Telstra restates its NBN fixed wireless speeds

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Telstra restates its NBN fixed wireless speeds

Scales back optimism.

Telstra has revealed a more conservative set of numbers for the speed of NBN fixed wireless services during the evening peak, six months after becoming the first telco to publish fixed wireless data.

The new set of numbers offer a less optimistic view of performance expectations for fixed wireless services during the busy evening hours.

Back in March, Telstra said that “around 50 percent of customers achieve [typical minimum] speeds greater than 5Mbps (download)” on NBN12 fixed wireless plans in the 7pm to 11pm evening peak.

That guidance still stands, but has been augmented by a new fact sheet that shows the typical minimum speed for all NBN12 users is in the “2-5Mbps download” range in the evening.

Likewise, Telstra had previously said - and maintains - that “around 50 percent of customers achieve [typical minimum] speeds greater than 10Mbps (download)” on NBN25 fixed wireless plans in the same period.

The new fact sheet, however, states that the typical minimum speed for all NBN25 fixed wireless users is “2-10Mbps (download)”.

(Above) Telstra's March 2018-published fixed wireless numbers.
(Above) How Telstra will now present fixed wireless speed numbers.

Given Telstra broke new ground by even publishing fixed wireless statistics - it is under no obligation to, based on Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) rules - it appears the way it reports them is still a work-in-progress.

It is understood that Telstra decided internally to report fixed wireless speeds in the same manner as it did for fixed line services, rather than continue with different metrics.

It is also understood that between the old percentage and new speed range, there is no change to the underlying data; that is, performance expectations remain the same, but have just been restated.

NBN Co is in the midst of an upgrade program of work to remediate its worst-performing fixed wireless sites.

The upgrade program is partly to blame for a recent blowout on NBN Co’s expenses; the company will spend $800m more than expected on the fixed wireless network, and will need to cover that by raising additional debt.

The company has blamed take-up and usage rates for higher-than-expected congestion on the fixed wireless network.

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