news National broadband provider Internode today started selling fixed wireless services over the National Broadband Network’s fledgling wireless broadband footprint, with the ISP’s pricing in the area to be the same as its pricing on the lowest speed tier (12Mbps) of its NBN fibre plans.
The ISP hasn’t yet issued a statement on the issue, but its parent iiNet this morning issued a media release noting Internode would make its NBN wireless service available to customers from today, ahead of iiNet’s own launch scheduled for May.
A spokesperson for Internode clarified the company would set the pricing on its wireless service the same as its 12Mbps speed tier (‘bronze’) pricing plans available on NBN’s fire infrastructure. This means that Internode will offer four NBN wireless plans, at $49.95, $69.96, $89.95 and $139.95 price points, and with 30GB, 300GB, 600GB and 1TB of monthly quota respectively. The NBN wireless service is slated to offer similar speeds of up to 12Mbps.
In its statement, iiNet said it would offer plans with prices starting from $49.95 per month (with 20GB of on-peak and 20GB of 0ff-peak data) from next month, following a successful trial with NBN of the fixed wireless services in Armidale, NSW.
“The addition of a wireless service joins a number of other recent firsts for iiNet, including successful certifications for the NBN voice service (UNI V) and NBN Facilities Access, which enables both access to the NBN Co datacentres and integration with iiNet’s network. iiNet is also ready to commission its Business to Business capabilities with NBN, enabling the full automation of all services and an ability to offer wholesale services to other companies,” iiNet’s statement said.
iiNet CEO Michael Malone said the addition of a wireless service reinforced his company’s commitment to providing superfast Internet to all Australians, no matter where they lived.
“As a foundation partner of NBN Co, we’ve always focused on getting on with the job and making NBN services available to our new and existing customers,” Malone said. “Offering our customers all three NBN access methods is a significant milestone for iiNet. We pride ourselves on being first to market with new technologies. We were first with Naked DSL and IPTV and now we’re first to bring a full NBN service suite to the market.”
“We are working closely with NBN Co to ensure this momentum continues. The end result will be a seamless transition for our customers, as they move from their current service to an iiNet NBN service,” Malone added. The iiNet Group is currently the only broadband provider to offer all three NBN connection methods — fibre, satellite and wireless.
The first areas to receive NBN Co’s wireless service, which targets a small percentage of residences which won’t receive fibre, will be homes, businesses and institutions in the less densely populated rural and regional communities that surround Geraldton (WA), Toowoomba (Qld), Tamworth (NSW), Ballarat (Vic) and Darwin (NT).
“Customers in these areas are expected to be able to sign up with retail service providers to use the network … from the middle of next year,” NBN Co said in a statement in August 2011. The fixed wireless component of the NBN rollout — being built by Swedish vendor Ericsson — is expected to be completed by 2015 and aims to pass approximately half a million homes and business, four percent of the nation’s total addressable premises.