New NBN plan: wireless broadband for South Coast

NBN Co personnel toured up the South Coast last week to spruik new rollouts specific to fixed wireless and to begin negotiations with local councils to determine locations for network infrastructure.

GOING WIRELESS: NBN Co community relations advisor Tony Gibbs showing the wireless antenna and a connection box which will be installed at premises receiving the fixed wireless broadband.

GOING WIRELESS: NBN Co community relations advisor Tony Gibbs showing the wireless antenna and a connection box which will be installed at premises receiving the fixed wireless broadband.

The National Broadband Network will lodge planning proposals to provide local farms, homes and businesses in the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley shires access to faster broadband via a fixed wireless facility.

The facilities can be mounted on elevated existing infrastructure, such as existing mobile phone towers, and will service communities out of town that currently have limited access to the internet.

“We are aiming to close the digital divide between city and country,” NBN Co community relations advisor Tony Gibbs said.

Mr Gibbs explained that download speeds currently experienced in Narooma are acceptable in comparison to those on farms or out in the bush so the plan is to service the rural areas first.

NBN Co state the fixed wireless facility will provide download speeds of up to 25mbps and upload speeds of 5mbps allowing high-quality video calls and the whole family to be online at once.

“The upload speed is good for investment attraction,” Mr Gibbs said.

Mr Gibbs ensured the service would be reliable and consistent and not suffer from congestion problems similar to those experienced by mobile phone users in peak times.

Additionally, the technology allows for growth and is designed to be upgraded as required.

With the new federal government the original plan to have fibre rolled out to every house has been replaced with multi-technology.

Under the new scheme properties will receive broadband from one of four means; fibre to the premise, fibre to the node (using existing copper to the property), fixed wireless or satellite.

Towns with more than 1000 premises are due to have homes and business connected to fibre.

The fixed wireless and satellite networks are designed to serve communities with low population density where it is impractical to roll out fixed line technologies.

Expected fixed wireless hook up time is from mid-2015 and people can keep an eye on the NBN Co website next year to see where it’s at and find out if their property is in the fixed wireless footprint.

Those living outside of the footprint or without adequate reception from the fixed wireless facility will be entitled to a satellite service.

A service validation test will be conducted before the network equipment is installed on a property.

The fixed wireless system will use cellular technology to transmit signals to and from a small antenna fixed on the outside of a property. A cable will run from the antenna through the wall to an indoor connection box. It will not interfere with the existing copper telephone line.

A standard installation of NBN equipment is currently free of charge. Once installed people will need to contact an internet service provider to arrange a service.

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