Following testing, NBN Co has increased the maximum download and upload speeds that will apply to customers who connect using its fixed wireless and satellite services. When those services roll out in 2015, they will have a maximum download speed of 25Mbps and upload speed of 5Mbps, up from the previously planned limits of 12Mbps down/1Mbps up.
Satellite picture from Shutterstock
Communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy announced the changes in an interview on ABC Radio this morning. Remember: satellite and fixed wireless will only be used in areas where it isn't economical to connect fibre, which is estimated to be around 7 per cent of the population.
NBN Co already offers an interim satellite service for remote consumers, for use ahead of the planned 2015 deployment of the full service. That only runs at 512Kbps/128Kbps, and typically only has a 3GB data allowance each month. Despite that, it has proven popular; right now, more people are connected to the temporary satellite service than to fibre connections, according to published NBN takeup figures. NBN Co is predicting that this will have changed by mid-year.
The enhanced speed means that the satellite and wireless service matches the cheapest speed available on the NBN fibre networks. So far, higher speed connections have (unsurprisingly) proven more popular in areas where fibre is available. (Check our NBN Planhacker for comprehensive details of all the plans available.)