NBN to revive Ceduna's historic role in satellite communications


Ceduna in the West Coast region of South Australia has been selected as the location for a satellite ground station that will enable Australians in isolated areas access to fast broadband.

The ground station on Goode Road, approximately two kilometres north-east of Ceduna, will act as an essential transmission centre to deliver the NBN to homes, farms and businesses in remote areas including Oodnadatta, Marree and Wilpena Pound. It is one of ten such facilities to be built nationwide and the only one to be located in South Australia.

It will also revive the town's historic role in satellite communications after nearly 30 years. From 1969 to 1984, Ceduna provided the gateway between Australia and Europe for telephone and television communications. The former OTC earth station is now used by the University of Tasmania as a radio astronomy observatory.

Construction is expected to begin next year with the facility scheduled to be up and running by 2015. Once built, the ground station is planned to comprise a single storey building with two 13.5-metre diameter satellite dishes.

Welcoming the announcement, Mayor of the District of Ceduna Council, Allan Suter, said: "We welcome NBN Co's investment in the Ceduna region and we look forward to being part of an important national project to connect Australians living in rural and remote parts of the country to the NBN."

Mayor Suter said a development application (DA) by NBN Co will be expected to meet planning approval and will be properly considered by Council for compliance with planning requirements.

Matt Dawson, NBN Co's Program Director, Satellites, said: "We're delighted to revive Ceduna's proud history of involvement in satellite communications. The NBN satellite service is designed to help bridge the divide between the city and the bush and ensure all Australians can receive fast broadband at an affordable price. The site at Ceduna is ideally located for this purpose."

Whereas the fibre optic component of the National Broadband Network is on course to be rolled out to major cities and towns, such as Ceduna itself, over the next nine years, the Long Term Satellite Service is expected to be up and running in 2015.

In the meantime, NBN Co is delivering better broadband to more than 10,000 remote premises via its Interim Satellite Service. Eligibility criteria are available at www.nbnco.com.au/satellite and 1800 881 816.

MEDIA INQUIRIES:

Edwina Hinchliffe

Phone: 02 8918 8672

Mobile: 0413 563 752

Notes to Editors

  • The Long Term Satellite Service is a key part of NBN Co's national broadband network to deliver high-speed broadband to every Australian. The satellites, which are planned to launch in 2015, are designed to provide high-speed broadband coverage to homes and businesses outside the reach of the NBN's fibre optic and fixed-wireless services, including outback areas and Australia's external territories.
  • The wholesale high-speed broadband network should be available to internet service providers on non-discriminatory terms, allowing them to offer a range of plans and packages to consumers and businesses.
  • Currently, NBN Co provides an Interim Satellite Service that delivers a high quality, reliable, high-speed broadband service to eligible homes and businesses in rural and remote parts of Australia. It offers wholesale speeds of up to 6Mbps download and 1Mbps upload* to internet service providers.
  • The Interim Satellite Service is expected to operate until 2015 when NBN Co plans to launch two satellites of its own which will see wholesale speeds offered to internet service providers increase to up to 12Mbps* download. The facilities in Wolumla and Bourke should operate in support of this service.
  • Until recently, the Interim Satellite Service was only available to eligible homes, small businesses, not-for-profit organisations and indigenous communities in rural and remote areas that do not have access to commercial broadband services that are comparable to those available in metropolitan areas. However, to better meet the educational and health needs of people living in country and outback areas, the service has now been extended to include eligible schools, health clinics and local council facilities such as public libraries around Australia that don't have access to metro-comparable broadband services**.
  • For more information visit www.nbnco.com.au/satellite


*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 users.


**For the purposes of the Interim Satellite Service a "metro-compatible service" is defined as providing peak data speeds of 512/128 kilobits per second and a data usage allowance of 3GB per month at a total cost of no more than $2500 (including equipment, installation and monthly fees) over three years.

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NBN to revive Ceduna's historic role in satellite communications
24 August 2012
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