Monday, 07 December 2015 06:00

NBN launches 50Mbps/20Mbps fixed wireless in the bush Featured

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Fixed wireless is coming to more than 500,000 Australian homes and business in regional and rural Australia from today.

Boasting that NBN Co’s new fixed wireless broadband solution is 30% faster than that in Ireland, a country NBN Co says is our ‘next best fixed wireless global peer.’

NBN Co’s fixed wireless system uses radio signals from NBN’s ground stations, delivering ‘fast broadband by transmitting data to equipment inside and outside the home.’

Designed ‘to provide access to wholesale speeds of up to 50mbps download and 20mbps upload,’ NBN Co says this new network isn’t like a traditional mobile wireless service ‘where speeds can be affected by the number of people moving into an area.’

Instead, NBN Co’s fixed wireless service ‘is designed to deliver fast and reliable broadband to regions which often experience lags and drop-outs.’

There service is currently available in hundreds of communities across the country including Bendigo and Albury in Victoria; Mackay, Bundaberg, Gympie and Toowoomba in Queensland; Katanning and Pinjarra in Western Australia; Riverland and Adelaide Hills in South Australia; Coffs Harbour, Nowra and Wagga Wagga in New South Wales; North West Coast and Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania; Howard Springs and Berry Springs in Northern Territory.”

Retail service providers or RSPs will surely be targeting those half million customers ASAP to offer fixed wireless broadband at wired speeds - something that will surely leave many city folk along with regional folk just outside the areas above which are still waiting for FTT-anything and could still be doing so for some years yet.  

NBN Co’s Executive GM of its Fixed Wireless Product and Sales division Gavin Williams said “By the time we complete the NBN network rollout in 2020, this world-leading broadband service will provide more than half a million homes and businesses living in regional and rural Australia with access to faster internet speeds that rival what their city cousins have available today.

“Following the launch of Sky Muster, NBN’s first satellite, this milestone is yet another critical part of our plan to help bridge the nation’s digital divide.

More NBN details below, please read on!

NBN Co took the opportunity remind us all how fast a 50Mbps download speed and 20Mbps upload speed is, stating that a 10 minute lecture from YouTube could be downloaded in 12 seconds.

A 2 hour podcast could be downloaded in 3 mins and 12 seconds, while a 2 Hour HD movie from Netlix, estimated to be a 6GB file, would download in 12 mins.

When it comes to uploads, a 20Mbps upload speed will allow you to upload a 2GB document to the cloud in 13mins 20s.

NBN reminds us all that it is ‘building a new, fast wholesale broadband network which can be accessed by all communities across Australia,’ and that its ‘goal is to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.'

This latest move is a step in the right direction, so while some fixed wireless relief is at hand, if you still don't have FTT-something, that two aspirin and check back between now and 2020. 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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