The company responsible for rolling out the National Broadband Network, NBN CO, has purchased pay TV provider, AUSTAR’s, 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum to roll out wireless broadband to rural and regional areas.
According to a joint statement released by both companies, NBN Co would pay AUSTAR $58m to the subsidiary company that holds the spectrum and another $62m to cover the subsidiary’s debt.
“Acquiring the AUSTAR spectrum will allow us to get on with the job of building services for rural and regional Australians,” NBN Co CEO, Mike Quigley, said in a statement.
Wireless services rolled out by NBN Co will be wholesaled at $24 a month and provide speeds of 12Mbps download and 1Mbps upload. Wireless broadband services are due to be delivered by mid 2012 and will be the main NBN access method for up to 7 per cent of Australias.
The deal was predicted in late 2010 by NBN critic, Bevan Slattery, as a likely scenario. He said the rural pay tv provider was the only company that held the right spectrum in the areas covered.
"Austar can probably extract a pretty good dollar from the Government for the spectrum,” he said in September 2010.