NBN's long-term satellite service boosted by Ka-band satellites

NBN Co's long term service satellites will be helped by two Ka-band satellites

NBN Co's long term-satellite service will be boosted by two next-generation Space Systems/Loral satellites and will double the National Broadband Network (NBN) speed of existing interim satellite services (ISS).

The satellites are due to be launched separately in 2015 as part of the NBN long-term satellite service and over 7000 Australians in rural Australia will see their speeds double with the satellites.

“The fast, affordable and more reliable broadband these new satellites deliver will lead to improved education and health services for rural and remote Australia, as well as greater opportunities for small businesses and agriculture,” said Senator Stephen Conroy, minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, in a statement.

The ISS was launched 1 July last year and is being used as a transition service for eventual long-term satellite services in 2015.

Conroy recently announced around 250 remote schools, 800 health clinics and 200 local government facilities would be able to connect to the NBN through the interim satellite service. Around 7200 users now use the ISS.

“Satellite is the most cost-effective way to provide high quality communications services over large, sparsely populated regions,” said John Celli, president of Space Systems/Loral.

The satellites will orbit 35,786 km above the earth’s equator.

NBN Co announced in February this year Space Systems/Loral would build two next generation Ka-band satellites in a contract worth $620 million.

“NBN Co’s satellites have been designed to deliver initial peak speeds of 12/1 Mbps at the wholesale level for the same wholesale access price as similar fibre services. It will be possible for retail service providers to offer services to homes and businesses in the satellite footprint that are as good or better than the services many city people currently experience,” said Mike Quigley, NBN Co chief executive officer, in a statement.

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