Speeding the way to wifi

Map courtesy of Gordon Waters
Map courtesy of Gordon Waters

NBN to Majors Creek was an incidental benefit of getting the network to reach Captains Flat.

Areas surrounding Braidwood have received the NBN through fixed wireless technology, which requires a line of sight from a transmitting tower for signal.

“It’s all part of giving the NBN to Captains Flat” says Gordon Waters of Highgate IT, “for some reason the path to get Captains Flat internet was from us.”

The radio waves used to transmit the internet signal bounce from the tower on Mount Gillamatong, to a tower at Majors Creek. The signal is there picked up by a tower at Mount Cronin, from which the tower at Captains Flat picks up the signal, providing the NBN to people living there.

The tower on Gillamatong links these towers to the main network through a fibre cable which connects the tower to Queanbeyan, the point at which the area is connected to the wider internet.

The technology has been available in Majors Creek since February of this year. 

“Compared to what we had, it’s made a big difference” says Mr Waters.

Businesses and families in the area have benefited from the higher speed internet, which allows them to use it more flexibly. Where is upload speed was in the past  4-5 megabits per second, it’s now 20.

“Having the better bandwidth, it’s just made a huge difference. Normally you’d struggle for one person to look at a bit of a Youtube clip” says Mr Waters.

He now gets around the same internet speed at home, through the NBN as he does at his business in Braidwood through an ADSL connection.

Braidwood is due to get the NBN mid-2018, through fixed line technology.

Fibre will be run down Wallace Street, connecting it to interconnect at Queanbeyan. At this stage, homes and businesses will connect through existing copper cabling.

This is a move away from the original model of the NBN, in which homes would be connected directly to the network by fibre cabling.

The technology should bring Braidwood’s internet speeds up to those of a major city, but the speed will be limited by the capacity of the existing copper infrastructure. 

Where the NBN has made a huge difference to internet speeds in Majors Creek, most people in Braidwood will probably not notice the difference, says Mr Waters. 

“If all you’re doing is checking your email, googling stuff and looking at Facebook, having a high speed internet as fast as what we will have here, will make little difference to those things” says Mr Waters. In contrast, businesses which need to upload and download large files will really notice the increased speed.