A Wi-Fi router enables multiple devices to connect to the internet and share a single broadband connection, whilst providing security and network management functions. For a smaller home a single Wi-Fi router may provide satisfactory coverage.

Note: Discuss your router requirements with your provider, as they generally support the routers they provide or recommend. – Wi-Fi 5, or – Wi-Fi 6?

AC in the router name indicates Wi-Fi 5 and AX, Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest and current Wi-Fi standard and Wi-Fi 5 devices are increasing unavailable.

AX3000 indicates a device with 3,000Mbps of theoretical bandwidth. The greater the number, the greater the capacity of the router to connect many clients at good speed; however, do consider that your actual internet connection capacity may only be 50Mbps or less depending on your internet connection. You’ll need Wi-Fi 6 devices, tablets, laptops and smart phones to benefit from the additional efficiency, however Wi-Fi 6 routers will work with Wi-Fi 5 devices and earlier Wi-Fi releases. The more powerful the router the greater the cost, the greater the speed, number of active clients and system capacity. The trick is finding the happy medium for your situation at a reasonable cost.

Our recommended routers support a future Mesh network

A mesh network or system provides for additional routers or mesh extenders that creates coverage to rooms where the Wi-Fi signal is weak.

Recommended mid-range AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 routers with this capability are the ASUS RT-AX58U, at around $300 and the TP-Link Archer AX55, at less than $200.

ASUS RT-AX58U Dual Band AX3000 Wi-Fi 6


This 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) 3,000Mbps theoretical bandwidth router provides excellent capacity and coverage for a large home. Two ASUS RT-AX58U will extend coverage using the proprietary Asus AiMesh feature. A very useful feature of most Asus routers is Traffic Analyser – Statistics, which details the 24-hour usage of every connected client.

It identifies the amount and time of high usage clients and will greatly assist in maintaining traffic usage within quota.

TP-Link Archer AX55 AX3000 Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Router

This 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) 3,000 Mbps theoretical bandwidth beamforming router provides excellent capacity and coverage for a large home. Extend coverage with TP-Link proprietary OneMesh and additional TP-Link mesh extenders.

Recommended Router Features

  • Both routers provide mesh capability if you buy an additional AiMesh router (Asus), or OneMesh extender (TP-Link). A ‘mesh network’ will extend your wi-fi coverage. A maximum of five Asus AiMesh routers is recommended. For TP-Link, that’s the router plus four mesh extenders. The TP-Link hard limit is a total of eight devices.
  • Both Asus and TP-Link provide a smart phone router App for easy management.
  • Wi-Fi 6 is backwards compatible. It requires Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices to realise the Wi-Fi 6 efficiency advantage.
  • Please buy local if possible.
  • If you have had your (most likely old and slow) router since you had Sky Muster installed; it’s probably time for a change 😉

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your own connection issues. Thanks to John Kitchener, Chris Dowling & Tim Stockman for helping us with router advice.

How to extend in home Wi-Fi coverage

How to extend in home Wi-Fi coverage – Jan 2023

Home diagram by TP-Link

The above diagram represents the key technologies that are typically deployed to ensure Wi-Fi coverage in the home and extended home environment.

  1. Most systems start with a quality Wi-Fi Router which connects to the internet source such as the nbn Network Termination Device or NTD. This network is shown in green.
  2. Should the single Wi-Fi router fail to service all corners of the home, a Mesh System is required. A mesh system allows a device to remain connected as it roams the home e.g a smartphone or tablet. The three-device meshed network is identified, by green, orange and blue.
  3. If Wi-Fi coverage is required in the yard and up to 300m away, an External Access Point can be added. Handheld or fixed devices within range, can access the internet.
  4. If Wi-Fi coverage is required in a nearby building or at some more remote location, a Point-to-Point Transparent Bridge and Access Point is provided.

Details of each of these solutions follows.

The Wi-Fi Router

For a smaller home a single Wi-Fi router may provide satisfactory coverage.

A Wi-Fi router enables multiple devices to connect to the internet and share a single broadband connection, whilst providing security and network management functions

Some routers can form the genesis of a future mesh system. Several good mid-range routers with this capability are identified in the RECOMMENDED nbn SKY MUSTER ROUTERS article here. – Wi-Fi 5, or – Wi-Fi 6?

AC indicates Wi-Fi 5 and AX, Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest and current Wi-Fi standard and Wi-Fi 5 devices are increasing unavailable.

AX3000 indicates a device with 3,000Mbps of theoretical bandwidth. The greater the number, the greater the capacity of the router to connect many clients at good speed; however, do consider that your actual internet connection capacity may only be 50Mbps or less depending on your internet connection.

You’ll need Wi-Fi 6 devices, tablets, laptops and smart phones to benefit from the additional efficiency, however Wi-Fi 6 routers will work with Wi-Fi 5 devices and earlier Wi-Fi releases.

The more powerful the router the greater the cost, the greater the speed, number of active clients and system capacity.

The trick is finding the happy medium for your situation at a reasonable cost.

A mesh system

The mesh network is an evolution of the earlier days of wireless extenders.

As Google Nest (a mesh system) explains “A mesh network is a group of connectivity devices, such as Wi-Fi routers that act as a single network, so there are multiple sources of connectivity around your house instead of just a single router”.

If you google “Best Wi-Fi Mesh Systems”, you will be met with a bewildering array of mesh systems. Choose a system that is within your budget and suitable for your coverage needs.

The mesh has a primary router that manages DHCP as for the simple Wi-Fi router solution i.e. one main router and several slave routers. The slave routers act as meshed access points.

The mesh elements must be placed not too far and not to close ie in the Wi-Fi Goldilocks zone where they can securely wirelessly connect, but usefully extend the coverage area. The primary and slave routers may present additional LAN ports for a wired connection at that location.

Some Wi-Fi routers can form the genesis of a mesh system, such as the TP-Link Archer OneMesh and Asus AiMesh routers and mesh extenders.

An external wired Access Point (AP)

For some circumstances a good external AP mounted on an external wall (or higher) may provide reliable service to a Wi-Fi device out to 300m or so with clear line of sight and little to no obstructions. It may reliably service a nearby building.

The AP also handles the security of the wireless network, such as implementing WPA2 encryption to protect against unauthorized access.

Perhaps try this option first (before a Point to Point system), as the AP can be re-deployed as part of a PtP system should the situation require a wireless bridge.


