NBN Co, the company overseeing the construction and management of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) has announced the local government areas for which it will lodge planning proposals to deliver high-speed fixed-wireless broadband. Commenting on the plans, NBN Co’s community account manager, Chris Gregory noted: ‘Subject to final planning and other approvals, the fixed wireless network plans to cover parts of ten council areas in South Australia and it is expected facilities will start to be switched on in stages from mid-2014’. Over the coming months, NBN Co has said that, alongside its design and construction partners, it will work with local governments to identify appropriate locations for fixed wireless network infrastructure in parts of Mid Murraylands, South East, Far South East and Kangaroo Island. The council areas where work is expected to be carried out have been listed as: Coorong District Council; District Council of Grant; District Council of Yankalilla, Kangaroo Island Council, Karoonda East Murray Council, Mid Murray Council, Murray Bridge Council, Naracoorte Lucindale Council, Tatiara District Council, Wattle Range Council and West Wimmera Shire Council (Victoria).
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as part of the NBN deployment, fixed-wireless services are expected to be rolled out to around 4% of the population which will not be covered by the in-deployment fibre-optic network. In June 2011 the company emerged as the biggest winner in the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA’s) auction of spectrum in the 2300MHz band, with NBN Co bagging 24 of the 40 concessions that were up for grabs for a total of AUD1.33 million (USD1.4 million). On the back of its spectrum acquisition, which covers Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, outback Queensland and far west New South Wales, NBN Co said that it had ‘all the geographic coverage it needed from [the] auction for its wireless network.’