Ahead of the 2022 Federal Election, NBN Co announced regional Australia would be receiving a fixed wireless network upgrade, with 120,000 premises to use the boost and stop relying on Sky Muster satellite services.
The company rolling out the National Broadband Network has today provided an update on this promise – announcing that around 24,000 homes and businesses are now eligible to access the NBN fixed wireless network thanks to this footprint boost.
“The announcement represents a major milestone in the upgrade of the NBN fixed wireless network, which includes expanding access for around 120,000 homes and businesses, enabling faster and more consistent speeds at the busiest times,” NBN Co wrote in a press release.
Of course, this announcement just means that 24,000 premises in regional areas can upgrade to fixed wireless. They still have to pay. On that note, NBN Co has also said it will introduce two new wholesale higher-speed plans that will go live by the end of the program.
Fixed wireless NBN is a type of internet connection that covers massive parts of Australia without the need for fibre to be run straight to the home. Instead, fibre is run to a signal tower, which then distributes the internet connection to homes using radio signals (the signals are received by an antenna at the home). It’s considerably slower than fibre NBN types, considering that data travels through signals instead of through cables.
All 24,000 premises receiving the fixed wireless upgrade are currently located within the NBN satellite footprint. The locations have also been chosen given their proximity to existing NBN fixed wireless towers, with NBN Co noting priority was given to those located within the most heavily used parts of Sky Muster’s footprint. You can check if you’re eligible for an upgrade here.
The former Australian government announced it was investing $480 million in strengthening the fixed wireless NBN network, which included upgrades for regional areas, with NBN Co chipping in $270 million of its own funds to the project.
“The NBN fixed wireless network is the digital backbone for many regional Australians. With more people living in regional areas, connectivity has never been more important and that is why we are not just responding to existing demand, but also planning for the future,” NBN chief development officer for regional and remote Gavin Williams said.
“We expect that by around the end of 2024, the upgrades we are making across the NBN fixed wireless network will enable around 750,000 homes and businesses to enjoy better broadband, which will allow more people to be online at the same [time] to work, study and stream with less buffering.”
This article has been updated since it was first published.
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