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NBN fixed wireless rollout reaches 500,000 premises

01 Jun 2017
NbnNews

More than half a million households are able to order fixed wireless services on the National Broadband Network, NBN said today.

The figure means that the planned rollout of fixed wireless is more than 80 per cent complete. NBN also revealed that so far only 175,000 eligible premises currently have active services, however.

Recent data released by NBN indicated that by the end of March across the network in total 4.6 million premises were able to order a service, although less than half those households — just over 2 million — had active connections.

NBN currently offers wholesale speeds of up to 50 megabits per second over fixed wireless, with the company planning to launch 100Mbps services in 2018.

Last month the company demonstrated downstream bandwidth of 1.1 gigabits per second and 165Mbps upstream using its wireless infrastructure. However, the launch of a commercial service with those speeds is unlikely for now due to spectrum constraints.

To continue reading the article: click here. (computerworld.com.au)

Safety issues flagged in business's black spot battle

01 Jun 2017
InTheNews

PROBLEMS with phone reception and internet is costing Lake Awoonga Boating and Leisure Hire business, and the owner has had enough.

Nigel 'Nudge' Trezise said for the three years they had almost been there they had been battling with Telstra.

"We've reported it a couple of times as a blackspot, we've been to the complaints department, we've been everywhere with it and nothing seems to be done about it," he said.

Mr Trezise said he could not receive NBN or broadband at the dam which was disappointing too.

"We do a lot on social media to promote business and if you can't upload a photo or go onto your Facebook page, it's very annoying," he said.

"We're missing phone calls all the time ... and then you have to stand in the right area just to call them back."

Besides the inconvenience of the situation, Mr Trezise said they had to use their mobile phones for internet, which cost a fortune.

To continue reading the article: click here. (cqnews.com.au)

Cities, not the bush, are the focus of phone services

01 Jun 2017
InTheNews

The myth in Telstra advertisements spruiking its regional mobile infrastructure spend is that it is doing so to help the bush when, in reality, it is all about marketing in the big cities.

The latest missive notes that 15 per cent of Telstra’s mobile spending is in parts of the country where only two per cent of the country lives.

It doesn’t sound like a great investment but then again Telstra also didn’t tell you it has received $1.9 billion in taxpayer funding to help build its regional mobile network, against $1.5 billion from its own pocket.

The big bucks in mobile come from the big cities and while most people would dial others in large cities for 98 per cent of their calls, everyone wants a service that works out the back of Bourke.

There is no logic to the desire — it’s just a reality of the market — which is why the ACCC decision not to declare mobile roaming was such a boon to Telstra and such a blow to Vodafone, which has spent less money investing in regional networks.

In fact Optus figures show that over the last two years applications to co-locate on its mobile towers have totalled 111 from Telstra, 87 from the NBN and just 16 for Vodafone.

To continue reading the article: click here. (theaustralian.com.au)

Mobile blackspot program: Central Victoria misses out

01 Jun 2017
InTheNews

CENTRAL Victoria will again miss out on mobile blackspot funding after failing to make the cut of the Federal Government’s “preferred locations” for the program’s third round.

The Government has selected 19 locations in Victoria for the final $60 million round — all in Coalition electorates.

The 125 locations selected nationwide — 29 in marginal, non-Government seats — were largely committed during last year’s federal election. The formal list of Round 3 locations was released this month.
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Corangamite and Casey, on Melbourne’s outer fringe, will receive four towers each; La Trobe, also in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, will receive three; Murray, Gippsland and Flinders, two each; and McMillan one.

It has prompted outrage from Labor-held Bendigo and McEwen, which received three and two towers respectively from the 141 allocated to Victoria in previous rounds of the program.

To continue reading the article: click here. (weeklytimesnow.com.au)

No legislation stopping NBN from becoming mobile provider

01 Jun 2017
NbnNews

--- Half way down article----

In response to a Question on Notice from Senator Anne Urquhart, NBN further admitted that there is no legislation preventing it from becoming a wholesale operator of a mobile network.

"The current legislation does not prevent NBN Co Limited (NBN Co) using any particular type of technology," NBN said.

"However, NBN Co's Statement of Expectations focuses on NBN Co providing services to premises (i.e. fixed locations)."

Vodafone Australia had last month argued in its submission to the Joint Standing Committee that NBN should provide a wholesale mobile service using its fixed-wireless infrastructure in order to allow mobile carriers to expand coverage throughout regional and rural areas across the country.

Calling the fixed-wireless network an "under-utilised" asset, Vodafone's said this would "maximise the benefit" of the millions of dollars being spent on building out the NBN.

