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NBN fixed wireless doubles speed for rural users


When the best broadband solution is fixed wireless, customers in rural areas will soon have the ability to sign up for 50/20 plans.

Fixed wireless is the technology used to provide National Broadband Network (NBN) connections in areas that are too remote to receive wired connections via fibre or cable, but not so remote that the only option is to use a satellite. Right now that covers 300,000 premises, and that number is expected to double to 600,000 by 2010.

NBN fixed wireless isn’t quite as nippy as fibre connections, but it should be a little quicker than satellite connections and many copper-based ADSL connections. Speeds on fixed wireless connections previously topped out at a theoretical 25Mbps for downloads and 5Mbps for uploads. From today, resellers will also be able to offer packages with 50Mbps for downloads and 20Mbps for uploads. (A full fibre connection can offer at least double that speed.) As with other NBN products, you'll pay a premium for the faster speeds.

Like any wireless connection, those figures are theoretical maximums that can be affected by other users on the same wireless cell as you, as well as environmental and atmospheric factors that can drag speeds downwards. NBN Co says it exects speeds to be in the range of 25-50Mbps for downloads and 5-20Mbps for uploads, which is still an upgrade on current offerings.

You can check out which NBN options are scheduled to be available in your area on our rollout map.

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