news The NBN company this morning announced it had launched a fixed wireless broadband service offering download speeds of 50Mbps and upload speeds of 20Mbps — double the speeds currently available on the company’s wireless platform.
The NBN company has up until now offered two classes of broadband services over its fixed wireless infrastructure, which is mainly used in rural areas and on the edge of cities where it is not economical to deploy the company’s fixed-line broadband infrastructure. The higher of those plans has offered customers download speeds of 25Mbps and upload speeds of 5Mbps.
However, the company has long stated that it believes optimisation on its fixed wireless network could deliver higher speeds.
This morning it confirmed it had started offering a 50Mbps/20Mbps service to its retail ISP partners, which it said was 30 percent faster than “our next best fixed wireless global peer in Ireland”.
Gavin Williams, the NBN company’s Executive General Manager, Fixed Wireless and Satellite Products, said in a statement:
“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. We’re closer than ever before to being on a level playing field between the city and the bush by providing kids in rural areas with access to digital textbooks, farmers with the latest technology and creating a world of new possibilities for regional small businesses.”
However, customers currently on the NBN company’s fixed wireless network may be forced to pay more for the higher speeds.
A spokesperson for the NBN company confirmed the higher speeds would not automatically be offered to customers already using the fixed wireless network. The NBN company merely offers the service as a new product — it will be up to retail ISPs like Telstra, Optus and TPG to sell it to customers as part of new broadband plans.
In the NBN company’s statement, Telstra director of NBN consumer products Anthea Roberts said:
“We’re using NBN’s fixed wireless network to bring fast broadband to thousands of Australian families and businesses across regional Australia. Many of our customers on the pilot told us they appreciated the faster speeds, using the NBN network for everything from video-streaming and quality gaming to enjoying the flexibility of working from home to paying bills and invoices online.”
“We will be introducing this faster speed tier to our fixed wireless customers as a permanent option from the end of January.”