Update on Internet issues from Darren
(Editor’s note – The opinions and recommendations in this article are not necessarily shared by the members of theCherry Chatter Committee. You need to do your own research before making any changes to your situation.)
Darren, our local Internet adviser has provided some additional information around connecting to 4G instead of the NBN or ADSL for your internet needs at home.
The Cherry Gardens / Ironbank community has no NBN FTTN, the NBN Fixed wireless at the Oval only reaches a select few and now TPG/ Internode / Adam are shutting down their ADSL service out of the Coromandel Valley Exchange. Clearly, we need either the NBN to step up for our hills community and stop pretending that NBN satellite is OK or help ourselves with 4G Wireless broadband.
However, just like NBN wireless, for 4G wireless broadband you need to be able to "see" a 4G tower - preferably with a clear Line of Sight (LOS). In Cherry Gardens, we only have two towers. Both are Telstra with one at the Cherry CFS shed and one at Morgan Hill on Morgan Road.
The rest of the towers are down the hill at:
Coro Valley CFS, bottom of Ackland Hill Rd (Telstra)
above Coralta Kennels (just above intersection of Black Rd and Main Road) ; Telstra, Optus and Vodafone
Potter Rd, Clarendon (Optus and Vodafone)
Tebbut Rd, Clarendon (Telstra)
Morgan Rd, Ironbank (Telstra, Optus)
For a full list, consult this page ; https://oztowers.com.au
Once you have identified your tower, you need to check your 4G signal strength. You should start with a phone app; Network Cell Info Lite (Android) is the best I've found. If you are in the green zone, it's probably OK.
Now, you might need to stand on your roof to get good signal (I did). All that means is that you will need an external 4G antenna installed.
You can also test your LOS with a planning tool. Airlink have one at https://link.ui.com where you can set the "device height" and see if your roof can see the tower in question.
If you have signal and LOS, then you need a 4G plan from Optus. Telstra or Vodafone.
(Editor’s note – The opinions and recommendations in this article are not necessarily shared by the members of the Cherry Chatter Committee. You need to do your own research before making any changes to your situation.)
There is an excellent wireless broadband 4G plan from Optus. $85/month gives you 500GB of data and the speed is uncapped. Previously, the speed was capped to 12Mbps. I have been getting above 40Mbps regularly from the tower at Potter Rd, Clarendon. You can also choose $60/month for 200Gb of data.
Telstra's plans start at $15/month for 5Gb of data and work up $75/month for 100Gb. Our family of 2 adults and 2.5 teenagers used around 300Gb of data month, so before you decide you should ask your ISP how many Gb of data you are using each month on average with ADSL. It might be that a Telstra plan will work for you. On demand streaming video with Youtube, Netflix, ABC iView or SBS on Demand will use up a lot of data.
For both Telstra and Optus, the cost of the 4G modem is extra. For completeness, Vodafone have a 4G offer for 60Gb of data for $47.40/month, but if you can see their towers, Optus clearly have better 4G plans on the same towers.
At my home I needed an external antenna that was installed by Craig from his business Total Antenna at Belair. www.totalantenna.com.au
Note, most TV antennas are not wind load rated. The 4G antenna is the size of a large square loaf of bread, so it needs sturdy poles. Craig can check your LOS, as well as provide and install your 4G antenna. Highly recommended. Very professional.
So, that's how to do it on 4G wireless broadband. I hope that this helps some of my neighbours.
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