The rollout of the National Broadband Network is primed to go into orbit after the company responsible for delivering the massive project signed-off on a $300 million deal with European satellite launch company Arianespace to put two new telecommunications ‘birds’ above Australia.
Scheduled to launch in 2015, the new satellites are intended to deliver fast internet and telecommunications services to around 200,000 homes, farms and businesses in remote parts of Australia where it is not viable to plug in fibre-optic cable or terrestrial high-speed wireless services.
The new satellites will deliver downloads speeds of up to 25 megabits per second and uploads speeds of 5 megabits per second at a wholesale cost to retail service providers of $27 per month.
"The NBN satellite service is key to bridging the divide between the city and the bush,” NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley said.
“It will give people in the outback, remote regions and Australia's overseas territories access to economic and social opportunities that the rest of us take for granted. Faster speeds will allow people in regional communities to work from home like they would from the office, access video-based health services and make high-quality video calls to family and friends.”
The launch of new satellites comes as demand for new space-based telecommunications services increases around the world and in Asia thanks to the continued rise of internet access and smart technologies that rely on broadband and often link to geospatial information systems (GIS).
According to NBN two “purpose-built communications satellites” now being constructed in California by Space Systems/Loral will be launched using two “777 tonne Ariane 5 heavy-lift rockets” that will deliver their payloads into a geostationary orbit servicing Australia.
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