Lift-off for first nbn satellite
One giant leap towards better broadband for regional and remote Australia
nbn today successfully launched its first broadband satellite into orbit.
Blasting 36,000kms into space from Guiana Space Centre in South America, Sky Muster, is one of the world’s most-advanced communication satellites and will play a critical role in providing fast broadband access to around 400,000 Australian homes and businesses.
Over the coming months the satellite will undergo final technical testing ahead of its commercial launch scheduled for mid-2016. Once available, the service is expected to provide wholesale speeds significantly faster than those currently used now.
nbn CEO Bill Morrow said the satellite will provide access to fast broadband for the parts of Australia that need it most.
“With the launch of Sky Muster, we’re one step closer to changing the digital face of our nation.
“The ability to video-conference friends and family, study courses online and visit doctors from your lounge room will all be possible in areas which have traditionally struggled to access basic internet services like online banking and shopping.
“Many homes and businesses in regional and rural Australia still rely on dial-up level speeds and have little or no access to a commercial broadband service – this satellite will help to close the divide and ensure no-one gets left behind.”
Based 400km outside of Alice Springs and a student of School of the Air, six-year-old Bailey Brooks won the opportunity to name the satellite through a nationwide nbn™ drawing competition which invited children to illustrate how the nbn™ network will help make Australia a better country.
Bailey, with her remote classmates, named the satellite Sky Muster to refer to how the satellite will ‘round up’ and help connect Australians together. Her winning artwork was printed on the side of the rocket that launched Sky Muster into orbit and she was in Sydney today to celebrate.
“I was excited when I watched the rocket go into space. The satellite will help my school friends and I talk to each other and our teachers from our computers,” said Bailey Brooks.
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Alicia Garden, GrainGrowers, CEO
“Digital technology represents the next frontier of production gains for Australian farmers. Access to this technology is beholden to adequate telecommunication infrastructure – equal to that enjoyed by urban populations.
“To this end GrainGrowers welcomes the launch of Sky Muster and its goal to deliver fast and reliable broadband to regional Australia. Capturing, analysing and using big data to inform farming decisions is increasingly an everyday part of a modern farming business. GrainGrowers look forward to continued investment in digital telecommunications infrastructure in regional Australia.”
Wendy Hick, Federal President, Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (Aust)
"The Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association of Australia (ICPA Aust) has eagerly anticipated the launch of Sky Muster and hopes that once fully operational, the satellite internet service it provides will help close the digital divide for our rural and remote students.
“ICPA will continue working with nbn co. to ensure the service meets the needs of our members, who have been anxiously awaiting improved internet service for many years.”
Notes to editors
- nbn is building a new, fast broadband network to reach all communities across Australia. Our goal is to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.
- The nbn™ Satellite Service is designed to deliver wholesale broadband speeds of up to 25 Mbps download and up to 5 Mbps upload. Your experience including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how your service provider designs its network. Commercial availability of its wholesale nbn™ Satellite Service is due to be launched progressively from mid-2016.
- The exact number of premises covered as well as the regions covered in by nbn™ Satellite Service may vary once nbn has finalised its construction planning.
Watch the video and check out all the incredible photos of Sky Muster blasting off into space on our blog.