Four new sites for broadband towers on the Northern Rivers

THE rollout of NBN fixed wireless towers across the Northern Rivers continues, with four new sites announced by NBN Co this week.

The new towers at Newrybar, Knockrow, Alstonville (north) and Goolmangar are expected to provide high speed broadband to 809 premises, according to NBN Co.

There are now 14 towers either built or under construction in the region, including two in Casino, two south of Alstonville, and towers at Hayters Hill and Woodburn.

Some residents in those areas could expect an NBN internet service by the end of the year, a spokesman said.

Exactly how many towers are ultimately planned for the region remains unknown, but 33 sites are under way from Tweed to as far south as the Clarence Valley.

A review of the towers released in May predicted regional Australia would require double the number originally planned, with the estimates jumping from 1500 to 2900.

One option put forward in the report was to "fully substitute" towers in place of faster but more expensive fibre-optic broadband so some households could get broadband sooner.

While it might come sooner, that also means some urban areas in the region may end up with internet at best a quarter the speed of the fibre optic technology rolled out in the major cities.

For rural and rural-residential areas of our region, distance and topography means towers or a satellite service are the only option available.

The May report also recommended that NBN Co "proactively" join forces with mobile operators, allowing them to piggy-back infrastructure on NBN's towers, or vice versa.

Topics:  national broadband network nbn

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