Fixed-wireless upgrade brings faster internet to regions
REGIONAL and remote areas of the country will get faster internet access sooner than some city areas, as part of a satellite and fixed-wireless upgrade to the National Broadband Network.
The permanent satellite and fixed-wireless network will see download speeds of 25Mbps access provided through the satellite - or double the current speeds available on the copper network - by the end of 2015.
It will see specific upload and download speeds over the satellite network rise from initially forecast 12/1Mbps to 254/Mbps.
"This upgrade represents a doubling of speeds for the NBN's fixed wireless and satellite services," Senator Conroy.
"It will lead to improved education and health services for regional and remote Australia, as well as greater opportunities for small businesses and agriculture."
He said the higher download and upload speeds would also allow for high quality video conferencing to remote areas.
NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley said the satellite and fixed-wireless network would deliver upload speeds of up to 5Mbps, or five times as fast as the current satellite and fixed-wireless network.
"That will give people in the most isolated parts of the country access to economic and social opportunities that the rest of the country takes for granted," he said.
"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.
"Just as importantly, the NBN is helping to foster real competition, and that drives affordable prices for consumers.
"Every provider has equal access to the network and NBN Co's prices are the same in the city and the bush."
The prices offered by internet service providers to householders will also be pegged, so both city and regional customers will pay $27 a month for 25/5Mbps service and $24 a month for 12/1Mbps service.
For regional customers, the fixed-wireless speeds will be available from June this year, with the permanent satellite services to go live by the end of 2015.
For more information, or to see an interactive map to find out exactly when you can access the new speeds, go to the NBN's rollout page.