National Broadband Network
The National Broadband Network (NBN) is an Australia-wide project funded by the Federal Government to provide all homes and businesses with a fast, reliable connection to the internet.
There are now 11 million homes and businesses across Australia ready to connect to the nbn access network, with approximately 90% of the Noosa Shire now able to access a NBN connection - via the different technologies – fixed line, fixed wireless and satellite.
In recent announcements with the COVID-19 pandemic increasing national demand for higher speed broadband services, NBN Co has decided to bring forward its next planned phase of network investment, rather than waiting until the Company achieves its goal of becoming cashflow positive in FY24. For more information, click here.
If you're not sure if you are able to connect, or to find out when the NBN rolls out in your area, check the NBN rollout map.
Importantly, users must always contact their retailer in the first instance for anything related to their in-home or in-office experience. More tips on connecting to the NBN is below.
Information about 5G
Information regarding the 5G network in Australia including safety information can be found at:
- the Australian Communications Media Authority - the Commonwealth agency which sets the rules for the use of communications equipment to ensure they are safe
- the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency - the agency that provides expert health advice to the Commonwealth government on radiation and health
- the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association - the peak industry body representing Australia’s mobile telecommunications industry.
Also, for those looking to demystify the science about 5G, here is an explanation of 5G by Dr Carl Kruszelnicki of ABC Science fame. He provides a “plain English” scientific explanation of the key issues with 5G – electromagnetic spectrum, radio waves, ionising and non-ionising radiation etc.
Want to learn more about 5G in Noosa?
Details of all telecommunications towers and what technology is in use can be found at Radio Frequency Nation Site Archive (RFNSA). This link provides a shortcut to Noosa Heads but you can put any suburb or address in to see a list or map view of all sites, the carrier(s) and the type of mobile technology. This site is run by the telecommunications peak body, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) with the information provided by the Mobile Network Operators.
Below are some tips for moving to the NBN:
- NBN Co does not provide services directly to the public, but acts as a wholesaler to other Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
- NBN Co will let you know by direct mail when your region is ‘ready for service’. Once NBN has announced your area is ready for service you will generally have 18 months to move your landline phone and internet services to the new NBN network, although some service providers might have shorter timeframes.
- Any services you do not cancel or move to the NBN within the specified timeframe will be disconnected (To find out when you will be disconnected, contact your current provider).
- If you do not want to move to the NBN, consider asking your preferred service provider about other options such as mobile phone or mobile broadband that are available to you.
- Some homes and businesses get their internet and phone services from companies that use networks that compete with the NBN For eg, Our Community Broadband). If you’re with one of these companies you don’t have to move to the NBN and your services won’t be disconnected. Check with your provider if you need to move.
- If the internet is critical and you cannot have any down time, you may want to consider a temporary internet solution such as hotspotting through your phone or an internet dongle, whilst making the switch.
- Services such as EFTPOS machines, security alarms and elevator phones may be affected by the switchover. Businesses should check with their device provider if the NBN will support their equipment. More information can be found at the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network website.
When you are moving to the NBN, it pays to be prepared and armed with the right information. Once you're ready to move to an NBN plan, you'll need to decide on three things:
- How much data you'll need.
- How fast you'd like your connection to be.
- Which internet service provider (ISP) to go with.
You should consider the following:
- Which plans best meets your needs
- Desired internet speed
- Service quality
- Customer Satisfaction ratings
Take a look at the tips for picking a good value NBN plan on the ACCAN website.
How much data you’ll need
There are online sites such as whistleOut, Finder and others that help you to investigate the various broadband packages. They also include information on how much data your household/business is likely to need. Considerations include the number of people in the premises, the types of activities that are conducted online, times of internet use.
How fast you’d like your connection to be
Speed is how fast data (the content you download and upload) travels between the internet and your devices.
- Your speed will be affected by various factors including:
- The technology over which services are delivered to your premises.
- How your provider configures their network.
- The number of users at certain times of the day (particularly during peak periods when more people are online) as high traffic times can cause speeds to slow.
- The plan you choose.
- What the internet is being used for. (eg, browsing, checking emails and social networks compared to the higher need jobs such as backing up large business documents or video conferencing).
- Performance of your modem, Wi-Fi, cabling, and other devices in your home.
To calculate what speed you need, visit:
Choosing the right Internet Service Provider (ISP)
You can check which ISPs are servicing your address by visiting the NBN Co website.
Considerations for choosing the right ISP include:
- Set up fees.
- Customer Service performance. Take a look at the Choice comparison website.
- Is a contract required? If so, find out duration of contract and early cancellation costs.
- Connection timing.
- Data allowance and Data monitoring – how much data can you access and how does the ISP monitor this?
Questions to ask before choosing your ISP
- Will my current services be disconnected? If so, when.
- Can I use all my current services and devices, such as laptops, security devices, EFTPOS machines, landlines, mobile phone and tablets, over NBN (including keeping my current phone number)?
- How long will it take to get connected?
- What do I need to do to prepare my property for connection?
- When will the billing start?
- What speed will I get on average with this plan during peak and off peak hours?
- How many users will be sharing this connection (this is your contention ratio – the lower number, the better)?
- Apart from the monthly charge, what other fees do I need to pay?
- Do I need to purchase any new equipment for the NBN to work?
- Can I get voice services? Is the modem / gateway set to ensure quality of phone calls?
- Do I have to commit to a contract? How easy is it to make changes or cancel any contract?
Tip sheets for choosing the right ISP
If you are experiencing problems with your internet service, it could be due to the following:
- Distance from the node.
- Network congestion, which can happen during peak usage times.
- Your plan does not suit your needs.
- Basic connection issues related to the NBN infrastructure build.
If you have a complaint about the installation, connection, repair or operation of your internet and/or telephone service supplied over the NBN, your ISP - not NBN Co - is your first port of call.
However, whistleOut have a webpage which suggests a few things you can try before contacting your ISP.
When you are ready to call your ISP with a complaint:
- Clearly record dates and times of any outage, disconnection or slow speed.
- Include any financial impact that resulted from your down time.
- Keep notes on commitments made by the ISP to resolve your issue.
- Get a reference number for your call/complaint.
ISPs are required to have a complaint handling process and should provide you with a reference number and a procedure for handling and resolving your complaint. If the problem is ongoing and your ISP is not helping, you may be able to cancel your contract without penalty and take your business elsewhere.
The Choice webpage also has tips on how to speed up browsing and fix internet problems.
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
If after trying to resolve the issue with your ISP, your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may then contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) or call: 1800 062 058.
Before you lodge a complaint with the TIO, make sure you have the following information:
- Are you a residential consumer or small business?
- Are you the account-holder? If not, do you have their approval to make a complaint?
- Do you have the complaint reference number provided by your ISP?
- Do you have the details of your complaint on hand, including the name of your account , your account number, the nature of your complaint, and the ISP response?