Telco and NBN provider Swoop has announced a successful grant from the federal government’s Regional Connectivity Program that will assist with its $3.4 million plan to upgrade the internet in three agricultural regions of Western Australia.
Swoop operates NBN plans, some of which are Fixed Wireless services, the kind of plans you’d expect to see in regional and rural parts of Australia. It’s generally a slower type of NBN, but now with government assistance, the telco will be improving broadband networks in Western Australia.
Harvey, Brunswick and Busselton (all agriculture-heavy regions of south-west Western Australia) are set to benefit from the multimillion-dollar upgrade. If Swoop’s NBN upgrades happen, it’ll result in faster internet speeds across those areas.
Some 8,400 businesses and properties are set to receive improvements on the fixed wireless service, with speeds of up to 150Mbps to be rolled out in the mentioned regions. New signal towers will be built under the plan, covering 850 square kilometres in the Harvey region. New towers are also planned in the Busselton region, covering 500 square kilometres. The towers will assist in filling blackspots, Swoop said.
150Mbps is a pretty fast internet speed, but keep in mind that it’s also the maximum speed that Swoop currently provides NBN Fixed Wireless customers with. For example, while 30Mbps, 60Mbps, 100Mbps and 120Mbps are also available from Swoop, your true speed is largely dependent on your distance from the signal tower. These upgrades will help with this, but it will remain true.
Both major political parties have plans for regional and rural Australian internet going into the 2022 Federal Election (which is later this month), and in April, it was announced that the Australian government is investing $480 million into the Fixed Wireless NBN network.
Fixed Wireless NBN is known for being one of the slowest kinds of NBN in the country. As it’s delivered through radio signals, Fixed Wireless NBN is not only unable to achieve the same speeds as fixed-line NBN (like FTTP, HFC, FTTN and others) but it also has latency issues similar to 4G internet.
The funding is set to be delivered jointly through Swoop itself and the second round of the Regional Connectivity Program. Upwards of 70 per cent of funding will come from the program, with numbers still being finalised.