NBN Co urges Tasmanians to subscribe to “surging” fixed wireless service


news The NBN company this week said that its fixed wireless technology was “surging” in Tasmania, bringing fast Internet to many remote rural and regional communities, yet people may not know of its availability.

The company urged communities to “jump on the world-class NBN fixed wireless service” that has quickly spread across the island.

Already, a network of over 100 fixed wireless towers is delivering fast Internet services, with more in the way, according to an NBN statement. The firm added that, this week, new towers have been switched on at Mount Rivulet near Molesworth, and Coles Bay.

Furthermore, 31,327 Tasmanian premises currently sit within the footprint of the fixed wireless network including parts of the Huon Valley, Tasman Peninsula, Derwent Valley, East Coast, Midlands, Central Highlands, North East Tasmania and the North West Coast.

While active users on NBN’s fixed wireless service across Australia passed 100,000 this week, NBN data reveals that only one in three Tasmanians are taking up the service where it is available.

Russell Kelly, Tasmania Corporate Affairs Manager, said fast Internet is bringing business, educational and e-health opportunities to regional Tasmania.

“People not currently connected to the NBN can now consider making the switch,” he said. “We are aware that many people in regional Tasmania don’t know they currently have access to fixed wireless services so there is no better time to find out, simply by logging on to the nbnco.com website.

“For businesses, many forms of online interaction will be improved and for families, multiple users can be online at the same time,” Kelly added.

Once the rollout has been completed, over half a million Australian homes and businesses are estimated to be able to access NBN’s fixed wireless network.

NBN data shows that of the 100,000 premises using the service nationally, 82% have signed on to 25/5 Mbps plans and 17% have opted for 12/1Mbps plans. Just 1% of users have chosen the fastest 50/20Mbps plan on the fixed wireless network, said NBN.

The rollout of fixed wireless is part of the Coalition Government’s revised multi-technology mix (MTM) approach to the NBN, with the NBN not planning to deploy fixed broadband infrastructure to some areas of the state.

Tasmanian MP Brett Whiteley recently told local residents and businesses unhappy with the fibre alternatives the NBN company is deploying that the infrastructure represents a “great opportunity” and they should stop pining for fibre connections.

Image credit: NBN Co


  1. I feel sorry for the Taswegians, getting it in the arse without lubricant after Mal promised that he would continue with a FTTP rollout.

    Bend over and touch your toes boys and girls.

    • He never said FttP (we told em his term ‘Fast Broadband’ didn’t mean FttP as well) in true politician style.

      • He said he wasn’t going to cancel the contracts. Most here saw through it and predicted he’d modify them, an opinion it seems not held by the MSM or the Tasmanian people.
        It was one of the first things he did once he became communications minister, the first was to pay off the Tasmanian companies that helped him so much with bad NBN publicity leading up to the election, with a 20% increase in the money they got for their contracts.

  2. Sadly the NBN rollout in Tasmania is done on the cheap side, barest minimal number of towers not covering all areas. Most probably the real reason it is not being taken up, because it is NOT covering the population…

    • That just sums up Lib MtM perfectly … “done on the cheap” commercial style … instead of how the NBN was originally doing things, properly the first time (mostly) with the goal of building long term national infrastructure!

      • You mean basically how everything has been handled by our top notch Telco companies on the private sector which lead to booming competition? (sarcasm)

        Except the difference now is we’re paying for this half assed network that achieves crap all? :D

    • *waits for the spinning stooges to explain that this was a very clever plan to reduce the load on the network*

    • Surprising to read the NBN TAS rollout done on the cheap;-) FTTP Actual CPP $5k-4k, double Quigley’s CP budget (and at a snails pace).

      With NBNCo weekly rollout figure showing rollout hitting a wall, will we see the latest quarterly update before an election is called? Let’s compare to another market:

      With universal broadband access achieved, Austria’s Breitband Strategie 2020 (announced 2012) committed to 99% of premises having access to 100mbps by 2020.

