Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Internet in Australia

Internet

After securing a lease on an apartment, one of the first things I did was to get an internet connection. It was saddening to find out that I couldn't get NBN because NBN wasn't launched in this area yet. I had to go with ADSL.

After looking at few options, I went with Belong, a subsidiary of Telstra, because the contract was for only 1 year (which is also the lease period of the apartment) and because they gave a free ADSL modem with Wi-Fi with an almost zero initial fee. The monthly charge was $75 which is quite a lot to be honest, and I selected the 1000GB per month plan. TPG offered unlimited plans but I had to pay for the router, pay an initial setup fee and it was for only 6 months which meant that I had to recontract after 6 months, if according to my understanding.

To be honest, the inclusion of the free router with the 1 year Belong contract had quite a pull. Had I known that the router they bundled with the connection was crap and I anyway had to buy a new router, I probably would have gone with someone else.

Anyways, now I'm with Belong and I cannot switch to another provider without paying the early termination fee of like $20 per month for the remainder of the contract, which would be a whopping $180.

What about the speeds? It is only ADSL2+, so it's not fast. Here are my sync stats reported from the router.

Line Stats

They are reasonable for ADSL, probably because I'm lucky to be only about 1km away from the exchange.
Here is my speed test result.

Speedtest

Pathetic, compared to what I got in Japan.

I can saturate the download bandwidth without too much difficulty but the lack of upload bandwidth is such a problem. Uploading photos to Facebook takes forever and uploading videos to YouTube is almost impossible. I think I need to invest some time on finding efficient encoding settings some time. Browsing the web and streaming YouTube videos aren't too bad though. At first, these were also very slow but it probably was the fault of the MacBook Air which I initially had to live with for a whole two months. However, I get constant complaints from Skype callers saying our video isn't clear.

Hey, this is no Japan after all.

Next time I look forward a new apartment, I will pay special attention to the availability of NBN in that area.

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