NewSat continues push for inclusion in NBN

CEO Adrian Ballintine claims satellite-based NBN speeds could be as much as 300 Mbps in three years' time

A rough outlook on Australia's wireless coverage under the National Broadband Network (Credit: NBN Co)

A rough outlook on Australia's wireless coverage under the National Broadband Network (Credit: NBN Co)

Satellite telecommunications company NewSat (ASX: NWT) has ramped up its campaign to become a wholesale provider on the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Speaking to Computerworld Australia, the company’s CEO Adrian Ballintine claimed that the company would be able to deliver broadband speeds of “better than” 100 Mbps to the seven per cent of Australia not covered by the NBN’s fibre network and for an equivalent cost.

“Our [Jabiru satellite] is 60 or 70 per cent full already, but we could tweak it and make some accommodations or we could use another one of the slots we have and launch another, smaller satellite," he said.

“We want to say to the government: Don’t spend a cent of taxpayers’ money, just work on the basis that this is the customer base you want fixed, we will do the work. We will fix it, we will fund it, we will pay for it, we will launch it, and we will provide it.”

Ballintine further claimed that in three years' time a NewSat satellite, as part of the NBN, would more than likely be able to deliver speeds of around 300 Mbps.

“Whatever you ask for, when we launch in two or three years, I’ll punt we can do it three times faster – it’s just like in computing,” he said. “People are getting hung up about 12 Mbps, or maybe 50 or 60 Mbps. Just leave it to the experts and move on.”

The chief exec also reiterated his recent public criticism of the NBN Co’s tender process, which rejected two proposals made by NewSat for the inclusion of its satellite and services for use in the NBN.

He also questioned the NBN Co’s understanding of the role that satellite communication could play to support the NBN.

“My concern, and it’s legitimate, if you look at the satellite component of the NBN, my guess is this: It’s probably full of blokes who couldn’t get jobs with real satellite companies,” he said.

“There’s a bunch of money from the government, and they say ‘whoppee, let’s go build it ourselves. Let’s go build some teleports. Let’s build some rockets. Let’s play spaceman’. That is a danger for the Australian people.”

In February, NewSat announced to the ASX that it was on track to launch its Jabiru-1 ‘next generation’ satellite in the last quarter of 2012. The company also said at the time that it planned to have a minimum of 50 per cent of transponders pre-sold by 30 June 2010.

During the month the company also moved to reassure investors over its future with the issuing of a chairman’s address on the NewSat’s financial progress.

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