Areas around Townsville set to receive NBN's fixed wireless network


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The company building Australia's national broadband network, NBN Co, today unveiled the local government areas where planning proposals will be lodged to deliver high-speed fixed wireless broadband.

Over the coming months NBN Co and its design and construction partners will work with local governments to identify appropriate locations for fixed wireless network infrastructure.

NBN Co's Community Relations Adviser Tony Gibbs said: "For decades, rural and regional Australia has been left behind when it comes to telecommunications.

"NBN Co's plan to deliver high speed broadband to every Australian premises using one of three technologies - fibre, fixed wireless and satellite - aims to change that.

"Subject to final radio frequency planning and other approvals the fixed wireless network plans to cover around 15,000 premises across six councils and it is expected facilities will start to be switched on in stages from late 2013 to late 2015," he said.

"This announcement is tremendous news for these regions, many of which have little or no access to high-speed broadband, or those confined to a limited service, such as dial-up or broadband over the mobile network or older satellite systems.

"Faster, more reliable internet aims to deliver speeds and services that city people take for granted. It will also mean telehealth consultations, video conferencing, interactive lessons and live collaboration with teachers and students here and abroad can become a reality.

"Whether you live in a regional centre or further out, NBN Co is committed to providing high-speed broadband access to every Australian home and business," Mr Gibbs said.

NBN Co's fixed wireless network is designed to offer internet service providers with wholesale access speeds of up to 12Mbps, with plans for higher speeds to become available in the future.

Unlike a mobile wireless service where speeds 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 coverage area.

The list of councils where NBN Co expects to lodge fixed wireless planning proposals can be found below.


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Notes to editors

  • The National Broadband Network is designed to provide high-speed broadband access to 100% of premises - approximately 93% of premises by fibre, and the remaining seven per cent via fixed wireless or satellite.
  • NBN Co plans to install fibre in towns of 1000 premises or more, or to some towns with as few as 500 premises where the town is located on an NBN fibre transit link.
  • NBN Co's fixed wireless and satellite networks will serve communities with low population density where it is impractical or uneconomical to rollout fibre optic cable.
  • Fixed wireless services are delivered by radio communications via antennae that transmit a signal direct to a small outdoor antenna on a home or business.
  • A standard installation of network equipment, including an outdoor antenna and a network termination device will be installed free of charge.
  • Before the network equipment is installed, a service validation test will be carried out. Those premises unable to be serviced 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.

* 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.

List of council's where fixed wireless planning proposals are expected to be lodged

1. Burdekin Shire Council

2. Cassowary Coast Regional Council

3. Charters Towers Regional Council

4. Hinchinbrook Shire Council

5. Tablelands Regional Council

6. Townsville City Council