From the horse’s mouth
Rural Internet in Australia is to get a shot in the arm with the National Broadband Network to double the bandwidth available for the fixed-wireless and satellite rural services. This is through a technical improvement that is being made available for the satellite
The quoted improvements are from an initial 12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload to 25 Mbps download 5 Mbps upload. The NBN spokesman was even saying that the speeds would be better than the current ADSL2 copper deployments in urban areas. I would see this as yielding some real bandwidth for today’s requirements, especially catering for teleworking, small business and farming requirements as well as families separated by distance due to people heading for the country.
An issue to raise is how much of this bandwidth would be shared amongst the rural households and this could become an issue when neighbourhoods become more dense which can affect the the rural areas as people move to these areas. Personally, I would like to see some of the denser areas like small towns be able to consider the fibre-optic technology. On the other hand, the NBN fixed-wireless technology could support a “master-antenna” setup for those dense neighbourhoods that are at risk of experiencing reception difficulties due to topographical constraints.
At least this is the right step towards real Internet for people who live in the rural and remote areas in Australia.