ISP, back to space and back again to you, satellite internet has poor latency, or a high ping rate. Ok for most uses, not so good for gaming, streaming services, VoIP[4] or VPN[5]s. The signal can be compromised quite badly by weather and/or obstructions. It is usually more expensive for a slower connection.

[1] ADSL2+asymmetric digital subscriber line (double the speed of ADSL).

[2] RIMRemote Integrated Multiplexer (a bit like a booster) converts one Optic Fibre to many copper lines to premises.

[3] NBNNational Broadband Network

[4] VoIPVoice over Internet Protocol.

[5] VPNVirtual Private Network.