Only 15 per cent of eligible households take up NBN wireless

NBN fixed wireless coverage hits 100k premises

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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Tags Networkingnational broadband networkNational Broadband Network (NBN)nbn coGreg Adcockbroadband

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Kenny Loggins


I am really shocked by this news. I would have thought people would have been clamouring for the expensive plans, slow speeds and absurdly low data limits on offer.

Francis Young


At the time of the September election there were 2,428 active wireless users out of the 39,192 premises to which it was available, which is 6% takeup.

By 6 April 2014, there were 11,919 users out of 78,779, which is 15%.

By 9 June 2014, there were 15,436 / 90,306, which is 17%.

Last week many new towers came online at the same time, and fixed wireless coverage leapt by 13,352 premises in one week. Thus, at 22 June, there were 16,089 / 106,018 or 15%.

Wireless takeup has quickly risen during 2014, and follows the modular building and activation of new LTE towers, the date at which a householder can end their existing ADSL or mobile contract without exit fees, and the time to get a contractor to come and install the rooftop mast, internal box and activate a service. The service itself is reportedly rock-solid and delivers the full 12 or 25 Mbps ordered with low latency in the order of 10-12 ms. It is a joy to behold.

And it is cheaper that a landline and ADSL. For instance, iiNet offers 40GB at 12/1 for $49.95, or 200 GB at $59.95. Because LTE wireless supports VoIP without jitter, there is no need for line rental, and 10c national calls are your only phone expense.

The only thing hindering takeup is a lack of correct information, isn't it, Kenny Loggins?



Wait, I thought they were referring to Interim Satellite Service but Francis is blabbing on about LTE. What is that all about? Incorrect info or sth?



Read the headline, Tommy, read the headline.

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