The TP-Link EAP225 is AC1200 (2.4Ghz 300Mhz + 5Ghz 867Mhz) and comes complete with a PoE (Power over Ethernet) supply.  It is easily configured and managed via a smartphone App.

It requires connection via an ethernet cable from a spare LAN port on the in-home Wi-Fi router. The TP-Link EAP225 Outdoor is about $150.

A Point to Point (P2P) link

The Regional Tech Hub explains P2P here. Point to Point (P2P) wireless links generally require ‘better than average’ DIY expertise. If ‘in building’ LAN cabling is necessary, a registered cabler is required.

For Ubiquiti PtP and PtMP products you may check the link path and performance using the powerful Ubiquiti link calculator, see

Ubiquiti’s ispdesign is applied to an 11.2Km link using Nanostation 5AC locos.

For basic path loss calculations use the Ligowave link calculator or

Ensure that the system is compliant with the Australian maximum power (EIRP) regulations, see A maximum EIRP of 4W (+36dBm) is legislated for 2.4Ghz and selected 5Ghz Wi-Fi frequencies.

Note: A +23dBm transmitter coupled to a 13dBi antenna creates an EIRP of +36dBm.

Should you engage a professional, obtain a quote which details all work AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, the expected outcome e.g., link speeds, compliance etc. Ensure that the installer provides all necessary passwords and that the system operation is clearly explained. Ensure that a link budget is provided prior to demonstrate the performance.

What does a PtP link do?

A PTP link creates the wireless equivalent of a LAN cable connection. Think of the PtP wireless link as a long length of LAN cable. Security of a Wi-Fi P2P link is established using encryption techniques such as WPA2 to prevent unauthorized access.

Connect the PtP link to a spare LAN port on your in-home Wi-Fi router and at the far end of the PtP link, connect a Wi-Fi AP (Access Point). These can be purchased e.g., TP-Link EAP235-Wall, or an old wi-fi router can be repurposed as an Access Point. See

Additional BIRRR PtP information, see option 2

Cost effective PtP devices

There are many PtP link systems available. The systems identified below perform well, are readily available and are at the least cost end of the market. A PtP system with ‘up to 450Mbps throughput’ supports Starlink, nbn Fixed Wireless and most nbn fixed line services.

Ubiquiti AC PtP system – 13dBi compact antenna

A pair of Ubiquiti Nanostation Loco 5AC’s can provide a throughput of up to 450Mbps (225Mbps send + 225Mbps receive) at around 1Km. Given the modest antenna gain and power, this device readily meets the +36dBm EIRP regulatory requirements.

Ubiquiti ispdesign calculation for a 1Km link, identifying a throughput of 497Mbps

The NanoStation 5AC loco wireless link uses the proprietary Ubiquiti Airmax protocol (std Wi-Fi is not supported). For link set up see

The Ubiquiti Nanostation Loco 5AC with perfect ‘line of sight’ may provide useful service at a distance of up to 10Km. At 11.3Km (see the Ubiquiti ispdesign example earlier), the transmit and receive throughput drops to ~50Mbps send and ~50Mbps receive.

Configuration is not for the faint of heart; however here is a primer.

The total cost (2 off) with PoE injectors (power supply) is around A$234 (plus post).

Pre-configured Ubiquiti PtP systems may be available e.g. There may be others who provide pre-configured PtP systems.

Ubiquiti LBE-5AC-Gen2 LiteBeam – 23dBi antenna

See This high gain antenna system is useful for bridging long distances and delivers a throughput of ~400Mbps. Cost is ~A$240 for two. The PoE power supply is included.

TP-Link AC PtP system – 23dBi antenna

See This high gain antenna system is useful for bridging long distances and delivers a throughput of ~400Mbps. Cost for two is around A$300. The PoE power supply is included.

IP-Com AC PtP system – 23dBi antenna

See Another high gain antenna system with a throughput of 450Mbps. The iLBE-5AC uses a proprietary ipMAX IP-COM TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) protocol. Cost for two is around A$250. The PoE power supply is included.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your own connection issues. Thanks to John Kitchener, Chris Dowling & Tim Stockman for helping us with advice.


Are you experiencing dropouts or slow speeds with your internet connection ? The following programs/devices can assist you in monitoring your connection and provide valuable data for you to escalate with your RSP (provider).


Ping Plotter is a great program that can record the dropouts for you, so you don’t have to manually record these for your provider. The program can also measure things such as packet loss, jitter and trace route. Whilst a test device that is plugged directly into your internet connection (LAN cable) is ideal, a Wi-Fi connection is also fine as long as the test device has a strong Wi-Fi signal. The device must also remain active for the period of the test.

NB: If you are troubleshooting with a nbn provider you must use Ping Plotter with a device that is directly connected into the nbn connection box (NTD/modem) via an ethernet cord/LAN cable.

  • Ping Plotter is a 14 day free trial, you can download it here:
  • Recommended settings:
  • Interval = 2.5 seconds and focus = 60 minutes.
  • For nbn Sky Muster connections: Adjust the expected latency to be 550-800ms


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched the Measuring Broadband Australia program in order to better understand how Australians are experiencing internet performance in their homes. The program uses Sam Knows White boxes to record information about the quality of your connection, such as speed, packet loss, latency and drop outs. To sign up for a Sam Knows monitor via this link (please note satellite connections are not eligible).


USE to chart your speed results over time. Create an account and sign in to to get started. Do several tests in the evening busy period and several tests at a less busy time

4. NetUptime Monitor

Continuously monitor your internet and local network connections in real time and view or print a detailed log of all failure length and times. Only compatible with windows computers.

NB: When setting up the monitor for nbn satellite connections, please ensure settings allow for the latency.

  • Test interval: 2 seconds
  • Wait for ping response: 2000 milliseconds
  • Alert & log failure if longer than: 4 seconds

For all other connections:

  • Test interval: 1 seconds
  • Wait for ping response: 1000 milliseconds
  • Alert & log failure if longer than: 1 seconds

Download & Install:

Please note the trial version of the net uptime monitor will run for 60 minutes then close, a license is required to remove this limitation. You can get a permanent license for a one time payment of just US$9.95.

NB: You should always follow the advice of your provider (RSP) when it comes to troubleshooting your connection.


