Television towers should be a foundation of the National Broadband Network (NBN), according to tower operator, Broadcast Australia.
Broadcast Australia director of business development, Chris Jaeger, said he was lobbying the company responsible for the FTTH rollout, NBNco, in an effort to convince it that TV towers are ready to host wireless broadband connections.
“Ninety per cent of homes are going to be [connecting to] fibre and certainly that’ll be the case in cities and towns. What we’re looking at more are outlying areas,” Jaeger said. “Our sites can get out to the farms and remote communities and they are unique in terms of their location.
“These sites also have all the power and building infrastructure to allow these networks to be built on them.”
Jaeger said WiMax and LTE networks, such as those being built in Perth by VividWireless, would be the ideal solution when used in conjunction with satellite Internet, but stressed that Broadcast Australia would not seek to become an ISP or carrier in its own right.
“Using television technology, we get to between 97 to 98 per cent of the population,” he said. “What we could do is provide a fully managed service network, in partnership with others or by ourselves, to build and operate open networks that could be used by all carriers and service providers.
“There are lot of business models available… we’re open at the moment in our discussions with these parties as to what model works best and that’ll be determined based on how the technology can be planned and designed to provide the service.”
Broadcast Australia would look to have various solutions for consideration within the first half of this year, Jaeger said.
“Our aim is to be very cost-effective,” he said.