NBN Co picks three more sites for satellite stations

NBN Co has picked three towns in Western Australia to now become home to ground stations that will support the company's satellite broadband service.

The remote Western Australian towns of Moonyoonooka, Binduli, and Carnarvon have been selected as the next three locations for NBN Co's satellite ground stations, the government announced yesterday.

Planned satellite station for Tasmania.
(Credit: NBN Co)

The Carnarvon station will likely be located next to the former Overseas Telecommunications Commission site on Brown Range, pending the sale of land to NBN Co, which has already been approved by the local council. The Moonyoonooka site will be on Abattoir Road, 13km east of Geraldton, and the Binduli ground station will be on Hall Road, 11km south-west of Kalgoorlie.

Construction on the sites will commence next year, and NBN Co estimates that it will employ between 20 and 30 workers during the construction phase, and a total of 90 jobs overall.

The satellite ground stations will be broadband transmission centres that are intended to connect the three percent of premises in Australia that won't be connected via the National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre or fixed-wireless services, and will instead receive broadband services from the two KA-band satellites NBN Co plans to launch, prior to services coming online in 2015.

"These ground stations will bring jobs to the local economies and act as essential NBN satellite gateways, helping deliver fast, affordable, and reliable broadband to rural and remote communities across Australia," Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said in a statement.

The stations will join the three other ground stations currently planned for Tasmania and New South Wales . A total of 10 stations are planned for the service, with four yet to be announced.

NBN Co's announcement included an endorsement from the second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, who said that the Carnarvon site had previously played a role in providing communications during NASA's Apollo missions.

"I think it's just wonderful that Carnarvon will soon be reviving its historic links with space with the launch of a National Broadband Network satellite base station. The revitalisation of a site that played such a central role in NASA's Apollo missions will prepare people in the Australian outback for the next frontier in communications via the National Broadband Network," he said.


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