Broadband in Tasmania

Tasmanians have had to put up with slow internet speeds compared to their mainland neighbours, especially in rural areas. But with the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN), Tasmania will lead Australia in broadband speeds. Until then, ADSL1, ADSL2+ and mobile broadband plans are available in many locations across the state.

ADSL2+

ADSL2+ is a faster version of ADSL1 broadband, which is sent through the copper telephone wires to your home or business. Several broadband providers offer ADSL2+ across Tasmania, although this service tends to be restricted to metropolitan areas.

It's always worth calling a few different broadband providers to find out if you can receive ADSL2+, as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) need to enable your local exchange with DSLAM hardware before they can offer the service. As ISPs choose different exchanges to enable, you may find one provider can't help you but another can.

Westnet, iPrimus, Internode and Telstra BigPond can all offer ADSL2+ at many exchanges throughout Tasmania. iiNet only offers ADSL2+ in one exchange in Hobart.

While not all telephone exchanges are enabled for ADSL2+, most are able to provide an ADSL1 connection. ADSL1 broadband is still fast, with speeds of up to 8,000kbps.

Fibre optic

Three communities in Tasmania can now order super-fast broadband services through the NBN – Midway Point, Smithston and Scottsdale. Several ISPs are offering plans in these locations, including Exetel, Internode, iPrimus and iiNet.

'Pioneer' customers who agreed to trial the service in these areas are reportedly happy with their new service, reporting speeds of 100Mbps, more than four times faster than ADSL2+. The next communities due to be connected to the NBN are Deloraine, George Town, Kingston Beach, Sorell, South Hobart, St Helens and Triabunna.

Finally, Burnie, Devonport, Launceston and Hobart will be connected to the NBN. In total, the first three stages of the NBN will target 100,000 premises in Tasmania, including homes, businesses, schools and hospitals. More stages will be announced as construction on the first three progresses. A schedule for the next two stages has not been announced yet, but NBN Tasmania will let property owners know when it's their turn to be connected.

If you have already been connected, or want to check out some prices while you are waiting, here are some links to more information.

Refer to this article for Exetel fibre plan pricing.
Refer to this article for Internode fibre plan pricing.
Refer to this article for iiNet fibre plan pricing.
Refer to this article for iPrimus fibre plan pricing.

Mobile broadband

Mobile wireless broadband is available from several providers in Tasmania, and while coverage is generally good in metropolitan areas, there are always variations. In some areas, an external antenna may be needed to strengthen the signal. It's a good idea to check coverage at your home with individual providers before signing up to a new ISP.

Optus has good deals on mobile wireless broadband and can give you an idea on the coverage you can expect to receive from most providers, as the majority of them use Optus towers. Call Optus on 1300 768 194 for more information.