      Like most successful upgrades their broadband project was undertaken in stages, reusing existing infrastructure (inc LTE), utilisied an experienced telco and targeted govt subsidies (€1b) to underserved rural communities i.e. nothing like Conroy’s GBE NBNCo.

      As of end of 2015 the project is on schedule with half premises (2+m) ready-for-service with (A1 Telekom Austria) FTTB, FTTC (<500m copper) and (UPC Austria) HFC. At an unimaginable cost NBNCo in TAS (8th year) has today RFS 103k brownfield, 752 greenfield (true) and 31k LTE.

      A1's initial FTTN expansion used relatively long copper runs. How many in TAS could have been wired rather than wireless given the lower cost advantage?

      Telekom Austria Group posted a €400m profit in 2015.

      • Who really cares what their copper lengths are for FTTC? Given average copper lengths for Australia is between 800 – 1200m.

      • I am sorry Richard,
        You can not use anothers country’s figures to justify your own. Please provide us with the research document that you are quoting you’re figures from in full with proper references in the foot note. Until then please stop making up false and misleading information.

        On the other hand if you want to compare a country other then Australia, I would like you to read the article about New Zealands roll out of broadband technology, and how they have been able to make huge savings in there switching to a full FTTP rollout. Which is based on facts and not your or my words.

        • Sam..,

          You can not use anothers country’s figures to justify your own.

          But it’s ok when I do it.

          On the other hand if you want to compare a country other then Australia, I would like you to read the article about New Zealands roll out


        • In the US they have reduced it even more…$800 AUD CPP. The new board at NBN Co should think about hiring actual engineers so they can get the costs down to what everyone else is paying…

          • Nesta (Specifically Robert Kenny) are the ones that basically wrote the CBA for the Coalition…I don’t really have a lot of respect for their work. Average demand 15Mbps???

          • So what’s that world wide acknowledged benchmark the ‘Chas average’, and tell us how you calculated it?

          • @Alternate – “So what’s that world wide acknowledged benchmark the ‘Chas average’, and tell us how you calculated it?

            Sigh…considering that since that time, the US has determined that anything less than 25/3 sustained can’t even be called “Broadband”, I suggest that Kenny was quite clueless…

          • Oh you have switched to a different statistic now, you were referring to ‘average demand’, which is different from a definition of what is broadband min speeds in one country.

          • Alternate – “Oh you have switched to a different statistic now”

            No, I was trying to explain to you (which as many have said is probably not possible) that their definition of “average” is so far below reality that it doesn’t even meet the minimum criteria of broadband.

            In other words, it is a meaningless report…

            Are you of the opinion that this requires a new study funded to determine just how stupid it is?

          • One curious thing about the report I quoted, is that even though he states he was on the Vertigan panel, he is still happy to use the “A$38.2 billion” figure for 93% of Australia in the “Cost of FttH” table.

      • Yep, source needed, but by Jove, he’s right about one thing, the slow rollout. It’s looking very bad for The Earl of Wentworth when even his cheer squad point it out.

      • @Alain – “FTTP Actual CPP $5k-4k”

        Thank you for another bedtime fantasy mate…
        Fortunately the CPP for FTTP is now down to $800…

        “their broadband project was undertaken in stages, reusing existing infrastructure”

        But sadly it will only last a few more months, so that’s another few Billion down the crapper…:)

  3. Yeah stop pinning for fibre, keep your expectations low, sign up and that way you won’t be disappointed.

  4. I’d be interested to know if that 1% on 50/20 actually get near enough their full speeds with an sort of regularity?

    • Not likely if they are accessing anything outside of Tasmania with the current state of the Bass straight links.

    • 50/20 FW here in NSW, getting regular speed test results of over 40/15 but don’t see much benefit over 20/5 for the extra cost. Netflix & streaming TV regularly buffers, pages frequently slow to load & downloads all over the place but rarely near top speed.
      Our superhighway still suffers from traffic congestion.

