Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said planning has started to connect more communities to the national broadband network (NBN).
People living in communities in northern NSW, the Hunter and the southern part of Darling Downs in Queensland will have access to broadband, with the first homes and businesses being switched on from mid to late 2013.
Through fixed wireless technology, homes and businesses in theses areas will access wholesale speeds of up to 150 times faster than dial up and eight times faster than ADSL.
About 17000 homes and businesses in total will receive a fixed wireless service, with the rollout due to be fully completed in 2015 and for those living outside these areas broadband will be available via satellite.
Senator Conroy said through the NBN, the government is also delivering uniform national wholesale pricing.
“This means people living in and around Tamworth, Oxley Vale and Piallamore will pay the same prices for NBN services as people in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong,” he said.
“This is a truly exciting time for families and businesses who want to get online in regional and rural Australia."
"Like water and electricity, the Gillard Government sees broadband as an essential utility that should be made available to all Australians.”
Senator Conroy also travelled to California-based Space Systems/Loral, where the next generation satellites for the National Broadband Network are being designed and built.
During the visit, Senator Conroy viewed ten satellites in various stages of assembly and testing.