BIRRR celebrates eight years of advocacy with a new handle, meet @betterbushcomms

IT’S TIME to stop bashing bush internet and instead focus on improving our connectivity, according to rural telecommunications advocacy group Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR).

To celebrate its anniversary the independent, volunteer led organisation has chosen to update its social media handles from @fixbushinternet to @betterbushcomms reflecting the significant improvements made to regional communications infrastructure and services off the back of its continued advocacy.

BIRRR co-founder Kristy Sparrow said she was extremely proud of what the group had achieved over the last eight years.

“What began as a small group focussed on sharing experiences and information to help troubleshoot regional connectivity issues has evolved into a very successful advocacy group with a membership of over 14,000 people,” she said.

“In that time we’ve seen a step change in access to internet and telecommunications in the bush. I’m not saying there aren’t still potholes in the road, but sometimes you have to reflect on what’s been achieved.

“One of the biggest wins for the bush was the delivery and improvement of NBN’s wholesale Sky Muster Plus service, effectively providing unlimited data at good speeds for the majority of the day.

‘It was a game changer for our satellite users, and those who haven’t switched to Plus plans are missing out.”

Mrs Sparrow said she also applauded existing and new private alternative technologies, including wireless internet service providers (WISP) and low-earth-orbit offerings such as Starlink.

“Low Earth Orbit satellites are an emerging technology, which means there are teething issues, cost and some risk involved, but as more offerings come online we should see that market mature,” she said.

Mrs Sparrow said it was time to move away from furphies that you can’t connect in the bush, or that all communication issues boiled down to a need for more infrastructure.

“Frankly the people saying that don’t understand the challenges, or the scope of the problems,” she said.

“We coined the term ‘connectivity literacy’ to describe the issues we see again and again.

“It’s all the things a consumer needs to know to get connected and stay connected, from what technologies are available and how to choose one right through to troubleshooting a connection and where to get help.

“It’s important for all Australians but rural and remote consumers have suffered worse due to isolation, the tyranny of distance and a lack of easy to access support services.

“The Federal Government funding and handover of BIRRR’s troubleshooting services to the Regional Tech Hub was a great first step, and it has freed our volunteers up to concentrate on advocacy and education, a move reflected in our handle change.”

Mrs Sparrow said connectivity literacy differed from digital literacy and they were two separate skills.

“Issues with connectivity literacy could be choosing and installing equipment, how to pick a provider or plan, it’s the nuts and bolts of getting online, something the majority of people actually struggle with,” she said.

“Digital literacy is the ability to navigate various digital platforms and understand, assess and communicate through them. Digital literacy is your ability to use your connection.”

Mrs Sparrow said digital literacy had been well researched and defined, with barriers identified and targeted programs put in place to solve problems, while connective literacy had been overlooked.

“This is a significant barrier to adoption,” she said.

“From our experience it’s an issue across all demographics, a person being a digital native can still face significant hurdles when it comes to getting and staying connected in the home or business, there’s a default where we just want things to work.”

Mrs Sparrow said BIRRR still had a lot to do in terms of advocating for better bush communications.

“Connectivity illiteracy and a lack of a regional connectivity plan and framework has resulted in a patchwork quilt of regional technologies,” she said.

“Consumers, communities and local governments have not been supported or upskilled in getting and staying connected and understanding the intricacies of bush broadband connections.”

Mrs Sparrow said some of the barriers to regional consumers becoming connectivity literate included a lack of independent advice and an industry that was profit driven not result driven.

“There is a lot of misinformation and disinformation out there, and the narrative that bush broadband is bad doesn’t help,” she said.

“Getting connected or upgrading your connection can be confusing, it involves navigating the patchwork quilt and complex equipment, and there can be significant affordability issues.

“BIRRR will continue to work for better bush internet.”

BIRRR stock image attached.
Suggested Caption: Rosie Alexander connecting from her family’s property in western Queensland.
Photo is available for single use in print or for online story with photo credited to Lisa Alexander Photography, for alternative photos in this series please contact BIRRR.

For media enquiries please contact Kristy Sparrow 0429 853 482


The team at Better Internet for Rural, Regional & Remote Australia (BIRRR) welcomes today’s announcement of a joint investment by the Australian Government and NBN Co into regional connectivity.

BIRRR has hailed the investment, which includes a range of key upgrades and enhancements to the nbn Fixed Wireless and Satellite networks in the regions, as ‘transformative’ for regional broadband users.

Co-Founder of the BIRRR group, Kristy Sparrow, said the investment should greatly improve bush broadband offerings, with the announcements coming as the result of eight years of volunteer advocacy to ensure regional Australians have access to affordable, reliable and adequate connectivity.

The proposal made by NBN Co today include a wide-range of enhancements and upgrades, including:

  • Enhancements to nbn Sky Muster Plus plans (beginning mid-2022) will see ‘Plus’ users able to have full use of their connection, without data limit constraint, from 12 midnight through to 4pm (offering an unlimited experience which includes VPN and video streaming that have previously been limited). Metered data allowances (VPN and video) will only be measured 4pm-midnight.
  • For regular nbn Sky Muster plans, nbn will double average monthly allowances on their ‘fair use’ policy from 45GB to 90GB. This will be made possible with busy satellite beams ‘deloaded’ by approximately 25,000 active satellite customers (who will be moved to nbn Fixed Wireless connections).
  • The nbn Fixed Wireless footprint will be extended (selected towers) from 14 to 29 km, creating a 50% bigger Fixed Wireless footprint reaching 720,000 residences (allowing an extra 120,000 addresses added to the nbn Fixed Wireless footprint).
  • Speeds will increase significantly on nbn co Fixed Wireless services – customers will see an increase to typical speeds (100mbps/20mbps) and an increase to typical busy hour speeds of at least 50Mbps. It is also anticipated that 85% of the footprint will be able to order speeds of up to 250mbps.

“The upgrades within the $750 million package will be transformative for regional Australians, ensuring they have access to broadband options that meet their needs now and into the future. Future-proofing connectivity in RRR areas by adopting and funding solutions that plan for future growth and investment
in our regions will ensure that RRR regions are not disadvantaged due to their population and postcode.” Kristy said.

BIRRR’s data analyst, Dr Rachel Hay (James Cook University) said that some of BIRRR’s top advocacy ‘wish list’ items were an expansion of the nbn Fixed Wireless coverage footprint and an increase to upload speeds, as well as making more data available to satellite users during school and business hours.

