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nbn® Fixed Wireless explained

nbn Fixed Wireless made easy

An nbn Fixed Wireless connection utilises data transmitted over radio signals to connect a premises to the nbn network.

This connection is typically used in circumstances where the distance between premises can be many kilometres. Data travels from a transmission tower located as far as 14 kilometres, to an nbn outdoor antenna that has been fitted to the premises by an approved nbn installer.

Fixed Wireless connections also require an nbn connection box to be installed at the point where the cable from the nbn outdoor antenna enters your premises. This device requires power to operate and can only be installed by an nbn approved installer.

When you contact your phone and internet provider to connect to the nbn network, they should arrange for an nbn approved installer to call you and organise a visit to your premises to connect you.

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Upgrades to Fixed Wireless

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Prepare for your installation appointment

What to expect on the day of your Fixed Wireless installation

This video will show you how to prepare for installation day and make the most of your Fixed Wireless connection. 

Download our guides

nbn Fixed Wireless Preparing Guide

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nbn Fixed Wireless Connectivity Guide

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Fixed Wireless installation process

In most cases we can connect a premises to the Fixed Wireless service within 28 days of an order being placed with a phone and internet provider. This will depend on where your premises is located in relation to a Fixed Wireless tower.

The first step is to place an order for an nbn powered plan with the phone and internet provider of your choice. The provider will make an appointment for an nbn installer to attend the premises and test for a Fixed Wireless signal. Once the signal is acquired, the installer may put the nbn outdoor antenna on the roof of the main premises, under the eaves or on a wall. The nbn outdoor antenna can also be put on powered buildings (like a shed, garage or Solar Mount Structure) close to the main premises, with the nbn connection box inside an enclosed area.

If you are unable to receive a suitable Fixed Wireless signal at your main premises, we will check whether one can be reached at another appropriate location on your property. If a suitable signal can be located, your installer will advise whether a non-standard install may be possible.

All non-standard installations must be carried out by an nbn approved installer. It’s important to note that nbn will not be able to install nbn supplied Fixed Wireless equipment on any resident-provided, non-standard structure. It is not possible for nbn to determine whether infrastructure supplied or organised by a resident meets the necessary requirements.

If you would like to proceed with a non-standard install, your nbn installer will locate the ideal site for the antenna. If necessary, they will set up a ground mounted pole to achieve a suitable signal. This may happen during a subsequent site visit.

After a signal is successfully received, your installer will connect the cable from the nbn outdoor antenna to the main premises. Your installer will then place an nbn connection box inside the main premises or in a powered building nearby.

To connect to the internet, you will need to plug your modem into the nbn connection box. Your modem will need to be supplied by you or your internet service provider.

If you are unable to receive a suitable Fixed Wireless signal at the main building on your property, and nbn determines that a non-standard installation is not possible, you may be able to get connected to the nbn network using an alternate service technology such as Sky Muster™ Satellite.*

If you have a preference for a nbn Fixed Wireless connection, you may wish to consider engaging a third-party vendor to design and build a complying Solar Mount Solution for you (at your cost) if nbn determines that a suitable Fixed Wireless signal can be reached at another appropriate location on your property. The Solar Mount Solution may be suitable where your main building is experiencing line-of-sight obstruction to the Fixed Wireless tower but a suitable Fixed Wireless signal can be located within your property boundary and within the nbn Fixed Wireless coverage boundaries.

A typical third-party Solar Mount Solution comprises of solar panels, an outdoor enclosure (which houses the nbn™ connection box, power supply equipment and batteries), Wi-Fi point to point links (which transmits the service from the Solar Mount Solution to the main premises), and a fixed concrete base with a mounted pole where the nbn outdoor antenna would be installed. nbn has prepared a Guideline which sets out technical, safety and other requirements that must be met for nbn to install its equipment (e.g. nbn connection box and nbn outdoor antenna) on a third-party Solar Mount Solution. To obtain a copy of the guidelines, please contact nbn here.

Once a Solar Mount Solution has been constructed in accordance with the nbn Guidelines, you can contact your preferred phone and internet provider to connect to the nbn network and they should arrange for an nbn approved installer to call you and organise a visit to your premises to connect you.

Important: Under this installation option, nbn does not supply the Solar Mount Solution (including any WiFi point to point links) and is not responsible for installing or maintaining it. You will need to engage a vendor of your choice to design and build the Solar Mount Solution (at your cost) and ensure that your main building is connected via the WiFi point to point link. You will also need to maintain the Solar Mount Solution.

  • You are required to contact nbn and obtain approval to build a Solar Mount Solution
  • You are required to engage a certified vendor to build the structure as per nbn guidelines
  • Once the Solar structure is built, nbn approval is required prior to contacting your preferred phone and internet provider to connect to the nbn fixed wireless network

Have questions?

Fixed Wireless installation requests may require in-home cabling and include multiple devices to be installed inside and outside of your premises. The nbn equipment to be installed may include an nbn outdoor antenna, an nbn connection box. Your phone or internet provider will supply a gateway (router/modem) and the Ethernet cable to connect your devices as required.

The nbn connection box shown is designed for use inside the home and business. If your installation requires an external nbn connection box your device will differ to the one shown above.

Before your installation appointment, you will need to think about where you want the nbn connection box to be installed inside your house (note: for a Solar Mount Structure the nbn connection box will placed within the outdoor enclosure).

