I have lived in rural (although not remote) locations most of my adult life. Experience has shown Telstra has never been interested in small unprofitable towns allowing them to fall so far behind they end up with unusable or non-existent services. This is why I was so excited about the NBN. At last a service dedicated to give rural users a service comparable to city users. Boy was I very naive.
As a user of the fixed wireless service I have been impressed at the good speeds I achieved. In fact at my current premises I was getting 60 mbps most of the time. Then the dropouts began, regular drops in speed sometimes in the single digits, and a very unreliable NBN. Unlike our city counterparts who are now guaranteed a minimum evening download, fixed wireless users have no minimum so slow speeds are of little concern.
It is not that fixed wireless could not be a reliable, fast service, it is that there is no priority to do it. In fact as the towers get more people connecting it is allowable to wait until it starts to grind to a halt before upgrading. Exactly the experience I had with Telstra before the NBN arrived. My biggest fear is that the government sells it back to Telstra and we return to square one.
So of course our regional federal politicians are not having this. Are they applying pressure and campaigning to make sure those “in the bush” get the minimum internet they require in 2020. No! I haven’t heard a word. My local federal member is too busy being a federal minister while the Nationals (remember when they were the “Country Party”) seem too busy navel gazing and worried about the leadership and incomes. To make it worse the opposition are offering nothing either.
So what next for regional user. 5G will be a slow roll out to rural users. In fact I could be retired by the time I get it. Our best hope is the satellite systems being put in by people like Elon Musk. Not only does it give rural users an alternative it pressures the NBN to supply a better service. I suspect our only hope because no matter how stupid and self interested you think our representatives are they can always do worse.