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NBN kills plans for 100Mbps fixed wireless

Alex Kidman 25 May 2018 NEWS

More than 300,000 customers on fixed wireless NBN connections won't be upgraded to 100Mbps speeds.

CEO of NBN Co Bill Morrow has told a Senate Estimates committee that it has canned plans to offer 100Mbps plans to customers in the fixed wireless NBN footprint.

"We killed it", the ABC quotes Morrow as stating, citing the lack of demand for services at that speed.

"There's not mass-market demand for 100Mbps services" he said, stating that cost was also a driving factor. According to Morrow, the upgrades necessary to provide consistent 100Mbps NBN over fixed wireless technologies would cost "billions and billions of dollars".

The most recent quarterly report from NBN Co does show an increasing percentage of consumers opting for plans at 50Mbps or better, but for fixed wireless customers that's going to be your speed cap.

It's a significant backdown for NBN Co, which has long maintained that it is technology-agnostic and always looking at ways to add speed capacity to all of its broadband services where feasible.

The multi-technology mix model of the NBN is one that always had technology differences that made specific speed goals challenging.

Those with Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connections typically have little issue with 100Mbps plans with few roadblocks in the way for NBN Co, although some customers have had issues with the quantity of CVC purchased by their ISPs over the years.

For Fibre to the Node customers it's a more complex affair with NBN Co admitting back in January that only 1 in 4 customers would be able to reach peak 100Mbps speeds due to the quality of the copper used in FTTN.

HFC customers are only now starting to see HFC service rollouts resume after considerable complaints about the speeds NBN Co was able to provide over the network, a problem that became so marked it paused activations late last year to investigate the issue.

While NBN Co does hold spectrum for 5G services and is still working with that technology for future rollouts, it appears that the customer base on fixed wireless, largely in regional areas of Australia will be stuck with speeds no greater than 50Mbps at best.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KevinMay 25, 2018

    I have Cable TV (Foxtel). Does this make any difference?

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiMay 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for leaving a question on our page.

      Like ADSL, cable Internet repurposes existing network infrastructure to deliver Internet services across Australia. Instead of the copper telephone network, though, it’s the cable TV network powering the likes of Foxtel that cable Internet piggybacks on.

      Similar to ADSL, all Optus and Telstra cable Internet services will be switched off upon the completion of the NBN rollout. However, the physical cables will still be in use, both for Foxtel and for parts of the NBN where laying new fibre cable is currently infeasible.

      Thanks for your message and for visiting finder – the leading comparison website & general information service built to give you advice in your buying decision needs. How are you doing today?

      Hope this was helpful.

      Cheers,
      Nikki

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