“BIRRR submitted an extensive list of recommendations for improvements to regional connectivity in our 2021 Regional Telecommunications Review (RTIRC) submission and we are delighted to see some of our wishlist come to fruition.

“The upgrades to connectivity will enable scalable change across a range of regional sectors including business, agriculture, health and education, as well as supporting community growth and resilience,” Dr Hay stated.

Ms Sparrow described the changes as ‘exciting and much-needed’, particularly noting that nbn Sky Muster Plus users will be able to freely use their connections for the majority of the day for everything they need to do online, for the very first time since nbn Sky Muster was launched.

“We have been working with nbn co for a number of years towards further enhancements to their networks – I believe they have described our advocacy as ‘tenacious’,” she said. nbn co Chief Development Officer – Regional & Remote, Gavin Williams has credited the move towards these upgrades to the advocacy of passionate regional lobby groups, federal government funding and the nbn team of network engineers who will use 5G enabled technology to vastly extend the range, speed and capacity of its existing Fixed Wireless network. The upgrades will begin taking effect mid 2022 and are expected to be fully rolled out over the next two years.

“We look forward to these transformative upgrades and enhancements being rolled out as quickly as possible to provide much-needed access to better broadband in the bush. BIRRR would like to particularly thank the nbn local regional team for listening to our feedback and recommendations and to the Federal Government for their significant investment.”

Be part of BIRRR by joining their Facebook Group:
or viewing their advocacy work on their website –

Media Contact: Kristy Sparrow

*nbn co will use the funding to 5G-enable its network of more than 2,200 Fixed Wireless infrastructure sites and more than 22,000 cells in semi-rural areas and across regional and remote Australia. nbn will use the latest 5G
technology to vastly extend the range, speed and capacity of its existing Fixed Wireless network, while reducing latency to deliver the best possible customer experience. (nbn media release, 22/3/22)

BIRRR Admin Amanda Salisbury and Kristy Sparrow pictured with BIRRR Data Analyst Dr. Rachel
Hay at a regional connectivity announcement during Beef Week, 2021.

Flood assistance 2022 in Queensland and NSW


Ongoing updates can also be found on the nbn Twitter account @NBN_Australia. You do not need a Twitter account to access these updates.

NBN Co said it will provide financial relief for the benefit of end customers in communities in New South Wales and Queensland that have been affected by floods. The promise came as NBN Co calculated that around 112,000 services were affected by the floods as of yesterday. In a message to RSPs yesterday, NBN Co said: “We intend to provide funding direct to Retail Service Providers to support each of your respective Flood Relief Packages for end customers who experienced an outage of their NBN network service. We expect to provide the details of the financial relief funding in the coming days, including how RSPs can access the Flood Relief Funding and the ways in which it can be applied for your customers.” (Communications Day 4/3/2022

Severe weather affecting Queensland

  • 5 March at 9.47am AEST
  • We continue to restore the nbn™ network across flood-affected areas of South East Queensland. Within the last two days, 107 sites and 7,818 services to homes and businesses have been recovered.
  • There are currently around 20,700 homes and businesses still affected by outages.
  • The current outages are primarily due to damage by floodwaters to nbn infrastructure. Areas predominantly affected continue to be in and around Brisbane, Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay, Maryborough and Gympie. nbn teams are working as fast as they can on repairs, but these are likely to go into next week.
  • The outage impacting Bribie Island due to a collapsed bridge has been resolved via a temporary fix. A permanent fix will begin in the coming weeks.
  • Where possible, people in affected areas are encouraged to check the nbn™ outages page regularly and with their retail provider for specific information.
  • We’ve been made aware by members of flood-impacted communities that some residents have received phone calls from scammers impersonating nbn and asking for funds to expedite the restoration of their service. Please be aware nbn will never contact customers asking for payment or any other financial information and we urge anyone who receives one of these calls to report it to Scamwatch immediately at

More information here and check here for the latest updates

Severe weather affecting New South Wales

  • 5 March at 10.53am AEDT
  • Due to the recent severe weather event, the number of homes and business impacted by outages on the nbn™ network across Northern NSW is currently around 81,000.
  • An outage in Woodburn, which is owned and operated by a third party, is impacting homes and businesses across Tweed Heads, Kingscliff, Currumbin Valley, Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Ballina, Lennox Head and Evans Head.
  • An initial assessment of the damage to the Woodburn site has indicated significant damage to the site and surrounding infrastructure. We are working with the third party provider today, to access the site and determine the damage, with a view to deploy a temporary solution next week, when safe access via road is expected to be available.
  • The remainder of customers impacted are around the Grafton and Lismore areas. Assessments to damage are currently being undertaken where it is safe to do so.
  • An nbn Sky Muster™ Truck and satellite FlyAway Kit have been deployed to the evacuation centre at the Ballina Coast School, which provides free wi-fi connectivity to the community via the nbn Sky Muster™ satellite service.
  • Where possible, people in affected areas are encouraged to check the nbn™ outages page regularly and with their retail provider for specific information.
  • We’ve been made aware by members of flood-impacted communities that some residents have received phone calls from scammers impersonating nbn and asking for funds to expedite the restoration of their service. Please be aware nbn will never contact customers asking for payment or any other financial information and we urge anyone who receives one of these calls to report it to Scamwatch immediately at

More information here and check here for the latest updates

amaysim flood relief

Amaysim’s response to the devastating floods includes free calls, texts, and bonus data for its customers for all of March.


Visit here for details –

During disasters such as bushfires, floods and cyclones, we try to proactively map customers’ addresses from available emergency services data and contact them to offer assistance.

We recognise that what works for one customer may not work for another, so our policy is designed to be flexible.


“Whilst several towers in the regions have been affected,  our network remains resilient, and we are working hard to restore affected services as quickly as possible and to support our customers as well as our own team members impacted during this time.”

Optus has activated a range of initiatives as a result of the crisis, including:

  • Postpaid customers in affected areas will be provided up to 25GB of additional data to offset increased usage on eligible plans;
  • Prepaid customers in affected areas will be provided up to 25GB of additional data on eligible plans
  • Consumer and Business fixed internet customers will be eligible for a free interim service to keep them connected

Optus has also established a dedicated customer hotline for those affected by the severe weather (Ph: 1800 507 581). Customers can also connect via the My Optus App 24/7, which enables customers to message us directly.


