The nbn has reached a new milestone, with over 500,000 fixed wireless services now provided to regional areas, accounting for 60 per cent of all active services.

Based on the most economically viable technology for each area, of the 29 per cent of Australians living outside of major cities, 69 per cent will have access to fixed line services, such as fibre-to-the-premise and fibre-to-the-node, 19 per cent fixed wireless services, and 12 per cent satellite services.

The milestone coincides with new research from UK analyst firm Ovum which reveals that nbn is investing twice as much on regional broadband than our nearest international rival.

“The nbn fixed wireless network plays a key role in ensuring there is no digital divide between urban and regional Australia and, as the Ovum report notes, is the envy of other countries around the world,” Bill Morrow, CEO of the nbn said.

The nbn mixed wireless service was launched in 2011 and will provide access to nbn services to more than 600,000 regional and rural premises by 2020, with the network already delivering active services to more than 175,000 end-users across the country.

“Our Fixed Wireless network has already been recognised as a world leader and we are determined to maintain that position by continuing to deliver even better products on the network,” Mr Morrow said.

The Ovum report notes that nbn’s investment of nearly $7,000 per household on regional and rural broadband in Australia easily outstrips any other global market with the US its nearest rival investing around $3,200 per premise on its Connect America Fund aimed at rural areas.

It found that other major international markets including the UK, Canada, France and Ireland are all spending less than A$1,000 per household on regional broadband rollout.

“With a minimum available wholesale speed of 25Mbps for all end-users, irrespective of their location or technology platform, Australia has set the bar far higher than seen in equivalent markets such as the United States, the UK, Canada or France,” the report said.

“Australia is notable as one of the few, non-city state, markets where government broadband objectives extend to 100 per cent of the population.

“Of the other markets surveyed in our report, all have more limited ambitions for serving the last five most remote per cent of the population than Australia.”

Currently delivering a top speed of 50/20Mbps on fixed wireless, nbn has already committed to launching a new nbn100 Fixed Wireless product aimed at the regional business segment in 2018.

Lauren Cella

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