The Better Internet for Rural, Regional & Remote Australia (BIRRR) rural broadband lobby has welcomed a $750 million injection into upgrades to NBN wireless infrastructure.
With $480 million from the federal government as well as $270 million of its own funds, NBN Co will be upgrading fixed wireless links to 5G, extending the fixed wireless footprint deeper into the Sky Muster satellite footprint, and rejigging plan allowances for Sky Muster users.
The Better Internet for Rural, Regional & Remote Australia (BIRRR) has praised the investment as “transformative” for regional users.
The organisation singled out the removal of Sky Muster metering except between 4pm and midnight, expanded Sky Muster data allowances to 90GB per month, and extended range from selected fixed wireless towers from 14km to 29km.
BIRRR co-founder Kristy Sparrow called the package “transformative for regional Australians”.
“Future-proofing connectivity in RRR areas by adopting and funding solutions that plan for future growth and investment in our regions will ensure that RRR regions are not disadvantaged due to their population and postcode," she said.
Sparrow noted that NBN Sky Muster Plus users will be able to freely use their connections for the majority of the day for everything they need to do online for the first time.
Dr Rachel Hay of James Cook University is BIRRR’s data analyst.
Hay said: “BIRRR submitted an extensive list of recommendations for improvements to regional connectivity in our 2021 Regional Telecommunications Review (RTIRC) submission and we are delighted to see some of our wishlist come to fruition.”