THE National Broadband Network gained some momentum on the South Coast last week as NBN Co unveiled the local government areas where planning proposals will be lodged for fast wireless broadband.
Still no word however on the fixed, fibre network in the area and it is unclear how the wireless system will cope with the hilly terrain already so challenging to mobile service.
Subject to final planning and other approvals, NBN Co plans to deliver access to fast broadband via its fixed wireless network to parts of the Eurobodalla, Bega and Shoalhaven council areas, with facilities currently expected to be switched on in stages starting from mid-2015.
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 spokesperson Michael Tyler said the fixed-wireless service could bring access to better broadband to the bush.
“More farms, residents and businesses can look forward to having access to faster internet with the NBN expanding its broadband footprint in NSW’s South Coast region,” Tyler said.
“For decades, rural and regional Australia has been left behind when it comes to telecommunications. The fixed wireless service is designed to provide access to internet speeds and bandwidth that many in the big cities currently take for granted.
"The NBN also means you can get the whole family on line at once, opening up opportunities for local farms, businesses and the wider region to participate in the digital age. Fast broadband can help deliver improved access to health, education and entertainment over high quality video links.”
Eurobodalla Shire Council welcomed the announcement by NBN Co.
“We are very pleased the Eurobodalla is to be included in the next stage of NBN’s fixed wireless network rollouts across NSW,” mayor Lindsay Brown said, adding that no dates are available yet for the NBN’s fixed line which will service the majority of the shire.
“Our community will benefit greatly from the NBN as it is rolled out. “Fast, reliable broadband will open up numerous opportunities for local businesses to compete alongside their metropolitan and international counterparts and also increase access to online medical services.”
Brown added that council is continuing its series of economic forums that provide businesses with opportunities to increase their skills.
“Council is committed to helping our local economy grow and with this in mind we are working closely with businesses in the Eurobodalla to help them take advantage of emerging opportunities such as the NBN.”
Federal Member for Eden Monaro Peter Hendy also welcomed the announcement.
“I am very pleased to note that this much needed infrastructure will offer retail service providers download speeds of up to 25 megabits per second - the download speed promised by the Coalition during the federal election last year,” Dr Hendy said.
NBN Co’s wholesale fixed wireless service offers retail service providers download speeds of up to 25 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 5 megabits per second.
NBN Co also plans to deliver these wholesale speeds to retail service providers over satellite in rural and remote areas when its Long Term Satellite Service goes live, currently scheduled for 2015.
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 may be able to receive NBN Co’s satellite service. Visit www.nbnco.com.au/satellite for more information.
In fixed wireless and satellite areas copper phone lines will remain in place to provide a landline telephone service.
NBN Co’s fixed wireless and satellite networks are designed to serve communities with low population density where it is impractical or uneconomical to roll out fixed line technologies.
A standard installation of NBN equipment is currently free of charge. Remember to ask your preferred provider if they have any other fees.
For further information about NBN Co and construction plans, visit www.nbnco.com.au