NBN Fixed Wireless – Standard and Non Standard Installations

WHAT IS FIXED WIRELESS?

nbn™ FW (Fixed Wireless) is a fixed wireless service – it is delivered by radio communications, via antennas that transmit a signal direct to a small outdoor antenna attached to the premises.  It is a different technology to mobile broadband / wireless internet.

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Fixed wireless (FW) does not provide mobile phone service, and can not be moved (hence the term ‘fixed’).

ARE YOU ELIGIBILE?

Check your address for FW eligibility on the following sites:

IMPORTANT PRE-INSTALLATION READING

  1. Preparing for nbn Fixed Wireless Connections 
  2. nbn Fixed Wireless Fact Sheet

GETTING FW ORGANISED

If you are able to obtain an nbn™ FW service at your address (if you are in the fixed wireless coverage area) you will need to contact a RSP (Retail Service Provider) also known as ISP (Internet Service Provider) to arrange for the equipment to be installed.  (nbn™ is an internet wholesaler and does not provide internet services directly to the public.)

A technician (nbn™ contractor) will be booked by the RSP to install the equipment. In the case of faulty equipment or connection problems you will need to contact your provider (not nbn™).

BASIC FW INFO

nbn Fixed wireless installations require that two pieces of nbn-owned equipment are installed at your premises: the INDOOR unit and the OUTDOOR unit.

Please remember, the indoor unit (the connection box) needs to be installed on a wall in a sheltered, dry area with access to power. The indoor unit will be connected to the outdoor antenna by a cable, which provides power to the antenna and also connects the data from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit. You are entirely within your rights to ask that the installation take place in a location that is not the main house / residence on your property, but you need to keep in mind where you will be using the computer as it will need to be close to that point. The maximum cable run between the outdoor unit and the indoor unit that nbn provides is 80m.

The outdoor unit has to have direct line of sight to and be less than 14.0 km from the serving nbn wireless tower. Other factors, such as local vegetation / tree density/ mountains etc can also prevent a sufficiently strong signal being achieved. 14.0 km is an absolute maximum and may be less, depending on local factors.

POSITIONING CONSIDERATIONS
The best place for your indoor Network Termination Device is one that is:

  • Near your existing phone or network cabling or devices that you will use the most
  • Within 1.5 metres of a dedicated 240V power point (a mandatory requirement)
  • In a cool, dry, ventilated area
  • Away from busy areas where it may be knocked and damaged
  • Where it will be easy for you to check the indicator lights if there is a problem

Customers who wish to make use of a VoIP service over the nbn connection will have additional considerations (i.e. be close to existing phone cabling). Also 99% of customers will employ a wireless router to achieve their connection, making a home office an ideal location for the NTD.

In order to obtain nbn™ fixed wireless service you must be able to receive and transmit minimum levels of wireless signal between your property and a base station. Currently a signal test reading of -99dBm is needed.    A signal of -99dBm or stronger will result in an install of nbn™ equipment. The lower the number the stronger the signal ie -76dBm is better than -99dBm and anything over -99dBm will be signal failure.

All FW equipment is the property of nbn and should not be moved or adjusted.

CONNECTING YOUR FW EQUIPMENT

The next step once the nbn Fixed Wireless equipment is installed will involve connecting your Internet access equipment.  The antenna on the outside of a home will be connected by a cable running through the wall to the Network Termination Device (NTD) which will be located within the home. Generally your telecommunications or internet service provider will assist you on the best means of connecting your computer, TV or WiFi Router to the Network Termination Device. Your RSP can provide a wide range of fully supported and pre-configured nbn ready WiFi routers for home and business use.

11215180_10207970317597783_3416076732512306138_nAn RSP may request that you by-pass any routers etc when testing, to ensure that any fault/problem is not with your equipment.  The ability to LAN cable connect a computer to the NTD is very important. This is how the installer commissions the service. The router enables you to connect other devices by LAN cable or WIFI to the internet.

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Fixed Wireless: NON-STANDARD INSTALLATIONS

The following are some notes from NBN regarding non – standard installations.

In the event that the ‘standard installation’ procedure fails, the next steps are:

  1. Check that the installer has tried to get a strong enough signal on all areas of the roof of the main residence or the premises/ shelter where you wish the nbn equipment to be installed.
  2. Ask if the installer has checked in all directions, (in the case that there may be other local nbn sites). If the answer is no, please request this or discuss it with the installer.
  3. Ask the installer if there is any other location on your property where the signal may be strong enough to connect.
  4. Ask if the installer has tried a 3 metre mount to get a stronger signal at the locations. If the installer does not have a 3 metre mount, please request that they return and try again with a 3 metre mount. You may need to make a new appointment with your service provider for this as well. Note: A 3m mount can only be installed on tin rooves with a pitch of <30°
  5. Indicate whether you are prepared to take other steps (at your own expense) to get a service. For example:
  • Build a shelter specifically to house the equipment and then relay the data to your main location / homestead. Note: A wireless relay of the data will be required, if the total cable length from ODU to IDU run is greater than 80m. See note below regarding Wireless Relays.
  • Dig a trench to take cable from one building where signal is sufficient, back to the main location on your property. It must be trenched and the cable run through White Communications Conduit.
  • Install a tower / pole to install the equipment on.                                                                                                    Note: The installer needs to accurately identify the location with photos, latitude/longitude etc, plus height of ODU to achieve a suitable signal.
  • Use a cherry picker or similar equipment to provide access to the location where the installation might be achieved.

