"High-speed, fixed-wireless broadband planned for Northern Rivers"
The company building Australia's National Broadband Network, NBN Co, has begun outlining plans to provide some smaller communities and rural residents in parts of the Northern Rivers with facilities dedicated to delivering high-speed, fixed-wireless broadband services.
NBN Co has started discussions with councils and a range of interest groups, and plans to start consultation beginning with community information sessions for Lismore, Ballina and Tweed Shire areas between February 25 and 27. Details of times and locations will be advertised shortly.
Plans are currently being finalised for fixed-wireless facilities in seven council areas:
- Ballina Shire
- Byron Shire
- Clarence Valley Shire
- Kyogle Council
- City of Lismore
- Richmond Valley Council
- Tweed Shire
“For decades, rural and regional Australia has been left behind when it comes to telecommunications and in a modern world, more and more is done on-line. However we also acknowledge that in the rollout of new technology there is a balance to be achieved between infrastructure and lifestyle, and hence the need for discussion,” said NBN Co's Community Relations Adviser, Tony Gibbs.
“In the coming months NBN Co plans to lodge development applications with councils covering new sites or co-locating our equipment on existing infrastructure.
“Following that, we plan further consultation on the specific proposals for new fixed-wireless facilities at several community information sessions for interested residents.
“Subject to planning approval, the fixed wireless facilities serving parts of the Northern Rivers are designed to offer access speeds of up to 12Mbps* at the wholesale level, with plans for higher speeds to become available in the future.
“NBN Co plans to deliver high-speed broadband to every Australian homes and businesses using one of three technologies - fibre, fixed wireless and satellite,”
“As a general rule, towns with more than 1000 premises are due to have homes and businesses connected to fibre, with fibre serving some towns with as few as 500 premises where they are close to connecting network infrastructure.
“However fixed-wireless has been designed to serve smaller communities and villages, with satellite the most efficient way to reach people on farms and in difficult-to-reach locations.
“The fixed-wireless service offered by NBN Co is using the same 4G technology that is currently being rolled out in mobile networks. Unlike a mobile wireless service, where speeds, reliability and accessibility can be affected by the number of people moving into and out of the area, NBN Co's fixed wireless network is engineered to deliver services to a fixed number of premises within a defined coverage area.
“High-speed data is transmitted to a small antenna fixed outside the residence or business, which then connects by a cable to the network equipment inside.
“Fixed wireless aims to deliver speeds and services that city people take for granted. With services delivered over the NBN you can get the whole family on line at once*, conduct your business and personal communications, undertake studies, or have an online medical consultation via a video call, all at a price that is less than what you might think.”
For further information about NBN Co and construction plans, visit www.nbnco.com.au
Notes to Editors
- Fixed wireless services are delivered by radio communications via antennas that transmit a signal direct to a small outdoor antenna on your home or business.
- Before the network equipment is installed a service validation test will be carried out, those premises which are unable to be served by fixed wireless will receive NBN Co's Long Term Satellite service.
- In fixed wireless areas copper phone lines will remain in place to provide a telephone service, if preferred.
- The National Broadband Network is designed to provide high-speed broadband access to 100% of premises - with a target of approximately 93% of premises by fibre, and the remaining seven per cent via fixed wireless or satellite.
- NBN Co's fixed wireless and satellite networks will serve communities with low population density where it is impractical or uneconomical to roll out fibre optic cable.
- A standard installation of network equipment will be free of charge.
- For more information visit www.nbnco.com.au
* NBN Co is designing the NBN to be capable of delivering these speeds to NBN Co's wholesale customers (internet service providers). Speeds achieved and applications received by retail customers will depend on a number of factors including the quality of their equipment and in-premises connection, the broadband plans offered by their service provider and how their service provider designs its network to cater for multiple end users