  5. We are on fixed wireless but were never told of or offered this mythical 50/20 speed.

    • Just quickly checked 3 RSPs, iiNet, Internode and Skymesh and the only one with a 50/20 tier is Skymesh. Even then, Skymesh only advertise it as UP TO 50/20. So… that should give you an idea of how confident they are in you obtaining 50Mbit over wireless…

      So is it any wonder the 50/20 numbers are so low?

      • Umm iiNet and Internode = TPG so you only checked 1 ;) Teoh’s been hard at work to remove ‘choice’, limit options and frills etc.

        Nodes slightly more separate as some of its systems are still complicated to integrate but look at the plans they don’t really change across the TPG group anymore and its all heading in the no frills direction.

        But yeah in general 50/20 is hard to find across any NBN provider these days it seems :(

        • I mean, yes, however iiNet and Internodes plans are still different, and even still the “three” (iiNet, Internode, TPG) are still “different” with their plan options.

          But yeah, I know, I just couldn’t be bothered because I knew if TPG/iiNet/Internode weren’t offering 50/20, then sure as hell Belong/Telstra won’t be.

      • Telstra and Optus both offer it.

        The speed that nbn advertise is 25-50/5-20. Same as the FTTN/B equivalent speed tier.

        • I see now that Optus do, but the Telstra site is a bitch to navigate, is it any wonder people don’t know they can pay for higher speeds if they want them?

          Both Optus and Telstra need to rework those horrendous sites, they’re both pretty terrible to navigate around and aren’t at all intuitive.

  6. Brett Whiteley whose MP office got FTTP inetrnet connected at taxpayers’ expense in mid 2013, along with all other MPs, tells Taswegians to eat cake.


    • considering anywhere under 1k residents would miss out on fibre thats probably on the high side. FW is meant to be for the harder to get to places so there should™ be less premises in those areas.

      If not they should be FttP/N/B

  7. Tasmanian MP Brett Whiteley recently told local residents and businesses unhappy with the fibre alternatives the NBN company is deploying that the infrastructure represents a “great opportunity” and they should stop pining for fibre connections.

    Go on, rub it in you weasel. To dictate what residents and businesses are to demand. You could have incentivised a company to do it. But you didn’t do what you really wanted to do, because you’re spineless.

  8. I wouldn’t connect either if I could avoid it. Not that I have to worry about it. Not even on a roll-out plan, still. I’ll probably be dead before they bother doing a moderate upgrade to the existing copper network in my area.

  9. it’s likely that people just don’t know they can access it if nbn™ hasn’t done a marketing bomb in the areas they’ve hooked up. It’s not like folks would have seen trucks and works in their area like the fixed line stuff.

    • The NBN Co would know which addresses are in the fixed line footprint and they could notify each address, perhaps they are not allowed to beyond prospective residences registering their interest for NBN activation in their area beforehand.

      • Unfortunately the article doesn’t state how nbn™ is “urging” them to apply, so you may well be right.

  10. I’d be happy to sign up for fixed wireless. I could have been on it for the last 3 years, but unfortunately, I am in one of those areas earmarked for FTTP. You know, one of those areas suddenly not earmarked for FTTP any more once Abbott, Turnbull and the Conservatives got in. As such, I’m not allowed to connect to fixed wireless, even though I’m in direct line of sight of the tower and only 8 km distant.

    Instead, I’m now earmarked for the long wait for FTTN, which might arrive next year, or maybe not.

    • Can’t you apply for it anyway? Especially considering you have LoS to the tower.

      • There is more to it than just line of sight, the antenna footprint can be oriented to the residences that need it most.

        For example a regional town may have LoS to the tower but their exchange is ADSL enabled, so the beam footprint is oriented to outlying residences of the town that cannot get ADSL to avoid congestion on the FW.

        • Yes, its a bizarre situation where regional towns (slated for FTTP) are now stuck on DSL from congested exchanges that Telstra Wholesale no longers upgrades, while people out of town are actually connected to the faster fixed wireless network.

          I do wonder though, with the lack of commitment to backhaul provision if we might face the same problem with NBN in a few years’ time.

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