"Delivery of a wholesale mobile service via fixed-wireless towers ... NBN Co's fixed-wireless is effectively delivered on the same LTE 4G network as is deployed by mobile operators, so could be accommodated relatively easily," Vodafone recommended.

To continue reading the article: click here. (zdnet.com)

Macedon Ranges mobile coverage still in the dark

30 May 2017
InTheNews

Macedon Ranges phone and internet black spots have been overlooked in the next round of the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

The area has not been listed as a government priority location, so will not get any of the $60 million allocated in the 2017-18 federal budget for 125 new base stations in round three of the program.

Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters said she was “bitterly disappointed” that the more than 100 black spots in the Macedon Ranges would not receive even a single new tower.

“The number of black spots in the area has been well established,” she said. “The federal, state, and local governments are aware of them.

“The government say they prioritise areas that are at risk of bushfire, and areas of productivity and farming – that’s the Macedon Ranges.”

Absent and poor telecommunications coverage in the region impedes safety, business productivity, education, social connectedness and access to services, a 2014 study into Macedon Ranges telecommunications black spots found.

“No warning text messages received when large fire threatened Gisborne South this summer,” one survey participant said.

“Relatives and friends are quite often unable to contact us at times of power loss – this is a concern if there is an emergency,” said another.

To continue reading the article: click here. (starweekly.com.au)

Braddon MP Justine Keay calls for mobile phone coverage clarity

30 May 2017
TelstraNews

The federal government needs to confirm when mobile phone reception at Sisters Beach will be fixed, Braddon MP Justine Keay said.

Ms Keay’s call for clarity comes amid the ongoing rollout of the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, which aims to improve infrastructure and coverage in remote and regional areas.

“The Government needs to provide an explanation why the original date of May 19 for the launch of a mobile phone tower in Sisters Beach has been changed to June 29,” Ms Keay said.

“While Telstra has indicated the tower is expected to be switched on within a week or so from now, why has the Government dragged this out so long?”

“Considering this tower has taken almost two years to deliver I certainly hope the launch date was not changed just so someone in a shiny suit could come and flick the switch.”

To continue reading the article: click here. (theadvocate.com.au)

North Barraba left without mobile service for two weeks

27 May 2017
TelstraNews

Barraba residents have endured over a fortnight without mobile phone service in the northern end of town, before Telstra technicians finally fixed the problem on Thursday.

While neighbours Manilla have suffered a series of Telstra faults over the past 12 months, Barraba residents have had almost no complaints since a new tower went in over two years ago, until this “transmission issue” occurred on May 10.

Resident Peter Dwyer said that while he understood that infrastructure breaks down from time to time, what frustrated himself, and others, was Telstra’s response to the problem, or lack thereof.

“I noticed that it went out in the northern end of town on May 10 and thought that Telstra would fix it, so I gave them a few days before making contact on Twitter a week later, and then on their faults line,” Mr Dwyer said.

To continue reading the article: click here. (northerndailyleader.com.au)

Black spot blame game

27 May 2017
InTheNews

Former Labor candidate for the seat Parkes Kate Stewart has accused Mark Coulton and the Nationals of failing the electorate on mobile coverage.

Ms Stewart, who contested the 2016 election, said it wasn’t good enough that more than half of Parkes’ 393,413 square kilometres were classified as mobile black spots.

However Mr Coulton said the Coalition had worked to install more than 700 new towers under the mobile black spot program and was also working with telecommunications companies to update existing towers with the latest technology.

He said it was Labor who had failed to address the problem by not addressing black spots during their six years in power.

Ms Stewart said the Coalition were leaving thousands in the electorate without decent coverage.

“Mark and the Nationals keep talking about how terrible the situation is but he has been a Member of Parliament since 2007 and his party has been in government since 2013. What has he done?,” she said.

To continue reading the article: click here. (dailyliberal.com.au)

Grose Vale and St Albans promised mobile black spot fixes

27 May 2017
InTheNews

GROSE Vale and St Albans have been included in a list of areas marked as priorities for upgraded mobile coverage.

The federal government recently released its Mobile Black Spot Program – Government Priority List, which includes Grose Vale and St Albans.

Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman has suggested that while the two locations have been included on the list, an actual solution may not be delivered until sometime in 2019.

The Gazette has contacted Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash for clarification on this point, and will update this story when we receive a response.

Regardless of when the towers come, the news was welcomed by Macdonald Valley resident Ian Burns-Woods.

Mr Burns-Woods is on the Macdonald Valley Association and the publican of the Settlers Arms Inn, which he said has aggressively lobbied for a mobile tower to be built in the area for years.

To continue reading the article: click here. (hawkesburygazette.com.au)

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