Rural patients to get faster broadband

The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) has announced it will double the wholesale broadband speeds for the fixed wireless and long-term satellite services being deployed to areas that can't be connected to the planned fibre network.

Download speeds of up to 25 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps will now be available to fixed wireless users, with the roll out beginning in June.

The long-term satellite service is scheduled to launch in 2015, and will allow triple the download speeds currently available with the interim satellite service.

In a statement, NBN Co said the wholesale prices would not change, with ISPs retailing NBN packages to rural areas pegged at the same rate they are for fibre users in the cities: $27 per month for the 25/5Mbps service and $24 for the 12/1Mbps service respectively.

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said the better speeds will give people in the most isolated parts of the country access to opportunities that the rest of the country takes for granted.

“For instance, faster speeds will allow people in regional communities to work from home like they would from a big city office, access video-based health services and make high-quality video calls to family and friends,” he said.

The current interim satellite allows download speeds of 6 Mbps and 1 Mbps upload. The CSIRO recently released a report on how these speeds and the issue of lag or latency will shape what kinds of telehealth services can be provided to remote areas of Australia.

While the satellite will cover the three per cent of Australia that can't receive fibre or wireless, it will also be used for fixed wireless infill in black spots in rural areas.

Posted in Australian eHealth


0 # Trevor Lord 2013-02-08 13:18
I think we should congratulate Sarah Dods and CSIRO for raising the disadvantage to the 3% of Australians who live in remote Australia and would see little or no benefit from the NBN program. The response by NBN to improve the upload speed in particular is a good one and will be appreciated. Latency has been debated by others on this email site. It is a critical issue and compounded by low band with and poor contention rates. The real issue for those of us who service remote health clinics will now be contention rates. One would hope that NBN will take that into consideration with regard to Remote Clinic access to Satellite service.
0 # Steve Young 2013-02-18 16:26
I'd also like to see them wanting to foot out for the equipment required to support 5meg up. You'll need 14K worth of sat equipment (Dish - BUC and LNB)

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