Broadband options in rural Australia
Living in a regional or isolated rural area no longer means being stuck with inferior communications technology. In recent years not only have the communications companies pushed broadband into areas where radio has long been the main means of long distance communication, but the Government has also developed a policy regarding equal access by rural Australians to broadband technology. The broadband options are now very good for rural Australians.
Broadband Guarantee for Australians
To ensure that all Australians have access to broadband internet communications, the Australian Government developed the Broadband Guarantee www.dbcde.gov.au/abg. This policy means that all Australians have access to broadband, whether it be by cable, satellite or land based wireless means. The Guarantee offers financial incentives to companies to set up broadband access technology in rural areas.
Rural broadband options
The Broadband Guarantee means that rural Australians have a range of options for broadband access:
- Most major regional centres have cable phone access for residents. If you have normal phone services, you can access any kind of cable based broadband. The Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services such as ADSL2plus and VDSL2 are fast, reliable and popular
- Naked DSL is another option if you have a normal cable based telephone service (known as POTS – Plain Old Telephone Service). Naked DSL only gives you broadband on your phone line, with no phone signal, but allows you access to internet based telephone services such as VoIP
- Satellite broadband was developed largely to service rural areas. It is a form of wireless internet in which the electromagnetic broadband signal is bounced to a satellite which then relays it to a station on Earth and from there to your computer. It has been a more expensive option, but with more providers offering the service it is now very affordable. Satellite broadband is not quite as fast as cable based broadband, and is subject to a degree to the vagaries of weather (it is affected by precipitation and moisture in the atmosphere). Land based features like trees and mountains can also interfere with the signal
- Wireless broadband may be available if you are close enough to a transmitter. This is the same as satellite, except the electromagnetic signal carrying broadband is beamed from one land based station to another then to your computer
- Check with providers as to what services are offered in your area
Thanks to the Broadband Guarantee, every Australian should have access to some form of broadband.
Broadband in rural and regional Australia
There are now a range of options, comparable to urban choices, for rural and isolated Australians to access broadband technology. Most laptops now have wireless capacity, so ‘plugging in’ to broadband could be as simple as choosing a plan and logging on to your computer.
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