Access to fast Internet wins out over NBN tower objections: poll

Access to fast Internet wins out over NBN tower objections: poll

64 per cent of those polled will accept NBN tower construction if it results in faster broadband speeds

The majority of Australians would not object to a new National Broadband Network (NBN) tower in their area if it meant access to faster Internet, according to broadband comparison website, Compare Broadband.

It asked site visitors if they would object to a new NBN tower in their area.

Of the 610 people who responded to the poll, 64 per cent said they would accept one if it resulted in faster broadband speeds; 32 per cent said they would object because of environmental or health concerns; the remainder were unsure.

Ninety-three per cent of the Australian population will connect to the NBN through fibre optic cables, four per cent will connect to a 4G fixed wireless network, while the remaining three per cent will be covered by satellite services.

The fixed wireless network will serve smaller, rural communities where installing fibre cabling has been deemed to be too expensive.

Those connecting to the Internet on NBN Co's fixed wireless network will receive a 12Mbps connection – faster than an ADSL or current mobile broadband plan.

Work has commenced for connection to fixed wireless in: Tamworth, NSW; Darwin, NT; Toowoomba Queensland; Ballarat, Victoria; and Geraldton WA.

The fixed-wireless roll out is expected to be completed by 2015 and will require the construction of new mobile towers, up to 40 metres tall.

However, NBN Co has faced opposition to plans for new towers from communities involved in the initial roll out.

Several groups of residents near Ballarat have lodged protests against plans to build 20 new towers in the area.

According the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no convincing scientific evidence that signals from mobile towers cause adverse health effects.

NBN Co chief executive, Mike Quigley, has warned councils that rejecting planning permission for the structures would be restricting their communities to slower satellite connections at maximum speeds of 6Mbps.

Quigley said the roll out of the fixed wireless network could also be slowed by planning permission delays.

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