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Tip: Australian Internet Is Slow & Expensive

Slow internet in Australia
My office at an apartment I rented in Australia

These days, it’s easy to come across decent free internet and WIFI when travelling. You can travel through much of SE Asia on decent free internet from local hostels; in Europe it’s pretty much the norm. Australia however, does not follow this standard. I was shocked to find out when arriving in Sydney, that hostels don’t offer free WIFI, they don’t even offer free internet access of any sort.

You’ll find WIFI in all the cities, tons of it, but none of it is free. Australian backpackers and hostels are dominated by pay access points like Global Gossip. You can pay as you go, or pay per use, with prices sometimes as high as $4 an hour. A full day of access on Global Gossip costs $10, but expires after 24 hours, so while travelling this method of use doesn’t really make sense as you aren’t there to sit on the computer all day. The other point of complaint is the speed of these networks, many are so slow that pages fail to load consistently. I don’t know how they can charge such excessive fees for such a poor product…

Occasionally you can find a coffee shop offering free WIFI, and McDonalds frequently have it as well, but why would such a developed country be so far behind in both cost and service of internet?

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