NSW Far South Coast enters space age


Merimbula's NBN satellite gateway to play important role in delivering broadband to outback communities.

NBN Co has chosen Merimbula on the NSW Far South Coast as the site of its first satellite ground station gateway.

The new high-tech facility will transmit high-speed internet for the NBN's Long Term Satellite Service to homes, farms and businesses in remote parts of Australia. The first of 10 such satellite facilities, construction is set to begin next year and it is scheduled to be up and running in 2015.

The site for the ground station gateway and six satellite dishes in Wolumla, approximately 15 kilometres north-west of the township of Merimbula, was selected following extensive consultation with Bega Valley Shire Council.

It will bring economic benefits to the local area during construction and beyond. Once built, the facility will employ full-time staff.

Matt Dawson, NBN Co's Satellite Project Director, said:

"The NBN ground station at Wolumla near Merimbula will play a vital role in the delivery of broadband to people living in the outback and offshore territories such as Norfolk and Christmas Islands."

"Merimbula was chosen for a number of reasons: The climate is perfect for our needs. It's also located close to reliable power and other infrastructure including the NBN's core fibre transit network."

Mr Dawson also added, "The physical location of a satellite ground station in the area doesn't mean the town will miss out on fibre optic broadband. Its size and population means, subject to finalisation of our rollout plans, we expect many in the town of Merimbula will receive the fibre optic service before the end of the planned 10-year rollout of the nationwide upgrade to Australia's communication infrastructure."

Welcoming the announcement, Mayor of Bega Valley Shire Council, Tony Allen, said:

"NBN Co's decision to site the satellite ground station gateway at Wolumla is a very positive thing for the Shire."

"In securing an appropriate site for the satellite gateway station, we are now seeing the broad community benefits."

"There will be opportunity for local businesses to reap the benefits of high-speed broadband internet and for other residents and businesses to be drawn to the Shire, taking advantage of our lifestyle over the congestion of city living."

Councillor Allen added that when the development application was lodged, NBN Co plans to make more information available about the construction of the site. Community members will then be welcome to make comments and ask questions during the DA process.

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 Australia.
  • The wholesale high-speed broadband network will 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 will 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 facility in Merimbula will operate in support of this service.
  • For more information visit www.nbnco.com.au

*NBN Co is designing the NBN to be capable of delivering these speeds to NBN Co's wholesale customers (telephone and internet 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.

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NSW Far South Coast enters space age