CHOICE membership

NBN fixed wireless



As an educational aside cherry picking is seasonal!

In Australia generally from late spring into summer lasting around three months.

In the USA the season spans from May to August.

Important to know when fresh Cherries, product of the USA appear on the store shelves leading into Christmas.


Cherry picking on the internet isn’t seasonal however.


For Heaven’s sake!

It’s my web site. I linked to avoid cluttering the thread with unnecessary detail.

Sometimes, I wonder why I bother.


Hopefully for the same reasons the rest of us bother. Because we are concerned, and are seeking a better way forward.

Although with NBN Fixed Wireless we have a limited ability to influence the outcomes.

For some the option of hanging on to a mediocre ADSL2 service may be an option. Alternately transitioning to a mobile carriers data service over 4G or future 5G may become a realistic lower usage option.

It may be in the best interests of the NBN Co to minimise the ability of alternatives to deliver competition.

Testing the arguments or seeking advice and information in support of change is of value. Unfortunately alone discussion on this forum is unlikely to deliver change. That IMHO is something that needs to be directed in person to the respective local Federal Members and respective ministers.


A bit from NBNco:


Interesting photo. Taken for publicity perhaps? I have had the NBN fixed wireless, the TV aerial, the solar hot water and I think 4 satellite dishes for various services installed on my roof over a period of years. Not one worker wore any safety harness.


You should see what solar PV installers can do using only a ladder while carrying two panels at the same time.

They charge extra for two story roofs. An extra 2.5m and 8 steps on the ladder might be the only difference.

P.S. to stay on topic I drive past our future NBN Fixed Wireless tower site last week. Still a pile of dirt and weeds in the back corner of a paddock. Nil action!


They’re supposed to abide by OH&S regulations. Whether they do or not seems to depend on the individual installer. I’ve seen the whole gamut, from no safety gear at all to so many ropes and harnesses that they got tangled up and pulled my TV dish out of alignment.

My last was the NBN Fixed Wireless. The installer laboriously screwed brackets to the roof every step of the way. He told me that he’d actually omitted a few of the approved precautions to save time.

Meanwhile, Huawei is campaigning to use 5G to fix NBN wireless:

Spare spectrum? Not according to anyone in the industry that I know.


Now with wireless power!


Always keep a fully charged mobile as well as a good internet plan for the mobile, and hope the thieves don’t find that tower too. NBN, the Spirit of Australian Governmental responsibility. :laughing:


Events have now overtaken the original plan. Fixed wireless and satellite were only ever stopgaps. That’s now becoming ever more comically impossible to deny.

Spending on infrastructure is a problem, only if we expect the job to be ‘finished’ this year (or if we’re still living in a fantasy world where privatisation works).


What was the ‘final’ plan for remote areas that are now serviced by satellite? My understanding is they used an existing commercial satellite system ( that was superseded tech, IPSTAR I think) as the stopgap before the two purpose built satellites were ready. It may be that the new satellites (or their links) were way underpowered for the need but that is another matter.

FW tech is quite capable of providing quite adequate service but implementation was stinted so that the current nodes are overloaded in some cases but not all. Is that what you mean by stopgap?

I am not playing word games, to me stopgap is when you know full well the solution has a very limited lifetime, it looks to me that the planners thought they had an enduring solution but made a different error, of grossly underestimating the requirement.


The original objective was to give at least 90% of the population FTTP (subject to an implementation study), this base 90% was raised after the study to around 93%. The other 7% would for the forseeable future under the Rudd budget of around $43 Billion spend, be done by Satellite (25% of the that 7% or roughly 3% of connections) and Fixed Wireless (75% of that 7% or roughly 4%). The 7% would over time decrease as more fibre was rolled out as the NBN Co became privatised and the owners implemented improvements. Some would on that basis remain on FW or Satellite for some considerable time but taken at that level the service they would receive would have been much better as there would be fewer sharing those limited services.

From the study:

" Set coverage objective as fibre to 93 percent, fixed-wireless and satellite from 94 to 97 percent and satellite-only from 98 percent—achievable within estimated expenditure of $43 billion

Government’s initial policy announcement set an objective of providing fibre to 90 percent of premises and using wireless and satellite technologies to deliver at least 12 Mbps to those 10 percent of premises expected to be beyond the reach of fibre. Based on detailed geospatial modelling of every address in Australia, the Implementation Study recommends that the NBN coverage objective be adjusted to take fibre to 93 percent of premises by the end of the 8-year roll-out. Another 4 percent of premises should be covered by a commercially-tendered fixed-wireless service delivering at least 12 Mpbs—and much greater speeds for many premises in the coverage area. NBN Co should provide a wholesale Ka-band satellite service to ensure at least 12 Mbps is delivered to the remaining 3 percent of premises, and also to provide a coverage option to the 4 percent of premises within the fixed-wireless footprint. "

Instead we now have about at least 7% but likely 10% or more on FW and about 3 or more percent on Satellite (with poor uptake of the satellite option at the moment). This large increase was never accounted for and is why there is so much extra money required by NBN Co from the Govt to address the congestion on the FW and Satellite services."

For the 2010 review see:


Netflix and others were always going to be a large part of Internet usage by the time the first NBN design was being developed. Anyone who couldn’t recognise this at the time the ‘multi-technology mix’ was being foisted upon us was either an idiot or wilfully ignorant - and in either event has wasted billions of dollars of our money on building a 20th century solution to a 21st century problem!


The ‘final’ plan was that the NBN would be ‘finished’, then privatised.

What’s ‘adequate’ now is quite likely to prove inadequate next week. By stopgap, I mean no technology (available or probable) except optical fibre will meet foreseeable demand. We should continue pushing fibre to the logical limit. With telecommunications infrastructure, that limit is when we have to turn around and start replacing the oldest of what we’ve put in.

As to the implementation, the 2011 network design rules showed ‘up to’ 1440 premises sharing ‘up to’ 900 Mb/s. The 2016 rules showed ‘up to’ 2640 premises sharing the same ‘up to’ 900 Mb/s. The 2018 plan increases the backhaul to ‘up to’ 4Gbps, but there are no explicit plans to upgrade existing towers. There’s some suggestion that the number of premises has been reduced, but that isn’t reflected in any of the documents I’ve seen. If you can find the documents, see section 2.7.6 Wireless Access Planning Hierarchy.

Perhaps they thought it would be good enough to carry them through to privatisation. So satellite and wireless ‘stopped the gap’ to that point.


OK but how do you do that in regional areas (now FW) and remote areas (now sat.)? Are you suggesting running fibre to them all? Where is the logical limit for fibre?


Or where is the logical limit for Fixed Wireless?

How many customers can a FW tower realistically support, micro wave meshed or direct fibre connected? And deliver an equal level of service.


As many as we can get to in the timeframe.

As much as we can build within the service life of the fibre. As Quigley said in Senate Estimates:
We speak to the manufacturers of fibre. They simply do not know how long the fibre will last because they can see no mechanism by which it would degrade-unlike copper …
Most commentators go with a century. Of course, that would mean keeping the infrastructure in the public sector.

Tonight’s 730 on town-dwellers relegated to fixed wireless: NBN Slowdown.


Regardless of cost? What about remote areas where the user is 10s or even 100s of km from mains power, a town or main road?

NBN fibre to the premises - what are the real costs, benefits and value?