NBN Co drops 100Mb/s rural FWA plan - Mobile World Live

NBN Co drops 100Mb/s rural FWA plan

28 MAY 2018

State-owned NBN Co, Australia’s national broadband network, dropped a plan to rollout 100Mb/s fixed wireless access (FWA) service from its roadmap because the cost of covering rural areas would be “outrageous”, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow (pictured) said during a Senate hearing deploying the technology to hundreds of thousands of customers would cost “billions and billions” and wouldn’t be economically viable, the newspaper said.

Morrow emphasised this doesn’t mean the company won’t offer products like this in the future. An NBN Co representative told Mobile World Live it is consulting with telecoms operators and internet providers on how its FWA products will evolve.

“The intention is to provide end-users with the best utility from the available fixed wireless network capacity, so they get better speeds and NBN can better utilise the limited capacity within the fixed wireless network,” the representative said.

NBN Co said in a statement: “As with any wireless broadband solution, capacity is not infinite and needs to be carefully monitored and managed in order to deliver a network that can provide the best customer experience.”

One possible option for moving to 100Mb/s speeds in the future is 5G. NBN Co announced in April it would launch 5G trials in the 3.5GHz band in Melbourne to see how 5G works as an access technology for delivering FWA.

The government requires NBN Co to provide 81 per cent of the nation with 51Mb/s peak data speeds or better, and at least 25Mb/s for the rest of the country.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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