Alternatives to the NBN

There are several alternatives to the NBN if you’re looking elsewhere for internet for your home or office.

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, updated on February 13th, 2024       

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As internet connectivity continues to evolve, so do the options available to consumers and businesses seeking high-speed internet services. While the National Broadband Network (NBN) is a popular choice in many areas, there are many alternative technologies and providers to consider.

With Savvy’s comprehensive guide, you can delve into various alternatives to the NBN, helping you understand the diverse range of options at your disposal. Whether you're seeking faster speeds, more flexibility or specific features, read more to learn all about the choices at your disposal today!

What NBN alternatives are available in Australia?

If you don’t have access to the NBN in your area or simply wish to choose another option, it’s important to know what internet plan types are available to select. These include:

Home wireless broadband

Home wireless broadband is a wireless internet service which connects your home to the internet using a mobile network, typically either 4G or 5G. It works similarly to your smartphone's mobile data but on a larger scale and is the main alternative to the NBN.

You'll have a wireless modem or router that communicates with the nearest mobile tower to provide internet access to your devices. This technology is a viable alternative to the NBN, especially in areas with limited NBN coverage or when you need a quick and easy setup.

One of the advantages of home wireless broadband is its flexibility. You can easily move the modem/router within your home or take it with you when you travel, making it suitable for renters or those in temporary housing.

However, it may not offer the same consistent speeds and low latency as fixed line connections like the NBN, and it can be more susceptible to network congestion during peak usage times. Still, 5G home wireless broadband can deliver speeds of up to or beyond 500Mbps, though you’re more likely to consistently see experience between 100Mbps and 300Mbps.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband is a versatile option which, like home wireless, uses mobile networks to provide internet access. It's accessible through devices like USB dongles, data-only SIM cards and pocket Wi-Fi devices.

This flexibility allows you to get online wherever there's a mobile signal, making it a great choice for those who are frequently on the move for work or live in areas with good mobile network coverage but limited fixed line options.

However, its suitability depends on your location and the strength of the mobile network. In areas with poor coverage, you may experience slower speeds or dropped connections.

Additionally, mobile broadband plans can have data limits, meaning you’re likely to pay more for the data you use than on a home wireless plan, for example. Because of this, mobile broadband generally isn’t seen as a common alternative to an NBN plan.

Fibre internet

Fibre internet is the general name given to privately-owned fixed line networks which run in competition with the NBN. It also relies on fibre optic cables to transmit data at high speeds and is renowned for its exceptional reliability and low latency.

However, there are several key differences between fibre internet and the NBN which are important to consider. Firstly, while the NBN comes with a range of different connection types, fibre plans generally only come via Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology, limiting it to those who have this connection or are willing to fork out to have it installed.

Perhaps most important, though, is its availability. Fewer providers offer fibre internet connections than NBN plans, while they’re also available in far fewer areas across the country comparatively. Because of this, it’s only an alternative for those who tick all the boxes.

Cable internet

Cable internet utilises the existing cable television infrastructure to deliver a connection to your home. It operates on a coaxial cable network, enabling it to offer higher speeds than traditional ADSL plans at up to 100Mbps in some cases. While it shares some similarities with the NBN's HFC connection, it's distinct in that it doesn’t use any fibre optic cables for data transmission.

However, like HFC NBN connections, its availability is limited to areas where the cable network infrastructure is in place. Additionally, this connection type is also being phased out as the rollout of the NBN continues, meaning plans sold for this type of connection are only available to those who don’t have the NBN available yet. Once it becomes available, these connections will be overhauled.

Is the NBN compulsory in any situation?

As outlined above, there are always alternatives to the NBN available if you don’t wish to take out a plan, so there aren’t ever any situations where it’s truly compulsory. However, there may be some situations where you may be required to shift to the NBN at least temporarily:

  1. ADSL or cable connection overhaul: if you’re using a cable or ADSL connection for your internet and the NBN is rolled out in your area, your existing connection will eventually be cut off. This means that you’ll be without internet if you do nothing.
  2. No mobile reception in your area: it may simply be the case that the NBN is the only viable option for your internet, which may be due to a lack of mobile reception and availability of alternative fixed line options. If you’re in a rural area, you may have to choose a Fixed Wireless or Satellite NBN plan (although there are satellite internet alternatives emerging in Australia).

Helpful guides on internet plans

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FTTP NBN Explained

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How Much Does Internet Cost?

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What is an ISP?

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What is ADSL?

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What is 5G?

5G is the latest in mobile technology available in Australia, providing better reception and faster internet. 5G is becoming more...

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5G vs NBN

Find out the differences between 5G and NBN internet connections, including their availability, cost, reliability and more. With both 5G...

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HFC NBN Explained

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Cable Internet Plans

Find out more about cable internet plans, how they work and what your alternatives may be with Savvy. Cable internet...

Compare internet plans with Savvy

Regardless of whether you're looking for an internet plan for a one-person household or for your medium to large business, you can compare a range of offers from leading Australian providers side by side with Savvy. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote today!


Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of internet plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an internet plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an internet plan. For further information on the variety of internet plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.

$50 Woolworths eGift card terms and conditions
  • The Promoter is CIMET Sales Pty Ltd ABN 72 620 395 726. Level 18/570 George Street Sydney, NSW 2000. Econnex Comparison is powered by CIMET.
  • Promotion available on qualifying Broadband Plan purchases between 1st February 2024 to 31st July 2024 (“Promotional Period”) and may be withdrawn at any time by Econnex Econnex Comparison retains the right to change or alter the terms of this offer.
  • You (“Customer”) will receive $50 worth of Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards when you purchase a Broadband Plan via Econnex Comparison, subject to these Terms and Conditions.
  • Information on how to qualify to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card forms part of these Terms and Conditions. Participation in this promotion is considered acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
Eligibility requirements
  • To be eligible to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards, you must purchase the Broadband Plan via the following link: https://app.econnex.com.au/broadband?rcCode=90709
  • You must switch to a new Broadband retailer. Customers who change plans via Econnex but remain with the same retailer will not be eligible.
  • Your Broadband Plan must be connected within 30 days from the date of purchase.
  • Eligible Recipients will receive the applicable Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards by email up to 120 days after purchasing the Broadband Plan.
  • Econnex Comparison is not liable if any Customer details supplied are incorrect.
  • Econnex Comparison is providing this offer in conjunction with the retail services offered on its platform.
  • Details of Econnex Comparison retailers can be found at the following link: https://www.econnex.com.au/approved-providers-list
  • You must be an Australian resident aged 18 or over. Econnex Comparison may request you to provide a copy of your valid ID for identification purposes.
  • The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards and Customer’s information (including the Customer’s identity, age and place of residence) and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who the Promoter has reason to believe has breached any of these Terms and Conditions, tampered with the claim process, or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise fair and proper conduct of the promotion.
  • Errors and omissions may be accepted at the Promoter's discretion. Failure by the Promoter to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.
  • When the request for a connection cannot be completed, is unsuccessful, or a request is made for the cancellation of your Broadband Plan within the first 30 days from the date of connection, you will not be eligible to receive any gift card.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card is subject to any issuer Terms and Conditions.
  • Any ancillary costs with redeeming the gift cards are not included.
  • No responsibility is taken for any lost or stolen Woolworths Store Bonus eGift Cards.
  • If the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are unavailable, the Promoter reserves the right to substitute the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards to a card with equivalent value, subject to directions from a regulatory authority.
  • If the offer is not able to be conducted as reasonably anticipated, due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter, including but not limited to: technical difficulties, unauthorised intervention or fraud, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to the extent permitted by law: a. to disqualify any individual; or b. to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the promotion, as appropriate.
  • This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer from Econnex
Econnex Comparison Terms and Conditions.
  • Econnex Comparison will transfer your Broadband Plan request and details to the selected retailer.
  • Econnex Comparison may contact you to clarify any details or discrepancies in the information you provided for your Broadband Plan purchase.
  • To cancel your request, you will need to contact the Broadband Plan retailer and inform them of your decision.
  • Please note that we do not compare all brands in the market, or all products offered by all brands.
  • If you have any inquiries regarding your Broadband Plan purchase, you can contact us directly at 1800 013 000 or email us at [email protected]
  • Econnex Comparison Terms and Conditions: https://www.econnex.com.au/terms-and-conditions/
  • By participating in this promotion, the individual authorises the Promoter to collect, hold, use and disclose their personal information in accordance with Econnex’s privacy policy, including providing such information to third parties such as contractors, service providers, suppliers and where required or authorised by law. Econnex’s Privacy policy can be found at https://www.econnex.com.au/privacy-policy
  • Econnex may, unless the individual tells us not to, use the information to communicate with them by mail or electronically by, for example, email, phone, SMS to issue direct marketing and commercial communications telemarketing calls.
  • To opt out of direct marketing access, update, or correct personal information you may contact us at [email protected]
Other Information
  • Woolworths Group Ltd ABN 88 000 014 675 is the issuer of the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card but is not the Promoter of the offer nor responsible for fulfillment of the offer terms.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards have a fixed term expiry as displayed on the front of the gift card and are redeemable in-store and online at Woolworths Supermarket stores only.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are valid for 3 months from the issue date and Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are not reloadable or redeemable for cash.
  • Econnex Comparison and Woolworths will not replace, expired, lost, stolen, or deleted Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards.
  • Check your Spam/junk email if you have not received a Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card in your inbox within 120 days after activation of your Energy, Electricity or Gas Plan.
  • Woolworths Store Bonus eGift Card is sent via email from [email protected] or [email protected]
  • For enquiries related to the application, gift cards, or adding or removing any details on the application, please contact the Econnex Comparison at 1800 013 000 or e-mail us at [email protected]
  • For the balance and transactions history on this Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card and Woolworths Terms and Conditions visit https://woolworths.com.au/giftcards or call 1300 101 234.
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