More details here –
Are you a SkyMesh customer impacted by QLD/NSW flooding in 2022?
Here are some of the ways we can help:

  • No notice period required for cancellations at affected premises
  • 30-days FREE when you’re back on your feet and ready to reconnect
  • FREE temporary redirects for your VOIP phone number Line rental and call costs still applicable
  • FREE relocation of your service to a new address *Must be serviceable by SkyMesh
  • Arrangement of payment plans if you’re experiencing financial hardship.


Telstra assistance package for customers includes short-term measures such as call diversion, a 25GB data pack for postpaid mobile customers, and a 25GB data pack with free calls for prepaid customers.

In the longer term, Telstra said it will offer free call diversion from the customer’s Telstra fixed phone service to another Australian fixed or mobile service of their choice, regardless of the carrier; a one-off credit to the customer’s Telstra fixed phone account to cover the costs of connecting a Telstra fixed phone service at one temporary address; and re-connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at the customer’s original permanent address.

“We will also be allowing free use of the Telstra Air wi-fi network at locations where payphones are equipped to provide this”, Boisen told iTnews.

More details here

Payphones in the area are already able to make free local and national calls to standard fixed line numbers and free calls to standard Australian mobile numbers, after we made payphones free in August 2021. During this flooding situation, we will also be allowing free use of the Telstra Air Wi-Fi network at locations where payphones are equipped to provide this.

For customers who have been displaced from their residence or business during a natural disaster event, short-term assistance  – click link for details.

More details here –

TPG/Vodafone flood relief

TPG understands the importance of staying connected when you’ve been affected by a natural disaster such as bushfire or flood.

Prepared for BIRRR by the BIRRR Admin team, updated  4/3/2022.  Please check with your provider for correct advice regarding your disaster assistance


8th December 2020
The Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR) team today welcomed the launch of the new Regional Tech Hub (RTH). The newly created support hub will be launched by Minister for Regional Communications, Mark Coulton, National Farmers Federation (NFF) and Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

Co-Founder and Chief Admin Kristy Sparrow, said that BIRRR has long advocated for the need for a specialist regional troubleshooting team to help with the vast array of connectivity issues often specific to living beyond urban areas. The new hub will take over the troubleshooting role BIRRR has (inadvertently) taken on over the past six years – in this time the volunteer team has helped thousands of people get (and stay) connected, has built an amazing community offering information and support, and achieved many improvements in regional communications.

BIRRR Chief Admin Kristy Sparrow said while services have improved since the group was founded in 2014, the need for this service remains strong throughout regional Australia. “We know many consumers still find telecommunications in the regions difficult to navigate. BIRRR has been working closely with the RTH to ensure our expertise and knowledge is passed on and that regional users can continue to access independent advice on getting connected and staying connected. We wish NFF, ACCAN, Jenna, Trent and Adam good luck and hope the hub can be as effective as the BIRRR team has been,” Kristy said.

BIRRR Co-Founder Kylie Stretton said their team will now focus its energies on working with stakeholders to ensure government, providers and nbn keep improving telecommunications, policy and funding available to regional areas. “BIRRR will continue to lobby for #betterbushcomms and our Facebook group and website will still exist, however all troubleshooting will now be sent directly to the RTH,” she said. “We are very keen to get back to the core reason we formed BIRRR – to focus more on advocacy and ensure that funding reflects the needs of regional users.”

Kristy added that, “BIRRR’s successful advocacy could not have been possible without the assistance of many individuals and organisations who have contributed their time and funding over the years, and BIRRR would like to thank them for their support.” “To our incredible admin team – Kylie, Kristen, Amanda, Julie and Claire, your dedication, patience and passion has been invaluable. We have demonstrated how respectful, knowledgeable lobbying can influence and make an impact on regional issues.”

Australians in regional and remote areas who need practical advice on getting connected and staying connected are encouraged to visit the Regional Tech Hub website at or contact the Hub’s enquiry hotline on: 1300 081 029

Media Contact:
Kristy Sparrow

BIRRR TEAM in Canberra advocating for a Digital Tech Hub Kristy Sparrow (Alpha QLD), Kylie Stretton (Charters Towers, QLD), Kristen Coggan (Condamine, QLD) Julie Stott (Oberon, NSW) & Amanda Salisbury (Monto, QLD)

How to change YouTube Quality to reduce your data usage

Method 1

This needs to be done for each YouTube video you watch.

  • Load the video you want to watch in YouTube.
  • Click the gear icon on the video
  • The following will appear
    Choose the Quality option
  • The following will appear
    Choose one of the options (you may need to experiment in the beginning)
  • Click play on your video.

Method 2

  • You need to have a YouTube account – sign into it, or create an account
  • Then go to the Settings of your YouTube account
  • Choose the Playback and Performance option
  • Change the AV1 Settings
  • Your changes are automatically saved.

How to use iDevice Screen Time

With the Apple Screen Time feature, you can access real-time reports about how much time you spend on your iDevice and set limits for what you want to manage. With Content & Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time, you can block or limit specific apps and features on yours and your child’s device, as well as restricting the settings on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch for explicit content, purchases and downloads, and privacy. iDevices need to have iOS 12 installed.

Turning On Screen Time

               How to turn on screen time

On your device, go to Settings > Screen Time.

Tap Turn On Screen Time.

Tap Continue.

Select This is My [device] or This is My Child’s [device].

How to use screen time features

Once Screen Time is turned on, on each device you can get a report about how you use your device, apps, and websites, any time you want.

If it’s your child’s device, you can set up Screen Time and create settings on their device or you can use Family Sharing to configure your child’s device from your own device. After you set up your child’s device, you can also use Family Sharing to view reports and adjust settings any time, right from your own device.

With Screen Time you can also create a dedicated passcode to secure settings, so only you can extend time or make changes. Make sure to choose a passcode that’s different from the passcode you use to unlock your device. To change or turn off the passcode on your child’s device, tap Settings > Screen Time > [your child’s name]. Then tap Change Screen Time Passcode or Turn Off Screen Time Passcode, and authenticate the change with Face ID, Touch ID, or your device passcode.




