A guide to wireless broadband in rural areas

A guide to wireless broadband in rural areas
Friday, January 17, 2020

What is wireless internet?

If you live in a rural or remote area, getting the internet speed you’d like may not always be straightforward.

You may be able to connect to a standard ADSL or VDSL broadband connection if you’re lucky enough to live close to your local phone exchange or cabinet. But, if you can’t connect to standard broadband or you are frustrated with your speed during peak times, then you may wish to consider a Wireless Internet connection.

Wireless internet connects you to the internet through your local 4G or 3G mobile network. The type of wireless internet connection you can use will depend on where you live. If you live in an area outside the 4G network, you may need to consider a 3G wireless connection.

Wireless internet speeds

Depending on where you live a wireless internet connection could match copper or even fibre broadband speeds.

3G Wireless internet refers to “third-generation” mobile internet. It’s been around longer so offers better coverage than 4G, but connection speeds are likely to be slower.

4G Wireless Internet refers to “fourth generation” mobile internet. The 4G network is newer in New Zealand, so its coverage is not as extensive as the 3G network. If you live in a home within the 4G signal, it will be a better option than 3G.

5G Wireless Internet launched in NZ in 2019 and is potentially five to 10 times faster than current 4G speeds. However 5G coverage is still in its infancy and only available in select areas.

If you live in an area with perfect signal conditions 4G can be up to 10 times faster than 3G connections – potential matching fibre broadband speeds (100Mbps) but more likely be around 40Mbps. 3G wireless internet will be slower, delivering speeds of 20Mbps depending on signal conditions.

How to set up wireless internet

Setting up wireless broadband is relatively straightforward. If you live in a strong signal area, you can usually opt for a ‘plug and play’ option, where the wireless broadband signal is received directly through your modem.  Your plan will either include, or you will need to purchase, a suitable wireless modem, which you simply plug in to connect.

If you live outside of the coverage area and have a weaker signal, a technician may need to install a directional aerial on your roof, and run cabling from the aerial to the modem.

Even if you live in an area where your mobile phones connection isn’t great, the aerial on your roof will boost your reception, so your wireless broadband reception should be much better than your phone connection.

Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI)

The Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) aims to improve connectivity and wireless broadband speeds available across large areas of New Zealand.

The RBI rollout is complementary to the UFB (Ultra-Fast Broadband) rollout. Its goal is to deliver better broadband to rural schools, health providers, some libraries and tens of thousands of residents.

Vodafone own and run the RBI network, but that doesn’t mean that you are required to use them to set up wireless broadband. You can choose to use a different internet provider, so it is worth taking the time to compare the options and make an informed choice about Wireless Broadband Providers. 

Wireless Internet Service Providers

Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) provide connectivity by fixed wireless, mainly in regional or rural areas.

You may find that you receive better service, or more expertise for your specific area if you choose a WISP rather than a national broadband provider.

For example, Wiz Wireless network covers areas in the Wairarapa and parts of the Tararua Districts only. Farmside specialise in providing connectivity in rural areas across New Zealand.  Or Wireless Nation who specialise in providing internet anywhere their customers need it when in rural or urban areas.

Compare wireless broadband plans

4 mths Half Price
32

4G 120Gb 4 mths HALF PRICE Rural Wireless B...

from $48.00 /mo
First 4 months then 95.99/month
36Mbps 10Mbps
120 GB data
4 mths Half Price
32

4G 120Gb 4 mths HALF PRICE Rural Wireless B...

Sign up for a rural wireless plan on a 24-month term before 30/04/2020 and get 4 months half price broadband! Offer is only available for new Farmside RBI customers. Terms and Conditions apply.
Terms and Conditions apply

Full plan details

Contract options

24 months

Included features

Rental router

Terms and Conditions apply

  • 4 months half-price rural wireless broadband offer is only available to new Farmside RBI customers, signing up to an RBI Wireless Broadband plan, on a 24 month term.
  • Available only on 120GB or 200GB RBI Wireless Broadband plans.
  • 4 months half-price only applies to the standard monthly plan charge.
  • Applied when your broadband becomes active and will appear on your first or second bill and then appear on three subsequent bills.
  • Will be debited back if plan is downgraded during the first 6 months of the term or terminated before the end of the term.
  • Early Disconnection Fees apply
  • $10 Mobile Discount available when you link a Vodafone On Account mobile to your Farmside broadband account. Terms apply
  • Rural Wireless Broadband and 4G not available everywhere. Connection not guaranteed. Traffic management policy applies.
  • The RBI II network is a 4G only network. 4G calling is only available on VoLTE capable device, including emergency services.
  • Additional charges may apply for Managed Installations & additional travel.
  • Farmside will supply required equipment. Modem required to be returned at customer’s cost if plan is terminated within 12 months of 24 month term.
  • Offer available until 30/04/2020, unless Farmside, in its sole discretion chooses to extend it.
  • This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other Farmside promotions.
  • Standard Terms & Conditions apply

4 mths HALF PRICE Rural Wireless Broadband! Call now: 0800 706 024

4 mths HALF PRICE Rural Wireless Broadband! Call now: 0800 706 024

Full plan details

3 mths HALF PRICE
28

RBI 4G 120Gb 3 months HALF PRICE & FREE set up o...

from $49.95 /mo
First 3 months then 99.90/month
36Mbps 10Mbps
120 GB data
3 mths HALF PRICE
28

RBI 4G 120Gb 3 months HALF PRICE & FREE set up o...

3 Months HALF PRICE & No Set Up Fee - Use code "3months"! The 24-month contract applies.
Terms and Conditions apply

Full plan details

Contract options

24 months

Included features

Router

Terms and Conditions apply

1. The offer is only available to new Wireless Nation broadband customers who haven’t had an active Wireless Nation connection in the past 12 months, and who sign up to a residential RBI Wireless Broadband plan on a 24 month contract.

2. The offer is applied when your broadband becomes active with Wireless Nation and will be discounted on your initial payment through the online sign up form. 

3. The offer is the equivalent of three months half price of any RBI Wireless standard monthly fee, and no $99 setup fee. It does not apply to additional charges such as antenna costs, installation, additional usage or part-month charges. Early exit fees will apply.

4. The offer may not be available in conjunction with other offers.

5. The offer is subject to payment by Direct Debit or automatic Credit Card. 

6. The offer is subject to our standard Terms of Service.

3 months HALF PRICE & FREE set up on a 24-months contract

3 months HALF PRICE & FREE set up on a 24-months contract

Full plan details

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