NBN: Is it worth it for your home?
THE Northern Rivers is making baby steps towards decent internet, but it's still incomparable to what's on offer in cities.
Just recently NBN via satellite was launched across Australia, offering an alternative to those who live outside of range of a National Broadband Network tower.
The service, called Sky Muster, should provide users with 12mbps download speeds and 1mbps upload - a huge improvement for the rural community.
It seems, however, those who live near a fixed wireless NBN tower are getting the best deal.
Jackie from Wardell paid $145 per month for less than 1mbps download speeds on ADSL 2 and she now pays $120 per month and get speeds up to 50mbps.
It means when she downloads a song it now takes about two seconds instead of 40 seconds.
"I give it 10 out of 10," Jackie said.
"We have a really good line of sight to the tower at Pimlico.
"I download a lot of articles and look around library websites. It's much faster now.
"My kids watch a lot of YouTube videos and that's all going really well.
"And my eldest son uploads content to the internet which is why we paid for a faster service. That's improved dramatically."
Buying a standard NBN plan with Telstra costs $100 per month for speeds up to 20mbps, and the upgraded plan costs $20 more and allows for speeds of up to 50.
Tregeagle resident Grahame Wheatley said the NBN hasn't been so great for him - giving it a score of four out of 10.
"We started out with 45mbps, now we rarely get 20," he said.
"The reliability has plummeted to often below the old ADSL speeds.
"We just wait in hope things will become more reliable."
For those living in larger towns such as Lismore, Ballina, Evans Head and Casino, there's still a year's wait before the NBN build begins.
Rather than a fixed wireless service, these areas will get fixed line.
A fixed line service generally offers faster speeds and supports more people using the internet in your home.
People in Kyogle, Geneva, Iluka, Yamba, Angourie and Urbenville get the worst deal because they don't get their NBN service until 2018.
STEP-BY-STEP: HOW TO GET IT
1. Check your address for NBN availability at nbnco.com.au/connect-home-or-business/check-your-address.html
2. If service is available the website will guide you to the next step - choose a provider - and you will be presented with a long list of providers to choose from
3. You should also receive letters in the mail informing you of when the service is available
4. If you are renting, you should seek approval from your landlord now before continuing to the next step
5. When you've picked a service provider, there's a two-step process for installation. Firstly, an NBN technician will install the necessary technology at your place at no cost. Secondly, the internet service provider takes over and completes the installation with their own network connection equipment