Faster fixed wireless speeds activated on the NBN

The fixed wireless network is expected to be completed by 2015 and will cover around 500,000 premises

Users can now sign up to 25/5Mbps speeds on fixed wireless for the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Communications minister Stephen Conroy announced in February that NBN Co would double the speeds offered by the NBN fixed wireless and satellite services, increasing speeds from 12/1Mbps.

The fixed wireless network is expected to be completed by 2015 and will cover around 500,000 premises.

NBN Co is targeting to cover 320,000 premises with fixed wireless and satellite by the end of this month, comprising around 70,000 premises on fixed wireless, according to its August 2012 corporate plan.

However, Mike Quigley, CEO of NBN Co, recently told a Senate Estimates hearing that NBN Co was revising the number of premises covered by fixed wireless due to issues with vegetation blocking signals to premises.

Around 70 to 80 fixed wireless towers are now operational.

“[Our] first priority is to make sure we can give people a good service. So this is not a 'best effort' service. This is where, when we say we are going to put in a fixed wireless service or a satellite service, we want to make sure that we can provide them with 25 meg down, five meg up at the Ethernet layer,” he said.

As part of the rollout for the NBN's fixed wireless service, NBN Co began lodging development applications for fixed wireless towers mid last year. However, the process has been fraught, with residents in some areas objecting to construction of network infrastructure.

At March this year, 17,300 premises had access to NBN Co’s fixed wireless network. It added no new connections to fixed wireless (PDF) between December 2012 and March this year.

The Australian Financial Review recently reported the fixed wireless and satellite portion of the NBN – which will cover 7 per cent of Australians – was running behind schedule, with fewer than half of the 30 June targeted premises to be connected to the NBN.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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Tags nbn cosatelliteNational Broadband Network (NBN)fixed wireless

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