NBN Co brings satellite access to bush; Optus opens up 700MHz

Australia’s next generation broadband network, NBN Co, on Tuesday said it would use satellite to boost the number of connections for Australians who cannot access existing commercial broadband services. The NBN Co Satellite Support (NSS) Scheme will connect to up to 9,000 additional premises in remote and regional mainland Australia and Tasmania, until the expected launch of NBN Co’s Long Term Satellite Service (LTSS) in late 2015.

The service will be delivered by wholesaler, IP Star. Only one commercial service per eligible home or business can be ordered under the NSS Scheme, NBN Co said.

The NSS Scheme is designed to deliver wholesale speeds of up to 4Mbps download and 1Mbps upload and the service is expected to provide ISPs with a minimum performance of 65 per cent peak speed, 85 per cent of the time.

NBN Co Chief Customer Officer, John Simon said: “Bringing broadband to the most remote communities across Australia is one of NBN Co’s highest priorities. It gives residents access to e-health, distance education and internet banking, while businesses can benefit from increased productivity, reduced costs and access to new markets.”

In related news, rival carrier Optus is turning on its first commercial LTE 700MHz network in Darwin and Perth after the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) granted early access commercial licences. The commercial pilot means Optus customers with compatible devices will soon be able to access LTE services over 700MHz.

“We’re expanding our superfast 4G network to more Australians this year, with plans to reach 90 per cent of the Australian population by March 2015,” said Vic McClelland, Managing Director of Optus Networks.

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“This brings Optus one step closer to the launch of our national 4G 700MHz network as we bring 4G to more places around Australia. It allows us to move beyond the testing phase into what customers experience on our live commercial network and enables us to deliver an enhanced 4G network experience,” he said.

Optus customers with compatible devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8) will be able to access the 4G network in select areas, before it becomes more widely available from January 2015.

From January 2015, as the 700MHz spectrum becomes nationally available for commercial use, Optus will expand its 4G network to around 200 holiday destinations and new regional locations. The spectrum will be also be used to improve the indoor 4G experience for customers in metro areas.





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