NBN Co has announced more communities that will be covered by the fixed wireless network in Northern NSW, the Hunter and Darling Downs' southern region in Queensland.
"The fixed wireless network will cover around 17,000 premises, including the premises covered in the first release areas," Community Relations Adviser, Tony Gibbs said in a statement. "Depending on planning approvals, it is expected areas will start to be switched on in stages from around mid to late 2013."
NBN Co’s fixed wireless network targets communities with low population densities where it is impractical or uneconomical to roll out fibre optic cable. The fixed wireless service is delivered by radio communications via antenna technology.
Boasting wholesale access speeds of up to 12Mbps per second, the fixed wireless network is significantly slower than fibre. However, it is still up to eight times faster than conventional ADSL and 150 times faster than retail dial-up (which is still used in many rural communities).
NBN Co claims that end users will notice a "big improvement" in the reliability of their connection alongside any speed gains. Some of the other benefits NBN is touting include telehealth consultations, video conferencing, interactive lessons and live collaboration with teachers and students around the world.
Below is the revised list of communities that are scheduled to receive NBN Co’s fixed wireless service. [Note: an asterix indicates a fibre-connected town's surrounding area - not the town itself.]
Armidale Dumaresq LGA
Glen Innes Severn LGA
Liverpool Plains LGA
Moree Plains LGA
Southern Downs LGA
Tamworth Regional LGA
Upper Hunter Shire LGA