NBN fixed-wireless rollout delays not due to network interference, minister says

19 Jun 2013

Both NBN Co and communications minister Stephen Conroy have refuted claims by the shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull that the rollout of the fixed-wireless element of the National Broadband Network (NBN) has stalled due to interference issues. According to ZDNet Australia, Malcolm Turnbull claims that the NBN’s fixed-wireless LTE-based infrastructure interferes with the existing network operated by local cellco Optus follow reports that NBN Co is struggling to meet its rollout targets. It has been suggested that, with the fixed-wireless network having been due to cover some 70,000 premises by end-June, it may not even reach half of that figure. However, despite it having been said that the rollout difficulties were the result of poor premises location information among other things, Mr Turnbull is cited as having said: ‘If the NBN Co has acquired spectrum which in the areas where it overlaps with Optus creates interference issues, now that’s going to require some delicate sorting out. They may have to exchange some frequencies.’ In response, an NBN Co spokesperson was said to have denied that such a spectrum issue was delaying the wireless rollout. For its part, an Optus spokesperson made a statement regarding the matter, noting: ‘Spectrum coordination to avoid interference within geographic areas is a normal part of building telecommunications networks … As per global industry practice, Optus has been in constructive dialogue with NBN Co to put in place a series of practical network guidelines to prevent interference where NBN Co base stations are located close to Optus base stations.’

Australia, NBN Co, Optus Mobile