NBN reveals wireless plans for South Australian regions

By Paul Hemsley

The National Broadband Network has laid out its plans to work with South Australian regional local governments to fire-up fast wireless broadband connectivity to far flung premises as the regional rollout of the massive project continues.

The planned connection to wireless broadband is intended to address a lack of adequate internet communications in regional South Australia where many residents have either very limited or no access to high-speed broadband or are confined to limited services like dial-up or broadband over the mobile phone network.

The government is hoping that its plan to create a fixed wireless network through the NBN will offer internet service providers with wholesale access speeds of a minimum 12Mbps, with plans for higher speeds to become available in the future. Cripplingly slow connection speeds have long been an unwanted hallmark of South Australia’s regional areas.

The difference between a mobile wireless service and NBN Co.’s fixed wireless network is the former can be affected by the number of people moving into and out of the area, whereas the latter is engineered to deliver services at a fixed number of premises in the coverage area.

NBN Co stated that its design and construction partners will work with local governments to identify appropriate locations for fixed wireless network infrastructure.

These locations will be in parts of Mid Murraylands, South East, Far South East and Kangaroo Island.

NBN Co's community account manager Chris Gregory said rural and regional Australia has been left behind when it comes to telecommunications.

“NBN Co’s plan to deliver high-speed broadband to every Australian homes and businesses using one of three technologies – fibre, fixed wireless and satellite – aims to change that,” Mr Gregory said.

It is expected facilities will be switched on in stages from mid-2014, he said.

“This announcement is tremendous news for these regions, many of which have little or no access to high-speed broadband, or those confined to a limited service, such as dial-up or broadband over the mobile network,” Mr Gregory said.

He said the fixed wireless network plans to cover parts of ten council areas in South Australia.

The councils that will be covered are Coorong District Council, District Council of Grant, District Council of Yankalilla, Kangaroo Island Council, Karoonda East Murray Council, Mid Murray Council, Murray Bridge Council, Naracoorte Lucindale Council, Tatiara District Council and Wattle Range Council.

West Wimmera Shire Council which is in Victoria will also be connected.

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