6. Ask if the installer has any advice for how to get a sufficiently strong signal anywhere on your property

7. Ask if the installer knows whether your neighbours have an installed service and, if so, what the difference is between your location and theirs.

8. Specifically ask the installer not to log the job as a Service Qualification failure, but to log it as a non-standard installation if they are not able to complete a non-standard installation appointment on the day.

9. If all efforts on the day still do not work, you will need to call your service provider to arrange a new non-standard appointment. It is important that you are clear with the service provider that you need an appointment for a non-standard installation.

10.  In the event that all installation attempts fail, you may be able to access a neighbour’s nbn service. If applicable, you may wish to approach your neighbours and ask if they are willing to allow you to order a second service, at your expense to their location. nbn Fixed Wireless supports up to four (4) separate services to one set of installed equipment. If that is OK with you and your neighbour, you may then be able to relay the service to your own residence via a wireless link. There is commercially available equipment that operates wirelessly and may be able to relay the nbn service to your location, provided your neighbours are willing. nbn does not provide this equipment and is not able to guarantee the results.

11. It is also possible to get a second WNTD installed at another location / property in the case that this is needed (for example if the four data ports on the installed equipment are being used or your neighbour would prefer not to have your equipment located in the same place as theirs). This can be done by asking your service provider to get a second location ID assigned to a location / premises so that the nbn equipment can be installed

12. Installers are sub-contractors to nbn and may be of varied experience. The majority of the installers are seasoned professional contractors and take this role very seriously. If you believe that you are not getting a professional experience or that the installer does not present themselves in an acceptable way, please let your service provider know so that nbn can track and improve installer behaviour and the installation experience. nbn manage the performance of the installers and are always keen to hear when there are issues so they can help to identify and improve poor experiences and poor behaviour. nbn instructions are to always do everything installers can to help an end user get the Fixed Wireless service, if possible.

WIRELESS RELAYS

A wireless gateway or bridge can span up to 50km with direct line of sight.  The gateways  can be set up before being sent out.  Then all the customer has to do is find a good location for antenna and run some cable to power point (240 volt power must be supplied) and turn the unit on. If it’s under 200 to 400 meters you only need one if its over 400 meters then it is recommended to use two, one as an access point and the other as a station.  Wireless Gateways are generally under $300 per unit.  A wireless relay can be supplied and installed by telecommunications specialists, or they or can be shipped out with full instructions so people with a bit a knowledge and handy man skill can do the install themselves.

You can read more about wireless relays here: Using a WIFI Bridge to achieve an nbn™ Fixed Wireless connection and learn about how to set one up with some of the stories on our Stories and Testimonials Page

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Fixed Wireless Gateway

For more information on Wireless Relays Contact:

Mark Moore Moore Things Audio Visual

Telco Antennas

PLEASE NOTE: If the non-standard fixed wireless service has trouble after installation and needs repairs or fine tuning, installers must be SAFELY able to access the location. The means to achieve this must be borne by the customer.

nbn currently mandate a 240v supply for the fixed wireless NTD. The nbn wireless NTD consumes 25 watts. nbn are looking into other power supply options for rural users.

The following are some notes from the whirlpool forums regarding non – standard installations.

There are some cases nationally of people who have taken it into their own hands to build or have installed a pole, small tower or structure to house the fixed wireless equipment and even to provide their own wireless link from one location on their property to the main homestead or other building.  You can read about it here:

Whirlpool Forum 

Whirlpool Fixed Wireless Wiki

Both have excellent advice and real experience from end users who have looked into the options for towers and other solutions.

Each non-standard install is assessed on a case-by-case basis by nbn.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with nbn or your ISP regarding your own connection issues.  Thanks to nbn™ for assistance in compiling this document.  Information has been obtained from nbn™, Skymesh, Whirlpool forums and BIRRR members.

One thought on “NBN Fixed Wireless – Standard and Non Standard Installations

  1. This piece on Fixed Wireless is absolutely brilliant. thank you BIRRR. if I had known all this info a few months ago I wouldn’t be in the quagmire I’m in today with NBN and the RSPs. Slowly working my way through it with some help from BIRRR.
    just fyi – the first 8 points listed above in the Non-Standard Installation section did not happen at my first attempt to get connected.

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