THE state’s regional residents are a step closer to connectivity as the National Broadband Network rollout passes a significant milestone.
The fixed-line rollout has been completed for all of regional SA, according to NBN local SA/NT head Tim Saul, with more than 140,000 businesses and residences able to connect to NBN internet.
Mr Saul said combined with other technology, such as fixed wireless and satellite, more than 230,000 premises in regional SA are already set to be connected.
He estimates there are still about 14,000 residences and businesses that require infrastructure to be put in place to access NBN.
“We haven’t finished the build in metropolitan areas yet,” he said.
“It’s great that regional SA is happening at the same time, if not ahead, of metro counterparts.”
Fixed line connection is primarily used in larger regional centres, such as Mount Gambier and Port Augusta, with options including fibre to the building, curb, or node.
Mr Saul said this rollout would provide for most of the region’s population.
Fixed wireless connection will make up the bulk of the remaining population, working by transmitting data across radio signals, from a tower to the premises.
Data can travel from a transmission tower in a line of sight as far as 14 kilometres.
Mr Saul said where possible, these transmission towers have been co-located on existing mobile towers, with about 30 per cent able to use this infrastructure.
The rest have needed to be constructed, with that process still ongoing.
He said there was also potential for mobile companies to take advantage of their towers to minimise mobile black spot areas.
“We would welcome discussions of leasing terms from mobile companies to co-locate,” he said.
Mr Saul said towers were in the construction or planning process on the outskirts of towns such as Millicent and Port Augusta, with others in the Mid North, Kimba and Adelaide Hills.
The remainder of SA’s rural premises, particularly those living in remote areas, will be able to access satellite services, through SkyMuster.
“There are almost 90,000 satellite users across the country,” Mr Saul said.
He said there was a “fair use” policy in place for satellite, to maintain good service to everyone, but in October the data allowance available was increased.
“This resulted in a significant increase in plan sizes and in the number of users,” he said.
He said the next goal was to keep improving satellite’s capacity for its business customers.
Mr Saul said statewide, more than 500,000 premises were ready to connect to NBN, with about 300,000 of those connected already.
REGIONAL EVENTS SHARE KNOWLEDGE
COUNTRY residents can find out more about their National Broadband Network rollout at a number of local community events.
NBN local SA/NT head Tim Saul said they had already visited more than 40 towns this year.
“It’s a chance to be available to educate the community through drop-in sessions,” he said.
Mr Saul said people's needs could be as simple as wanting their NBN letters explained, or finding out how to connect.
This week the SkyMuster truck has been in the NT, heading south to Adelaide.
It will be in Alice Springs, NT, on Friday and Coober Pedy on Monday, May 21, Roxby Downs on Tuesday, May 22 and Hawker on Wednesday, May 23.
- Details: nbn.com.au/regional