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Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Page: 4746


(Question No. 111)

Mr Fletcher asked the Minister representing the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, in writing, on 25 November 2010.

In respect of the statement by the Minister: 'Let me be really clear about this; you cannot monitor somebody 24/7, every second, on an existing fixed wireless network or on some of the copper that we have in the ground.' (Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, Supplementary Budget Estimates , 19 October 2010, page 116): (a) what implications does this have for those Australians in areas where the National Broadband Network will operate over wireless; and (b) is this statement consistent with the claims made in Product Overview, Wireless Access Services (NBN Co Limited, August 2010, page 6), that (i) wireless services will '…provide speeds of 12 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to mass market customers and 4 Mbps upstream for business customers at launch.', and (ii) the wireless product features '…draw on the capabilities of the latest wireless technology to deliver maximum performance and a consistent and predictable service experience.'

Mr Albanese: The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(a) In areas where the National Broadband Network will operate over wireless, NBN Co will deploy next generation wireless technologies that are capable of providing reliable broadband services enabling the delivery of high quality services, such as e-health services and in-home tele-monitoring.

While fibre optic is the most future-proof technology available, with the capacity to deliver broadband speeds far beyond the government's stated 100 megabits per second objective, next generation wireless technologies will still play an important role in Australia's broadband landscape and are well suited to providing services to areas with low population density.

In lower population density areas, where the NBN will operate via next generation wireless or satellite technologies, NBN users will still be able to access broadband services with peak speeds of at least 12 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabit per second upstream, which is faster than the average fixed broadband service experienced by most Australians today.

(b) (i) Yes

(ii) Yes