The National Broadband Network will connect approximately 7% of all premises in the country to wireless networks. They consist of an LTE-based component that will cover 5%, with a satellite-based network dealing with the remaining 2%. In all, just under one million premises will be affected. In December 2015 NBN (formerly NBN Co) introduced an upgrade of the infrastructure with new speeds of up to 50Mb/s download.
The uptake of these services has been significantly underestimated. In a 2014 review, the forecasted uptake of these services was increased from 230,000 to 620,000 premises. This had a significant impact on the rollout, increased its costs by $1.4 billion.
Under the previous government, NBN had purchased 2.3GHz spectrum from Austar and signed a $1 billion build-and-operate contract with Ericsson. Under that contract, Visionstream started construction in late 2011. NBN also commissioned the two ka-band satellites, costing some $2 billion. An interim satellite service has been made available.
Under the original NBN plan the fixed wireless roll out was planned to be finalised in 2016, the current plan is that this will not happen before 2020. The roll out finally started to gather pace in 2015.
The wireless roll out had bipartisan support and is therefore not affected by the ideological political discussions that are taking place in relation to the fixed network.
After the successful launch of the first NBN satellite, services started to be rolled out in mid 2016, the second satellite is set for launch in October 2016.
This report provides the background information to these network developments and follows the developments as they happen throughout the building phase.
NBN; Austar; Ericsson; Visionstream; Optus, iiNet, Internode, Rivertel, CSIRO, Space Systems/Loral, gilat Satellite Networks, Bordernet, Clear Networks, Harbour IT, SkyMesh, Active8me, Reachnet, ViaSat
Number of pages 22
Last updated 22 Feb 2017
Analyst: Phil Harpur
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