View your report and set limits

Screen Time gives you a detailed report about how your device is used, apps you’ve opened, and websites you’ve visited, any time that you want to see it. Just go to Settings > Screen Time, select the device and tap the blue line under the time to show the graph.  You can see daily or weekly stats on screen time usage.  You can also set limits for your most used apps, and see how many times a device was picked up or received a notification. If you turned on Share Across Devices, you can view overall usage across devices that are signed in with your Apple ID and password. The report feature also allows you to see when the phone is being used, how long is being spent on each app/site and how many pick ups and notifications the device gets.




When you schedule Downtime in Settings, only phone calls and apps that you choose to allow are available. Downtime applies to all of your Screen Time-enabled devices, and you get a reminder five minutes before it starts. You can set a specific downtime for each device and also select certain apps that are excluded from the downtime (such as messages, calls, maps etc).  Phone, Messages, FaceTime, and Maps are Always Allowed by default, but you can remove them if you want.














App Limits
You can set daily limits for app categories with App Limits. For example, you might want to set a limit on social media during exam block or while you are at work. Limits refresh every day at midnight, and you can delete them any time. Your child can also request ‘extra time’ if they go above the set limit on an app. Select the device you want to add a limit too and click on Add Limit, select the app and a time you want the device limited to.



Content & Privacy Restrictions
You decide the type of content that appears on your device. Block inappropriate content, purchases, and downloads, and set your privacy settings with Content & Privacy Restrictions. You can block explicit movies & music, multiplayer games and certain web content, if you scroll down you can even block specific websites.



Do Not Disturb


Just above Screen Time in settings is a feature called Do Not Disturb.  This has a fabulous feature that limits notifications while you are driving. You can set this up to text contacts with a message saying you are driving and will call when you reach your destination.

Use Screen Time with your family

With Family Sharing, you can share music, movies, apps, and more with family — and it also works with Screen Time. You can view reports and adjust settings for children in your family any time, right from your device. If you’re already in a family group, go to Settings > Screen Time, and tap your child’s name. If you need to create an Apple ID for your child, go to Settings > [your name] > Family Sharing > Screen Time.

Or if you’re new to Family Sharing, tap Set up Screen Time for Family and follow the instructions to add a child and set up your family. You can add family members any time from Family Sharing settings. To use Screen Time with Family Sharing, you need to be the family organizer or parent/guardian in your family group, on iOS 12. Your child must be under age 18, in your family group with their own Apple ID, and on iOS 12.

Disclaimer: BIRRR are not specialists in this area, this is just one tool you can use to manage yours and your child’s device.  BIRRR encourages you to read widely on this topic if you have primary or secondary age children and reminds parents that many social media platforms require children to be at least 13 years of age. 

Thanks to Apple Support for instructions on Screen Time Features

nbn Fixed Wireless – Non Standard Installations


Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 5.16.48 PM37179767_10157413213882316_8064792977987338240_n







The following are some notes regarding nbn Fixed Wireless non – standard installations.

Please remember that each non-standard install is assessed on a case-by-case basis by nbn, nbn are currently reviewing their non standard install protocols. Current protocols can be found here under Non Standard Install Processes. Some of the non-standard installs pictured on the BIRRR website may no longer be approved by nbn.

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. Make sure you have approval from nbn before carrying out any work for a non standard installation. 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 Outdoor Unit (ODU) to Indoor Unit (IDU) run is greater than 100m. See note below regarding Wireless Relays. 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.
    • 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. The maximum cable run between the outdoor unit and the indoor unit that nbn provides is 70m (Category 5 cable) or 100m (Category 6 cable).
    • 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 NTD 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.


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. 

Please note that some of these stories and connections would not be allowed under the new protocols for nbn non-standard fixed wireless installations. Each case will be reviewed by nbn and we encourage end users wishing to do a non standard installation to contact their chosen provider.

Fixed Wireless Gateway

For more information on Wireless Relays Contact your nearest installer / technician from the BIRRR list here or from 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.

Useful BIRRR Fact Sheets for Non Standard Installations:

BIRRR members stories on achieving nbn Fixed Wireless:

*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. This page was updated on 15th July 2018.

Network Outages

If you are having an issue with your connection, you may be experiencing a network outage.  If your connection is an nbn connection, you could have a provider outage or an nbn outage, you will need to check both.

A good provider lists network status information on their website / social media.  Some also have recorded messages on their call centres, this is useful for those who have no back up internet connection.

The RSPs that have network status information are

  1. Aussiebroadband here
  2.  Active8me post network outages on their FaceBook page here (like their page and the updates will appear in your newsfeed) and on their network status page here.
  3. Clear Networks here
  4. Iinet posts all the planned maintenance events here 
  5. IPSTARhere
  6. Optus here
  7. Reachnet here
  8. SkyMesh also have a network status page that is usually up to date at
  9. Telstra here
  10. Westnet here

This is a user reported outages page that is good for alerting you to a widespread problem – click here


Contact nbnnbn have an outages pages which lists an outage if it is happening and also alerts you to any upcoming planned  maintenance happening in your area. Click here
or Phone 1800 OUR NBN to see if there are any widespread outages.

What is NGWL

Next G Wireless Link service is like the Landline Home Phone service provided by Telstra under the Universal Service Obligation where it is impractical/uncommercial for Telstra to run a landline service and the Next G is available.

  • The service can be supplied in several different formats, using a variety of different equipment options. The service does not provide calls at 3.1kHz bandwidth. (More information here)
  • Stands for Next G Wireless Link
  • Next G Wireless Link uses the coverage and data capabilities of Next G 850MHz network to provide:
      • Voice
      • Fax (this ceased being available in 2020)
      • Broadband internet

UPDATE April 2018

Telstra is inviting NGWL customers to get in contact to discuss their current NGWL plans. There are also options for NGWL customers with an existing broadband plan to move onto a 25GB BigPond Mobile Broadband plan for 12 or 24 months with a $70 monthly credit (data for use in Australia). Customers, if interested, can call Telstra’s dedicated team on 1800 696 495 (1800-MY-NGWL) option 3 (sales, accounts and payments) to find out more. Update November 2020 – There are now newer technologies with much better plans and data limits available, over the nbn network.

NB: Telstra are turning off their 3G network in 2024 and all NGWL services will be phased out and replaced with newer technologies.

[Next G Wireless Link (NGWL) uses the Telstra Next G® Network to give customers access to a voice and internet service. It’s offered to selected customers as an alternative to a standard fixed line service, in certain circumstances.]

