Cable Internet plans: A shrinking technology

Cable Internet used to be all the rage - but things change

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Cable Internet, once a prominent player in the broadband landscape, has gradually become a part of the NBN. 

NBN Co acquired Telstra and Optus's cables as part of the Multi-Technology Mix (MTM) rollout strategy of the Liberal government in 2013. It then used it to deliver the faster Internet in areas that had the cables installed.


  • The NBN is delivered via coaxial cable
  • Only one provider now offers cable Internet in Australia
  • Get connected to an NBN plan today

Last updated 02/07/2024

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Cable broadband plans

Before the NBN truly stepped forward, cable Internet offered blazing speeds of up to 100Mbps, a huge leap from ADSL. Cable rolled out across Australia in the 90s for Pay TV - not Internet, originally. Foxtel initially partnered with Telstra for its rollout, and Optus was deploying its own cable network.

These days, the NBN delivers Internet over coaxial cable as part of its national network. 

That means you can't choose a cable plan, instead you will get your NBN plan delivered over cable if it's the technology delivering high-speed Internet to your home.

What is cable Internet and how does it work?

Cable Internet is a type of Internet connection that was rolled out for Pay TV services like Foxtel. Here's how it operates:

  • Data transmission: Cable Internet delivers data through a coaxial cable to a modem in your home, which translates it into an Internet connection.
  • Shared network: Cable Internet operates on a shared network, which can lead to slower speeds during peak times when many users are online. However, it can still handle various online activities simultaneously.
  • Modem and router: To use cable Internet, you need a cable modem and a router. The modem connects to the cable network, while the router distributes the Internet connection throughout your home wirelessly.

In Australia, cable Internet is becoming less common, with most connections being phased out in favor of NBN connections. 

As of September 2023, only one provider offers cable Internet in Australia: iiNet. Take note that iiNet only operates its cable Internet service in rural Victorian towns of Ballarat, Mildura and Geelong. 

iiNet offers limitless data, $0 activation fees with no lock-in plans that are perfect for renters. Its cable plans are inclusive of a modem, and are $89.99 per month. Customers can add on Fetch TV and a call pack for an additional cost.

Where was cable Internet accessible?

Cable Internet was usually limited to major cities and not universally accessible. 

As Telstra and Optus operated separate cable networks, consumers often lacked the freedom to choose a provider. Certain locations were exclusively linked to either the Telstra or Optus network.

Today, the NBN means that customers choose their desired Internet speed, regardless of the technology that delivers it to their home.

Compare the best cable broadband plans Australia-wide

Both networks are now owned by NBN, so getting connected to an NBN plan is the best thing to do if you are looking to get online. Contact the team at Compare Broadband today to learn more.

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The government is making 1.5 million Australian homes and businesses eligible for a speed upgrade to FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), which offers greater speed and reliability. Selected towns and suburbs with FTTC and FTTN are eligible for the upgrade with an eligible high speed nbn plan.

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