Faster broadband is a step closer for remote and regional Australia, with NBN Co today announcing construction work is complete on all ten of the NBN’s satellite ground stations.NBN Co states the stations “will act as a backbone”, helping deliver NBN services to around 400,000 Australian homes and businesses via “two of the biggest telecommunications satellites in the world”.
The first satellite is expected to launch from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, later this year, followed by the expected commercial availability of NBN Co’s long-term satellite service (LTSS) in 2016.
NBN Co states LTSS will deliver wholesale broadband speeds of up to 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload, noting a recent Akamai report ranked Australian internet speeds at 44th globally, “suggesting many schools, businesses and homes in remote areas are at risk of falling behind in a vastly competitive digital world”.
“With no access to any other form of commercial broadband service, some rural and regional Australians are still using dial-up internet – the NBN is designed to provide access to minimum download speeds which could be up to 100 times faster than what they are experiencing now,” commented NBN Co satellite architect Julia Dickinson.
Dickinson added the satellite service will play “a critical role in helping Australians to be on a level playing field”, bringing regional and rural internet speeds in line with the city.
“Country kids are just as intrigued with the world of technology as their urban counterparts, and with all distance education schools in Australia now providing lessons over the internet, it is vital that these children have access to fast broadband,” commented Judy Newton, federal president of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association.
“They eagerly await the launch of the new NBN satellite services to help them overcome issues such as slow speeds and drop-outs, which they struggle with on a daily basis.”
NBN Co is marking the milestone by launching its ‘Shoot for the Stars’ competition, giving Australian school kids aged 5-12 the opportunity to decorate the nose cone of the rocket which will launch the first satellite into space, with the grand prize winner and their school to have the opportunity to name the satellite.
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