NBN Co no longer planning to offer 100Mbps speeds over fixed-wireless network

29 May 2018

NBN Co CEO executive Bill Morrow has revealed that his company has axed plans to offer maximum downlink speeds of 100Mbps to all customers connecting via its fixed-wireless infrastructure. According to ABC News the executive confirmed the decision at a Senate Estimates committee meeting, with Mr Morrow clarifying the economic argument against such an idea by stating that the rollout of a network that would consistently achieve speeds of 100Mbps would cost ‘billions and billions of dollars’, and noting: ‘The economics … [start] to actually break apart to a point where it doesn’t make any sense … It would just never happen.’

Once NBN Co’s fixed-wireless rollout is complete it is expected to be available to more than 600,000 customers in rural and remote regions, and in January this year the operator had told the Australian parliament that half of those would be able to connect at speeds of up to 100Mbps. Defending the volte-face, however, Morrow claimed that there was ‘not mass-market demand for 100Mbps services’, while also arguing: ‘There is no economic model that would work … [especially when] it’s hard to find applications that warrant the need for 100Mbps.’

Meanwhile, the development has prompted Australia’s Labor government to demand an explanation regarding the scrapping of 100Mbps fixed-wireless services, with regional communications spokesman Stephen Jones cited as saying: ‘They promised this with great fanfare … For them to now walk away from that is a slap in the face for rural and regional consumers … I’ll be calling on the NBN to rethink this.’

Australia, NBN Co