NBN Co fixed wireless is now available to more than 100,000 premises, with the National Broadband Network wholesaler citing the rise in wireless coverage as evidence of progress in the NBN's rollout.
However, the company's figures reveal that only around 15 per cent of households in the coverage area have so far signed up to NBN fixed wireless services.
As of yesterday 106,000 premises were eligible for NBN fixed wireless but only 16,000 were using the service.
Despite the gap between those potentially connected and those actually using the service, that still represents a steep climb over the space of 12 months and the percentage of those in fixed wireless areas with an active service has increased in that period.
On 30 June last year, only 27,250 premises were eligible for NBN fixed wireless and only 1870 of those premises had a service.
In a statement, NBN Co chief operating officer Greg Adcock said the fixed wireless coverage areas surpassing 100k premises was a "significant milestone" for the network and for the regional areas covered by the wireless rollout.
"Not only will it close the digital divide between city and country, fast broadband will enable rural businesses to flourish and regional economies to grow and attract further wealth and investment," Adcock said.
In May NBN Co released a report that said that the plan to deliver broadband services to the 7-8 per cent of population outside the NBN fixed line footprint woefully underestimates the demand in those areas
The review also found NBN Co's Long Term Satellite Service (LTSS), designed to deliver connectivity in areas not covered by fixed line and fixed wireless, is behind schedule.
In response to the review NBN Co said it would look at increasing the footprint of fixed wireless services by building more towers as well as rolling out FTTN services to areas that would previously not have received fixed line NBN services.
Under the preferred scenario canvassed by the report NBN Co will build an extra 1300 fixed wireless base stations, bringing the total number to around 2700. FTTN services would be delivered to 25,000 premises that are currently earmarked for fixed wireless of satellite.
Last month NBN Co revealed details of a deal with Telstra for an expanded FTTN trial.
The agreement for a 1000-node deployment of FTTN technology will "deliver valuable insights into how to build a sustainable and consistent program of work that allows the industry to ramp up and deploy the FTTN element of the NBN at scale," NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said at the time.
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