Graphics from a presentation to the ICEWL conference in 2008
Developing Telecommunications eLearning modules: Field Work Force Performance Support
John Sandler, Telstra, Australia

QANTAS and SkyMuster

Qantas to sign trial satellite product with NBN for Wi-Fi
The company responsible for building the National Broadband Network, nbn, has released its test agreement with Qantas allowing them to test a “Proof-of-Concept Aeronautical Mobile Satellite Service” on a Qantas test aircraft. The proof-of-concept test is expected to help guide the development of nbn’s Satellite Mobility Product expected to launch in the third quarter of 2017.

As part of the trial, the network speed will be limited to 20 megabits per second for each aircraft on at most two aircrafts concurrently. The connection will also be limited to agreed flight corridors.

Trial of a Proof-of-Concept Aeronautical Mobile Satellite Service
The purpose of the PoC Trial is to enable NBN Co and Test Participant to assess the functionality and performance of a proof-of-concept aeronautical mobile satellite service (the Mobility PoC Test Product) on Test Aircraft operated by Qantas Airways Limited (ABN 16 009 661 901)

Detailed analysis: How will Qantas’ on-board Wi-Fi impact NBN satellites?
With under 350 flights spread out geographically and over a 24 hour period, I doubt the planes would have a material effect on congestion. Currently, the worst case scenario seems to be up 6-7 planes flying under a single beam at any given time. However, in the case of the 7-plane statistic, it happens only once in a 24 hour period. The speed at which planes travel also mean that they will typically fly in and out of narrow beams within 10-15 minutes, meaning any impact should be distributed across multiple beams as the plane flies through the airspace.

Diagram showing NBN Co satellite beams and risk of congestion as determined in the Fixed Wireless/Satellite Strategic Review (FWSat SR).
Diagram showing NBN Co satellite beams and risk of congestion as determined in the Fixed Wireless/Satellite Strategic Review (FWSat SR).

Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, 25/11/2016, Estimates. COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS PORTFOLIO. NBN Co Limited
Senator URQUHART: I know that there have been some discussions around the use of the Sky Muster satellite data on Qantas aircraft. What percentage of the overall data will be allocated under that agreement that you have got with Qantas?

Mr Morrow : It is not an allocation of data that we would offer for aviation-based services. It is only the use of idle capacity when it is sitting there not being used at all. Our intent is that the priority services are for the ground-based homes and businesses that are targeted with satellite. If they are using all the capacity and a plane flies through that beam, the plane does not get any sort of internet connectivity. If, however, there is available and idle capacity, the plane can download or upload, depending.


National Broadband Network Select Committee 15/03/2016 
Mr Morrow : We did change the second satellite to give it a considerable amount more of capacity than it had had before –  almost double the capacity. So we have repurposed the second satellite for additional capacity.;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommsen%2Fac4de09f-67a1-48f3-9459-755617e08c24%2F0003%22

The death of in-flight entertainment? American Airlines scraps screens and tells fliers to bring their own.
The world’s largest carrier said it decided to ditch seat-back monitors on its new Boeing 737 Max aircraft – intended for domestic routes in the US – because most passengers travel with mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Instead of investing in screens it will upgrade in-flight internet speed, to ensure passengers can browse the web and stream movies quickly.

Qantas’ In-Flight Wi-Fi Seems To Be Up To The Challenge
The service uses NBN’s Sky Muster satellites, and the carrier says it’ll be around 10 times faster than inflight Wi-Fi already in place on other domestic airlines around the globe like Delta in the US. The full fleet of 80 Qantas 737s and A330s will get in-flight Wi-Fi some time throughout 2018.

Qantas expects around 50 per cent of passengers to be using its inflight Wi-Fi and internet service during regular flights.

Every Major Airline’s Wifi Service, Explained and Ranked (in the USA)
Here are details from the 9 major US airlines that offer wifi. (This list is specific to domestic flights; if you’re flying internationally, the check-the-website rule applies even more fiercely because international fleets carry different gear than domestic fleets. If an airline has good in-flight wifi on domestic routes, though, they’re probably good for international routes as well.) Three things were taken into account when making this list: the likelihood that your plane would actually have wifi; the type of equipment powering the wifi; and its relative dependability, speed, and value.





Excessive uploads gobbling your data allowance?

If your uploads are higher than your downloads, some things to check are

  • You need to isolate what device is uploading all the data. Turn off all devices and only turn one on for 2 hours and monitor your data usage. Keep doing that until you find the culprit.
  • Login into your account with your service provider and see if you can pinpoint when the uploads are happening. Your RSP will only have hourly data keep for the last 24 hours.
  • Do you have a Network Attached Storage device? If so, turn it off and see what happens. The software on them can phone home for updates.
  • Your router may have been ‘hacked’. Try bypassing the router and plugging your computer directly into the NTD and see what happens.
  • Your computer maybe ‘talking to friends’ in the background. Here is how you can turn that option off.

Windows 10: Check here to see how to set you WiFI connection to WiFi, disable peer-to-peer updating, prevent automatic App updates and Live Tile updates, Save data on web browsing. This tells you how you can moniter your data usage in Windows 10

Apple: Most often BitTorrent, iCloud, Dropbox, or some other cloud-data application is involved in cases of mysterious bandwidth use by a Mac. If you use iCloud, uncheck at least iCloud Drive in its preference pane and see whether there’s any change. If you use third-party network backup or file-sync software, disable that. If you use a torrent client, remove it.

If you have tried all the above suggestions, and still can’t control the uploading of data you will need to contact your service provider and ask for help. They will be able to monitor in real time what is happening over your connection (best done when the uploading is actually happening)

Problems with your NBN connection?

Until now, BIRRR has spent considerable time troubleshooting nbn issues – we now ask that these issues are directed to NBN or your provider. It doesn’t mean we don’t care, or can’t help if you continue having issues after you have tried these alternate contacts.

NBN now has a new ‘specialised regional support team’  inside the existing nbn contact centre which customers can call directly, dealing with a wide range of issues. BIRRR welcomes this improvement, as we have consistently called for this contact centre to be created. We also appreciate that NBN has acknowledged the work the BIRRR team has done up until now.

We are looking forward to spending more of our time advocating for RRR communication needs, rather than troubleshooting. BIRRR encourages providers to follow NBNs lead and establish their own specific RRR contact centres.


