Spectrum win brings wireless broadband to rural areas
Rural and regional communities in more places across Australia are now a step closer to getting access to high-speed wireless broadband services - some expected in less than a year - following NBN Co's success in securing more radio spectrum today.
NBN Co today paid just over $1.3 million for spectrum in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, outback Queensland and far west NSW at an auction run by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. This gives NBN Co all the geographic coverage it needed from this auction for its wireless network.
The auction purchase complements spectrum NBN Co purchased earlier in the year from AUSTAR, and means that the wireless network is on track for full rollout by 2015.
Only last month NBN Co announced it would be proceeding with a $1.1 billion project to design, build and operate a 4G fixed-wireless network to serve those Australians who can't access other NBN high-speed broadband services.
The fixed-wireless network and NBN Co's long-term satellite service will be designed to offer NBN Co's retail service provider customers speeds of up to 12Mbps* at the wholesale level, covering approximately seven per cent of premises not served by fibre.
“We are pleased with the outcome of today's auction as it means we can provide high-speed wireless services to some of the most poorly served areas as a priority. We are on target to provide wireless broadband services up to five years earlier than some areas earmarked for fibre,” said NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley.
“We are committed to building an NBN representing value-for-money for taxpayers, and the successfully acquired spectrum lots, when added to the AUSTAR spectrum acquisition, should be sufficient to serve the majority of the communities originally targeted.”
“We look forward to providing those who are to receive our fixed-wireless service with the benefits of the latest 4G fixed-wireless technology, called LTE or Long-Term Evolution.”
NBN Co started offering commercial satellite services to those eligible customers who can't access other forms of metro-comparable broadband on 1 July this year.
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*The speeds actually experienced by end-users will depend on a number of factors including the retail broadband plan they choose, the number of simultaneous users on the service, their equipment and their in-premises connection.