Tasmania to host NBN satellite ground station


Geeveston facility to help deliver fast broadband to rural and remote communities

Geeveston in the Huon Valley has been selected as the location for a National Broadband Network satellite ground station to ensure Australians in isolated areas can connect to fast broadband.

The ground station will act as an essential transmission centre to deliver the NBN to homes, farms and businesses in remote areas. Locations in Tasmania such as Port Davey, Strathgordon and Cradle Mountain are set to benefit from the service which is expected to be up and running by the end of 2015.

The NBN is being rolled out to every home in Australia through a mix of satellite, fixed-wireless and fibre optic cable.

NBN Co chose the site on Harwoods Road, approximately six kilometres north of Geeveston, in consultation with Huon Valley Council.

Construction is expected to begin early 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.

Matt Dawson, NBN Co's Program Director, Satellites, said: “The NBN satellite service is designed to bridge the divide between the city and the bush and ensure all Australians can receive fast broadband. The site at Castle Forbes Bay near Geeveston is ideally located for this purpose. It is also 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.”

Welcoming the announcement, Mayor of Huon Valley Council, Robert Armstrong, said: “We welcome NBN Co's investment in the Huon Valley 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.”

Councillor Armstrong added that the development application (DA) will be required to go through the usual planning approvals process and be properly considered by Council for compliance with planning requirements.

NBN Co plans to make more information available about the construction of the site in coming months. Community members will be welcome to make comments and ask questions during the DA process.

The satellite ground station at Geeveston is a key component of NBN Co's Long Term Satellite Service, designed to bring broadband at speeds of up to 12 Megabits per second* to wholesale customers who deliver retail services to homes, farms and businesses in the outback and other isolated parts of Australia.

The Castle Forbes Bay facility is the third of 10 sites to be chosen for an NBN satellite ground station, following the announcement of two ground stations in NSW in Bourke in the north west of the state and Wolumla on the Far South Coast. Geeveston and Castle Forbes Bay themselves have been earmarked to receive broadband via fibre optic cable as part of the NBN rollout plan.

In the meantime, an Interim Satellite Service is available now to eligible premises, including government schools and facilities, and currently has more than 7,000 active customers. For further information, please see www.nbnco.com.au/satellite, or call our Contact Centre on 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 Interim Satellite Service eligibility enquiries or disputes, specifically in relation to government education, health or local government facilities, in the first instance contact the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) by calling 1800 883 488.
  • 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 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.

Downloads

Tasmania to host NBN satellite ground station