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