Communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, today revealed the first regions that will receive the National Broadband Network's 12 megabits per second (12Mbps) fixed wireless service.
"Together with the Interim Satellite Service deployment in July this year, this announcement confirms that the National Broadband Network is bringing forward high-speed broadband for rural and regional Australia," Conroy said.
The first release sites targeted by the NBN wholesaler, NBN Co, are in the areas surrounding Ballarat, Victoria; Darwin, NT; Geraldton, WA; Tamworth, NSW; and Toowoomba in Queensland. At the start of June NBN Co signed up Ericsson to build and operate its 4G LTE network.
This morning NBN Co revealed the preliminary start dates for construction at the second release sites for the fibre network.
The fixed wireless service is intended to cover 4 per cent of premises that won't have access to NBN's fibre; the other 3 per cent of premises that won't have fibre will have access to satellite services.
In February NBN Co scooped up an Austar subsidiary in a $120 million deal that gave the company spectrum licences for the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands.
Last month the network wholesaler picked up a further 24 licences in the 2.3GHz band in Australian Communications and Media Authority auction.