Matt Dawson

By: Matt Dawson

Matt Dawson is the Satellite Program Director at nbn.

Launch of our historic first specialist broadband satellite getting closer…

After more than five years of hard work and planning we are getting close to launching our historic Sky Muster (NBN-1A) satellite into orbit from French Guiana. It’s an extraordinarily exciting time for everyone on the nbn™ Satellite team and for the rural Australians who will benefit from the service.

Right now Sky Muster is about to come out of storage at its manufacturer SS Loral in California having already passed its testing procedures – and we will shortly begin preparations to ship it to French Guiana.

What’s more, we are also making good progress with the construction of our second satellite, NBN-1B, which is getting ready to enter the antenna pattern measurement phase at SS Loral.

Not just about the satellites

Although we are proud of the progress made on our two satellites there is a lot more to our nbn™ Satellite platform than just the satellites.

For example, our engineering team has been working with our partners at ViaSat on testing out our ground-based technology, most especially testing our 10 Ground Stations and ensuring connectivity can be established all the way back to nbn’s central data processing centres via our national transit network.

We have also been planning with our partners at Ericsson how we will migrate existing Interim Satellite Service users across to the new nbn™ Satellite – and on how we are going to connect premises in the most remote corners of our country such as Christmas Island and Lord Howe Island to the nbn™ Satellite Service.

Putting a product together

We have been working hard engaging with our industry partners, most particularly our Retail Service Partners (RSPs), to make sure we offer them a wholesale product that enables them to offer Australians innovative and competitive retail plans – that’s what the nbn is all about.

We have also selected three RSP partners to help us test out Sky Muster once it has launched and is operational, this will involve the testing and optimisation of each satellite beam on Sky Muster to make sure they are working properly – this will run from December to March.

After the testing has begun, we will also launch a customer field trial which will allow us to conduct “real world” testing prior to commercial deployment. It will also enable nbn to gather additional operating data to help improve the performance of the service.

There has been a huge amount of work done by everyone working on the nbn™ Satellite program and we are so proud and excited about bringing access to world-class broadband to hundreds of thousands of rural Australians.

Matt Dawson

By: Matt Dawson

Matt Dawson is the Satellite Program Director at nbn.
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