Telstra Country Wide Northern Region NSW area general manager Michael Marom checks out the new The Northern Star commuter bus.
Telstra Country Wide Northern Region NSW area general manager Michael Marom checks out the new The Northern Star commuter bus. Marc Stapelberg

First for regional Australia: Fast, free wi-fi on the bus

MOBILE download speeds of up to 50Mbps are now available on the new bus from Byron Bay to Lismore and return, in what is believed to be a first for regional Australia.

The new bus promotion is a collaboration between Social Futures, Transport for NSW, Blanch's Bus Company, The Northern Star and Telstra, which has made the 4GX network available free to passengers regardless of who their carrier is.

Free newspapers are also available on the 640X bus which leaves Byron Bay at 7.20am and travels to Southern Cross University in Lismore via Lennox Head, Ballina, Goonellabah and Spinks Park.

When it reaches the university the bus undergoes a number change to the 641X before returning to Byron Bay via Bexhill, Clunes and Bangalow.

In the afternoon the journey is repeated in the opposite direction, leaving Byron Bay at 3.55pm.

The area general manager of Telstra, Michael Marom, said the telco was happy with the collaboration and would be reviewing the success of the program and looking to expand it to other parts of Australia in the future.

"We're hoping to do the same thing up around Tweed as well," Mr Marom said. "Streaming services and social media are such an important part of people's lives now."

He also noted other worthy reasons to catch the bus such as environmental concerns and cost savings.

"And with the cost of petrol, if you've got efficient public transport, people are likely to use it," Mr Marom said.

See blanchs.com.au for the new bus timetable.


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