NBN Co Blog

Wed 24 Oct

NBN News

I'm connected to NBN Fixed Wireless: what it's like

Posted on Wednesday 24 October 2012 by Scott Weston

Disclaimer: The information on this page may no longer be current and is provided for educational and historical purposes. You should not rely solely on this information. 

Last week, I had the privilege of having NBN service installed.

Living out in the sticks and surviving on expensive and unreliable 3G broadband was starting to drive me crazy.

As soon as the NBN rollout map showed my area had service available I signed up. There was a 2 week delay between ordering the service and my installation date (the installers said they are flat out doing installs).

Where I live there are a couple of badly placed trees but even with them I was able to get reliable service.


One tree blocks the view of the tower from the kitchen window and it’s at the midpoint between me and the tower, but it’s not very dense.
The north side of the house has a clear view of the tower.
The south side of the house has a clear view as well
There are two trees within 10 metres of my antenna, but even with those on a very wet and windy day my signal strength only drops to 2/3 for very brief (less than 1 second) periods.

The trees will be felled if they start to impact on my service, technically they are inside my fresnel zone and do influence my signal strength so if the trees grow and get denser or taller they may start deteriorating my service.

For now they are ok and the roof is high enough to see over the trees in the middle distance so simply clearing these two closer trees would give me line of sight from the roof. I'll watch and see.

Inside the house there is a RJ45 connection box that goes up to the antenna on the roof.

RJ45 connection to the roof antenna
Panel antenna on the roof pointing at the tower

The antenna is then connected to the NBNco CPE device which looks very similar to a router.

It has five RJ45 ports on it, one for the antenna and four that provide ethernet to different providers.

It also has a power connector which I have plugged into a UPS.

NBNco CPE showing 3/3 signal strength. The installers said it was hovering around -85dBm.
As you can see I have two providers currently connected (one on the red cable the other on the blue).

The entire installation was free (paid for by NBN Co) which included the 2 hours of labour for the install and all hardware (cabling, mounting brackets, antenna and CPE), I have only had to pay for ISP service (and in fact one of the connections is currently free as I am part of a beta test for an ISP for 60 days and so that service is provided gratis in return for feedback).

Speed and latency of the service is equivalent to ADSL and so far I have no complaints with it other than it would nice to have a bit more upload speed (being as I'm not purely a content consumer but also a producer) but I imagine that will come in time (there is talk of faster fixed wireless services coming as the technology improves.)


(NBN Co note: the above speed test is one example of Scott's experience, but you shouldn't take it as being representative of the everyone's experience. Internet speeds vary depending on many factors including the services you subscribe to, the software and communication protocols you use, quality of your equipment and connection to your home/business, the broadband plans offered by your internet provider and how it designs its network to cater for multiple users.)

This post was first published on Scott Weston's personal website, srw.id.au.

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Fixed wireless

Scott Weston

By Scott Weston, Internet consultant & Dereel, VIC resident

Scott spent five years working for Google in Ireland, before deciding to return home to the undulating green fields of Dereel, VIC. He has since moved to Haddon, where NBN Fixed Wireless is available. His business, WestonWire (http://westonwire.com.au), donates an hour of time to a charity, non-profit or community group for every hour of paid client work.