Pick the best location using this checklist:

● Reasonably close to a power point.

● A cool, dry, ventilated area (nbn equipment cannot be installed in a damp or wet area such as; a kitchen, bathroom, laundry, or under a window that opens).

● Away from busy areas where it may be knocked or damaged.

● Somewhere easy for you to see and check the indicator lights.

● In the same building as the main electric meter box or distribution board (i.e. not in a separate detached garage or outhouse).

Whilst the nbn technician will try to accommodate your choice of location, some environmental factors such as complex walls, distance to power sources and proximity and accessibility to the exterior antenna may prevent installation in this location. Try to choose an alternative location if your preferred location is not viable and discuss the options with your allocated installer.

Fixed Wireless services can deliver a range of wholesale upload and download speeds.

Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn Fixed Wireless network, depends on; the configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during typical busy periods, such as evenings, when more people are online, and some factors outside our control (like how far away your premises is located from the transmission tower, your equipment quality, software, broadband plans, signal reception, the plan you choose from your provider, the performance of your modem, Wi-Fi, cabling, other devices in your premises and how your service provider designs its network)

Talk to your provider about the broadband speed plans available in your area. You should ask them about the actual speeds you can expect to experience when you switch to an nbn powered plan – particularly during peak times like the evening as some locations have Fixed Wireless cells that can experience congestion. In those locations, speeds may be impacted by network congestion on nbn’s Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods.

Read more about understanding speed and how it affects you.

These considerations may help if you’re experiencing performance or speed issues on your Fixed Wireless service:

  • Networking equipment: Check the quality of your networking equipment, for example, a router/modem with better performance specifications could improve your experience.
  • Wi-Fi signal strength: Wi-Fi modems can vary in signal strength, so it’s best to check with your provider if the modem that they’ve supplied meets your performance expectations.
  • Where you position your Wi-Fi modem: Other electronics can impact your Wi-Fi signal – mobile phones, microwaves and TVs rely on radio signals. Having your router placed as far away from these devices as possible can help.
  • The number of devices online at the same time: If you regularly have many users and devices actively online at the same time, and stream videos on a regular basis, you should discuss an nbn powered plan on a higher speed tier with your provider.
  • Network congestion: A number of factors can influence your internet experience, including:
    • The configuration over which services are delivered to your premises.
    • Whether you are using the internet during typical busy periods, such as evenings, when more people are online.
    • Network congestion on nbn’s Fixed Wireless network, which may impact speeds, including during busy periods.

If you’re still experiencing issues with your service over the nbn access network, you’ll need to chat with your provider for further assistance.

Read more on optimising your experience at home.

The existing copper lines and services at your premises will not be altered or changed by connecting to an nbn Fixed Wireless (or Sky Muster™ satellite) service.

In Fixed Wireless (or Sky Muster™ satellite) areas, premises will have the choice to keep their existing phone service over the copper network active, or switch over to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service on the nbn access network through a preferred phone and internet provider – connecting your new phone via the nbn supplied equipment. Your provider can assist with your phone and internet services.

Read more about the services that may be affected.

A premises’ eligibility for either service technology (Fixed Wireless or Sky Muster satellite) is subject to it first successfully passing a Fixed Wireless signal test. If the premises fails the test, it may then be considered for a Sky Muster™ satellite eligibility test.

It’s important to note that if a premises is eligible to receive a Fixed Wireless (or Fixed Line) service, it will not be eligible for a Sky Muster™ satellite service.

If your Fixed Wireless outdoor antenna can’t be installed on the roof, wall or gutter, it may need some other mounting arrangement (i.e., a pole). Your nbn™ technician can advise you on what will be needed on the day of installation. 

If you need to have equipment or cables relocated, you’ll need to contact your provider so that they can advise you of the cost, and arrange for a technician to move the equipment.

Things to consider for the new location of the nbn equipment:

  • The nbn connection box must be protected from water, steam and excessive heat.
  • The location of the nbn connection box must be well ventilated, near a dedicated power point, and with unrestricted access – to check the indicator lights.
  • The nbn connection box must be positioned in a location away from busy areas and protected from damage, and with sufficient access and light to see if the device is functioning correctly.
  • The nbn outdoor antenna location is determined by Radio Frequency performance. It may not be possible to relocate this to any other position on premises.
  • You are responsible for the cost of relocation.
nbn must have a presence at a tower to provide access to the nbn access network. You can ask your technician if your local tower has nbn presence on the day of installation.
  • If you are unable to receive a suitable Fixed Wireless signal at the main premises on your property, and nbn determines that a non-standard installation is not possible, you may be able to get connected to Fixed Wireless via a “Solar Mount Solution”. This option is only available for end users willing to engage a third-party vendor to build a Solar Mount Solution for you (at your cost).
  • This option is subjected to guideline which sets out technical, safety and other requirements that must be met for nbn to install its equipment (e.g. nbn connection box and nbn outdoor antenna) on a third-party Solar Mount Solution. 
  • To obtain a copy of the guidelines, please contact nbn.

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Although most existing services will be replaced by the nbn access network, there are some services that should not be impacted. These include those services provided over non-nbn fibre networks, some services in some apartment complexes, and some business and Special Services. nbn strongly recommends you contact your current phone and internet provider as soon as possible to find out if your services are impacted. You can also find out more at