NBN Co is continuously looking for ways to boost planned peak speeds for National Broadband Network (NBN) wireless and satellite services, according to NBN Co chief, Mike Quigley, but it will not commit to anything unless it can guarantee faster speeds for all users.
The NBN footprint will consist of 93 per cent fibre and 7 per cent alternative broadband technologies. Fixed-wireless and satellite services will be used for rural or remote areas.
Interim satellite services are already in place and NBN Co has announced locations where fixed-line LTE wireless broadband will be available soon.
At the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) Our Broadband Future conference in Sydney, Quigley, said, currently, the peak speeds for both NBN services is slated at 12Mbps download and 1Mbps upload.
“While we have offered 12Mbps download and 1Mbps upload, we are looking at what the technologies can do,” he said.
“[With LTE], theoretically we can get higher speeds but we look at whether we’re going to be able to deliver that to everybody in the cell – even to the cell edge – to ensure we can deliver it in a reliable way.
“We are looking now at whether some of these speeds can go higher but we will only increase speeds once we are confident we can provide those speeds to everybody in the cell.”
Each NBN base station can serve more than 15 premises.
Peak speeds, of course, doesn’t mean all users covered by a cell will be able to get 12Mbps download speed at all times.
Quigley was quick to point out limitations external to the wholesaler’s network, such as in-house routers or dimensioning from NBN retail service providers may impact speeds delivered by the network.
“What we are dimensioning for on the fixed-wireless service, the busy-hour throughput is around 500kbps,” he said.
“With the maximum number of people in a cell, if they are streaming the same video at the same time, they are all guaranteed this speed; that is at least five if not ten times more than the busy-hour throughput offered by DSL in metropolitan areas, so it’s a huge step."
The probability of all the people in the cell streaming the same video at the same time is extremely low, according to Quigley.
“On the satellite service, we are dimensioning at 300kbps for average busy-hour throughput and that’s a huge advance from what was offered by the Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG).”
The ABG is the now defunct Government scheme which was set up to give metro-comparable Internet access to users in broadband deprived areas. It was recently replaced by the NBN interim satellite service.
According to Quigley, the under the ABG, the average throughput speed during peak usage hours was about 7-10kbps.
The ACCAN Our Broadband Future conferences continues.