National Broadband a step closer
Press Release from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy said today NBN Co had taken a significant step forward in delivering next generation fixed wireless broadband services to rural and regional Australia.
The Gillard Government welcomed the announcement by NBN Co that it had acquired spectrum licences in the 2.3 Gigahertz (GHz) and the 3.4 GHz bands from Austar Communications Limited and Austar Broadband United Proprietary Limited (together Austar) to support the roll out of the fixed wireless network.
Senator Conroy said the acquisition of spectrum licences will enable NBN Co to rollout next generation fixed wireless broadband technology in regional and rural Australia, providing peak speeds of at least 12 megabits per second.
“This is a significant step forward in delivering enhanced broadband services for those areas that need it the most,” Senator Conroy said.
“It is a clear and tangible response to the Commitment to Regional Australia reached with the Independent Members, Mr Tony Windsor MP and Mr Rob Oakeshott MP, on 7 September 2010 to bring forward the introduction of wireless services.
“NBN Co will now progress with the development and delivery of its fixed wireless network and commence construction in December 2011, as announced in its Corporate Plan which was publically released last December.”
The Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean said the deal would be a boost for regional Australia.
"This agreement is another step towards delivering high speed internet to the regions and overcoming the barrier of distance by getting people connected," Mr Crean said.
NBN Co is in the final stages of a selection process to procure a managed service to build, operate, maintain and transfer the fixed wireless network.
“With the acquisition of these spectrum licences I am confident NBN Co can commence offering commercial services on a wholesale only open access basis by mid-2012,” Senator Conroy said.
NBN Co is continuing to develop a comprehensive NBN rollout plan for regional Australia, including the early introduction of an enhanced interim satellite service, as well as a long term satellite solution. Indicative coverage maps for NBN Co’s fibre and wireless rollouts are available at www.nbnco.com.au.