The Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) standards have changed to increase the minimum Internet speed requirements for registered ISPs.
ABG was set-up to give metro-comparable Internet access to users in broadband deprived areas. The initiative pays a subsidy to ISPs willing to provide decent Internet services to affected users.
Under the new program, minimum download speeds have been bumped up from 512kbps and 128kbps to 1mbps and 256kbps respectively. Data allowance has increased from 3GB to 6GB per month. Equipment warranty has jumped from one year to at least three years.
Customers already signed up under the program will be covered under the new standards. According to Minister for Broadband, Senator Stephen Conroy, the move was spurred by positive consultation with a number of satellite and wireless ISPs.
"This enhanced ABG program is about delivering better broadband services in the lead up to the rollout of the National Broadband Network [NBN]," he said in a statement.
The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has tested the performance and coverage of Telstra’s NextG wireless network and found it to be metro-comparable. The ABG will stop subsidising new customer connections across NextG service areas, excluding blackspots, from July 1.