  • Not sure what type of NBN connection you can get? Visit here and type in your address (you may have to drag the marker over your house).
  • If you are ‘on the fringe’ of a footprint(eg just outside a Fixed Wireless area and are seeking to get fixed wireless) then you can contact NBN and ask to be reclassified. You will need to provide them with your address and GPS coordinates (Find your GPS via Google Maps here)
  • Your address is not there? You can contact NBN and ask to be reclassified. NBN’s engineers will then evaluate your situation and potentially change your designated nbn technology to fixed wireless. You will need to provide them with your address and GPS coordinates (Find your GPS via Google Maps here)

CONTACT NBN at 1800 OUR NBN (1800 687 626) or send an email to

 NB: the nbn co call centre will not be able to help with tower/nbn activation dates, nor will the BIRRR team. The ‘nbn co check your address’ site has a date of service available.


  • Cancelled/Postponed installations?  Contact NBN and report your problem! NBN have set up new procedures and are trying to be more helpful.
  • Installer fails an install?If you feel that they could have tried harder (different locations on your property, tried a 3m mast etc)  Contact NBN.
  • Equipment is installed, but not working.  Try the power cycle routine (see here). Try the different ports on your NBN box, power cycle in between swaps. If still not working contact your service provider (RSP). Make sure you get a ticket number.


  1. If you don’t have a working connection, please try a power cycle routine once with a computer plugged directly into the NBN modem. See here to see how to do a power cycle correctly (the article is about SkyMuster, but the principle is the same). If you have a SkyMuster connection check here for further details.
  2. If you are still offline check the service status pages offered by SkyMesh who lists unplanned outages here, and Iinet  who list scheduled maintenance events here, to make sure your problem is not a widespread problem. Activ8me Facebook page and the ANT Facebook page also list outages when they know about them.
  3. You can also ring the NBN hotline for SkyMuster outages. They will tell if a beam is down, an earth station (many beams) is down or the outage is national
  4. If you are offline and it is not a widespread problem, please contact your RSP (service provider), make sure you get a ticket number. Send an email (if you can) to your RSP support about the problem, so they know it exists, especially if the callback queues are long (if the queues are long, it means that many customers have a problem).
  5. Contact your service provider (RSP) when you have problems with your speed, dropouts, excessive data usage.


If you have tried the options above and you still need help either post in the BIRRR Facebook group or  send an email to

nbn co recently announced:

  • call centre policy and protocols have changed so that satellite end users will not be referred immediately to their RSP.
  • nbn’s call centre will now be able to provide basic network outage information so that callers will at the very least know if the network is down in their area.
  • set up ‘a dedicated regional support team inside this call centre to handle rural addressing issues, location I.D generation, non-standard fixed wireless installs, or other issues that people living in regional, rural and remote areas experience’.
  • nbn will also incorporate this approach into its official Facebook page, nbn Australia.

Announcement from NBN about their SkyMuster issues (Nov 2016):

‘By now you have no doubt heard about Sky Muster, nbn’s $1.8 billion custom-built broadband satellite delivering fast internet to the bush. While nbn has heard many stories of people having a great Sky Muster experience, we have also heard your concerns. These concerns are something nbn takes very seriously and the company wants to directly address them here. 

nbn is currently implementing a satellite service improvement programme, which is being led by a committed task force to address and resolve the issues identified. Some of the corrective action already undertaken includes software fixes to reduce connection times and configuration updates to improve the stability of the service. This work is ongoing and has seen a substantial improvement in network stability.

nbn has implemented changes to our call centre and social media processes which means we are now providing network information directly to end users as it becomes available. We have also set up a dedicated regional support team in our call centre to handle regional-specific queries. In addition, nbn is working with our retail providers and delivery partners to help improve the installation process and ensure the number of rescheduled and missed appointments is minimised.

The Sky Muster technology is breaking new ground and as with any new technology, particularly one as complex as satellite broadband, there are issues early in the roll-out that need to be worked through.

nbn acknowledges that we need to get this right as soon as possible and we are working hard to do just this as we ramp up to connect more than 10,000 premises a month to Sky Muster.’  (source: nbn co )

Contact a Politician

Here is basic letter to get you started! (Click here to open it)  – Please make sure you replace the RED wording with your own relevant details.

Details for the relevant MPs to contact on matters of NBN and internet problems:

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield
Manager of Government Business in the Senate
Minister for Communications
Minister for the Arts
Liberal Party of Australia

Contact details for all MPs  here

How to power cycle a device

If you have a computer in your home, you probably have at least one other device that works alongside it, such as a modem, wireless router, or printer. These devices have a tendency to stop working from time to time, and it’s not always immediately clear why.

Before assuming anything is actually broken, you should try to run a power cycle. To do this, you’ll want to turn the device off, and all devices connected to it, then turn it back on. This will force it to reset, which can fix a lot of basic problems. It is important to turn the devices on in order.

Here are the steps to power cycle a typical Sky Muster setup:

  • Turn off ALL devices. If you have a nbn Sky Muster connection unscrew the white cable from the SAT port (see blow photo) that goes from the wall into the nbn box (NTD).
  • Wait at least 5 minutes.
  • Turn the Devices on in order
    1. Screw in the white cable, then turn on the NBN box first (also known as the NTD or modem). Wait until all the lights are on and indicate an active connection (this may take a few minutes). Active connection for NBN Sky Muster is a blue light.
    2. Then turn on your router. Wait until all the lights are on the router indicate an active connection.
    3. Then turn on all your other devices.

S-NTD Router cable connections

Web Page Optimisation (WPO)

nbn SkyMuster uses a system called Web Page Optimisation (WPO).
Web Page Optimisation is designed to help speed the loading of pages, as you browse.
A downside of WPO is that nbn counts all the data that WPO pre-fetches, including data collected to speed up your page loads even if you never see them.
Some providers (if asked) will disable (turn off) WPO.
You may experience some pages loading a little slower, but for many there is little change in speed.
Disabling WPO will stop the addition of the WPO overhead to your account.
The amount of additional data that WPO uses will vary with the the day to day internet activity of your household.
For those on SkyMuster who are struggling to keep within their account quota, disabling WPO may be something to consider.

*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.

Kindly prepared for BIRRR by John Kitchener 21/7/2016