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3rd December 2020


nbn™ vs Fixed Wireless - Choosing a home internet plan

Written by Team Pentanet

3rd December 2020



nbn™ is the name everyone knows when it comes to Australian internet, for one reason or another. But when choosing an internet plan for your home, it's critical to make the choice best suited to your home's needs, location and budget. The nbn™ connection type available in your area may not be able to service your needs, but that doesn't mean you'll need to settle for less. Fixed Wireless could be just the solution you're looking for to provide you the highest speed internet connection. Read on to learn more about determining which connection type is right for you.


Choosing the right home internet plan starts with understanding which services are available at your home.

nbn™ is now available to most homes throughout Western Australia. Different connection types are offered depending on your location, including Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Building (FTTB), Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) and Fibre to the Node (FTTN). More information on those is available on the nbn™ website, or you can use our address checker to find which connection type is available in your area.

To be eligible for our Superfast Fixed Wireless, your home must be within the range of one of our exclusive Pentanet towers with a direct line of sight.

Data limits

Data refers to the information downloaded via your internet connection.

Data limits are a defining feature of most home internet plans, so it's important to get a handle on how much data you use on average per month. Factor in if any changes are coming that may affect your usage in the future as too ie. more or fewer roommates, working from home arrangements or binge-worthy shows coming to your favourite streaming service.

Your current internet provider should provide you with a report on how much data you use every month on your current plan to use as a guide. If you're not sure, you can read more about determining your data needs here.

Download Speed

The speed at which your internet connection downloads data is another crucial factor in choosing your home internet plan.

The more users you have in your home using more devices requiring more data concurrently usually requires a higher download speed. This ensures enough bandwidth is available to all users at all times.

Important note - Focus on the ‘typical evening speed’ offered in the plan as opposed to maximum speed offered by the plan. This is a clearer indication of the speeds you will receive during peak internet usage time, which is 7pm - 11pm.

Upload Speed - crucial for video conferencing

If you deal with large files like video and audio, as well as everyone’s new favourite work tool - online video calls, consider plans with a higher upload speed. You can learn more about the importance and uses of upload speed here.

Estimating your data and speed needs

Count how many devices you have and what you need them for. If you live on your own and just want to stream the latest episode of your Netflix series, go on Instagram and browse the web, then a lower-tier Pentanet Fixed Wireless or nbn™ Plan will probably fit your needs fine.

On the other hand, if you like your gaming fast and furious or have many internet-hungry users in the house it may be best to go for a higher-tier Pentanet Fixed Wireless or nbn™ Plan.

Contract Periods, Exit Fees & Install Costs

Install costs, contract periods and exit fees vary from provider to provider as well as plan to plan, so it’s important to be aware of exactly what's included in the plans you are researching. Check the fine print!

Also, check on the flexibility of the plan. Can you move up or down plans if your circumstances change? Things change and it’s great to not have to worry about being stuck in a rigid locked down internet plan.

For example, our Fixed Wireless customers can change data limit and speed tier once a month.

Fixed Wireless vs nbn™ - Installation & Functionality

If you already have nbn™ set up at home, switching over to a new nbn™ provider should be a relatively hassle-free experience. You may need a new modem though. Check out our step-by-step guide to switching nbn™ providers to make sure it's a smooth experience that minimises your internet downtime.

Setting up a brand new nbn™ connection will usually take around seven business days.

Fixed Wireless works similar to pay television. A small dish is installed on the roof of your premises that connects to a nearby tower. Direct line of sight is required to connect to the tower. Large obstructions between your home and the tower (buildings, trees etc) will mean Pentanet Fixed Wireless is not a viable option for your home.

We can get you connected up in a matter of days and you can enjoy buffer-free streaming. If we’re not in your area yet, please contact us and we’ll let you know when you can expect to receive a Fixed Wireless signal in your vicinity.

If you are currently on nbn™ and eligible for Superfast Fixed Wireless, read more about switching from nbn™ to Fixed Wireless.

Fixed Wireless v nbn™ price

This all depends on the provider, as well as your data and internet speed needs.

Our Superfast Fixed Wireless plans start from $59/mth and our nbn™ plans start from $74/mth.

Term limits and installation costs vary depending on service type and provider.

Fixed Wireless v nbn™ support

Most, if not all, large providers have overseas call centres. This has been a problem during COVID-19 shutdowns.

According to a report from the Telecommunications Ombudsman", customer complaints against telcos went up 1500% from 2019 to 2020 in Australia, as customers were unable to get in touch with anyone from their service provider during a time when they most needed a reliable internet connection.

Check on your provider’s support options. There really is no substitute for a local call centre, like our own support centre located right here in Perth.

Finally, do your research

There’s heaps of competition out there, so do your research before selecting your internet plan and provider. No one wants to be locked in on an unsuitable long-term contract.

That's that folks, our full breakdown on choosing an internet provider. Let us know if we can help with anything internet-related, and we’ll see you for all internet-related news and how-to's in the future!