by Byron Connolly

NBN Co’s fixed wireless pilot to give the bush a boost

Apr 20, 20152 mins

NBN Co will next month begin piloting fixed wireless services to boost high-speed broadband speeds for consumers and businesses in rural and regional Australia.

The company said on Monday that fixed wireless consumes on the current highest speed tier will experience increased wholesale download speeds of between 25Mbps and 50Mbps – to double the current top wholesale offering. The pilot is also designed to enable faster wholesale upload speeds of between 5Mbps and 20Mbps, NBN Co said.

“The fixed wireless network already offers people living and working in the bush access to broadband speeds that those in cities take for granted,” said NBN Co’s chief architect, Tony Cross.

“However, the speed pilot is designed to allow rural and regional families and businesses to access speeds up to twice as fast as ADSL2+ users can experience in capital cities. It opens up the exciting prospect of even greater participation in the digital economy by families and businesses in rural and regional Australia.”

By the end of the NBN rollout, more than 600,000 premises are earmarked to receive fast broadband through the fixed wireless network. Around 200,000 homes are already complete, NBN Co said.

Participation in the pilot is not automatic and is at the discretion of individual service providers, NBN Co said.

NBN Co is also actively rolling out high-speed broadband services to the bush using satellites. Last September, NBN Co completed construction is its ninth satellite ground station at Waroona in Western Australia to provide services to remote and regional areas.

When completed, NBN’s network of satellite ground stations will include 24 dishes across 10 sites. They are critical pieces of infrastructure in NBN Co’s Long Term Satellite service, due to launch in 2016.

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