Broken Hill to host NBN satellite station

Summary:Broken Hill will host a satellite ground station as part of the NBN that will deliver fast broadband to Australians in isolated areas.

NBN Co, the builder of the Australian government's AU$37.4 billion network, said that the single-storey satellite ground station with two 13.5-metre diameter satellite dishes in Broken Hill, NSW, will deliver National Broadband Network (NBN) services to communities such as Menindee, Purnamoota, Yanco Glen, and Kanbara.

Program director of satellites Matt Dawson said that Broken Hill is ideally placed to deliver better broadband services to the outback.

"It has the ideal climate and is close to reliable power and other infrastructure, including the NBN's core fibre transit network — the main fibre network — the main fibre transmission lines linking towns and our exchanges," Dawson said.

Broken Hill City Council Mayor Wincen Cuy welcomes the plan.

"We're proud to play a central role in a nation-building project that will help people in rural and remote Australia become better connected with one another and the wider world," Cuy said.

The station, 9 kilometres east of Broken Hill, is the ninth of 10 facilities across Australia announced to support NBN Co's long-term satellite service, which is due to operate from 2015.

Two satellites will be launched in 2015 to provide wholesale download speeds of up to 12 megabits per second (Mbps).

The interim satellite service delivers download speeds of up to 6Mbps to more than 17,000 premises.

The city of Broken Hill will receive broadband services through the NBN's fibre-optic cable network, which is capable of delivering download speeds of up to 100Mbps and upload speeds of up to 40Mbps.

The announcement of the Broken Hill station represents the sixth and final satellite station to be built by Cockram Corporation, which picked up a contract to construct six of the 10 satellite stations requested by NBN Co. All up, the 10 stations will cost NBN Co AU$180 million to construct.

Perkins, the other contractor to win station-construction contracts, has been commissioned to build four stations in Western Australia — of which only three locations have been announced so far.

Chris Duckett contributed to this report.

Topics: NBN, Australia, Government : AU

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