NBN Co selects Broken Hill for satellite centre


Western NSW facility to help deliver fast broadband to the outback

Broken Hill in the far west of New South Wales has been selected as the location for an NBN satellite ground station that will play a crucial role in providing Australians in isolated areas with access to fast broadband.

The facility will be an essential transmission centre to help deliver services over the National Broadband Network to remote communities such as Menindee, Purnamoota, Yanco Glen and Kanbara.

NBN Co plans to construct a single-storey building with two 13.5-metre diameter satellite dishes on a site approximately nine kilometres east of the city on the Barrier Highway.

The centre is also expected to provide a boost to the local economy when construction begins next year. NBN contractor Cockram Construction will require an estimated 20-30 construction workers to build the facility, which is expected to be up and running by 2015.

Welcoming news of the investment in the region, Broken Hill City Council Mayor Wincen Cuy said:

"The NBN satellite centre further cements Broken Hill's reputation as the Capital of the Outback. We're proud to play a central role in a nation-building project that will help people in rural and remote Australia become better connected with one another and the wider world."

The NBN is an important national infrastructure project that plans to connect every home, farm and business in Australia to high speed broadband via fibre optic cable, fixed wireless and satellite within the next decade. The city of Broken Hill itself will be included in the fibre network.

The NBN's Interim Satellite Service already delivers reliable, high-speed broadband to more than 17,000 premises across Australia, with wholesale download speeds of up to 6 Mbps* offered to internet service providers.

The satellite ground station will be one of 10 such facilities nationwide that will support the NBN Co's Long Term Satellite Service, which is expected to begin operating in 2015. Two NBN communications satellites are currently under construction and are designed to deliver wholesale speeds of up to 12Mbps* to internet service providers.

Matt Dawson, NBN Co's Program Director, Satellites, said: "Broken Hill is ideally situated to play a central role in delivering better broadband to the outback. It has the ideal climate and is close to reliable power and other infrastructure including the NBN's core fibre transit network- the main fibre transmission lines linking towns and our exchanges."

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Notes to Editors

  • NBN Co's Long Term Satellite Service is a $2 billion national infrastructure investment designed to provide high-speed broadband coverage to homes, businesses and farms in some of the most isolated communities in Australia
  • NBN Co plans to build 10 satellite ground stations of which nine locations have been identified to date: NSW (Broken Hill, Bourke, Wolumla), Tasmania (Geeveston), SA (Ceduna), WA (Geraldton, Carnarvon, Kalgoorlie), Qld (Roma)
  • NBN Co's two purpose-built Ka-band satellites will have multiple high-capacity beams designed specifically to deliver a dedicated high-quality broadband service to people living and working in remote locations. That is different to other communications satellites that will ordinarily split capacity between a number of tasks such as satellite phones and broadcast television, or between a number of countries
  • The Long Term Satellite Service is designed to provide retail service providers with a download speed of up to 12Mbps* at the wholesale level. This is the same basic wholesale speed and AVC access price ($24 per month) that is being offered across the fibre and fixed wireless networks
  • Services provided over NBN Co's wholesale high-speed broadband network will be available to internet service providers on non-discriminatory terms. Service providers are expected to offer a range of plans and packages to consumers and businesses
  • The full eligibility criteria for NBN Co's Interim Satellite Service can be found on the NBN Co website www.nbnco.com.au/satellite or by calling 1800 881 816

* NBN Co is designing the NBN to be capable of delivering these speeds to NBN Co's wholesale customers (retail service providers). Speeds actually achieved by retail customers (end users) will depend on a number of factors including the quality of their equipment and in-premises connection, the broadband plans offered by their service provider and how their service provider designs its network to cater for multiple end

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NBN Co selects Broken Hill for satellite centre
15 November 2012
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