NBN coming to regional communities after satellite launch

The NBN Space Muster satellite launching from the Guiana Space Centre in South America
The NBN Space Muster satellite launching from the Guiana Space Centre in South America

IT TOOK off from a launch pad in South America, but soon this broadband satellite will affect the way that Australians in rural and remote areas communicate with one another.

The NBN satellite -- Sky Muster -- will deliver a faster broadband connection for more than 400,000 people, including many in Queensland.

It will offer peak speads of 25/5 Mbps.

Once it travels the 36,000km and begins orbit, the satellite will undergo further testing, with service to begin from mid-2016.

NBN's Kylie Lindsay said about 95,000 Queenslanders would eventually be covered by the new satellite service.

"This sort of broadband access has never been seen before in the bush, and it means that multiple users can be online using multiple devices at the same time, all enjoying fast speeds," Ms Lindsay said. 

Ms Lindsay encouraged all Queenslanders to check their address on the NBN website to see if they are eligible for Fixed Wireless access, even if they are currently on the interim satellite service.

"Our records show about 2,000 premises currently on the interim satellite are eligible for an NBN fixed wireless service right now," she said.

What areas the new NBN satellite will cover
What areas the new NBN satellite will cover


NBN chief Bill Morrow said the launch meant the organisation was one step closer to changing the digital face of the nation.

"Many homes and businesses in regional and rural Australia still rely on dial-up level speeds and have little or no access to a commercial broadband service," he said.

"This satellite will help to close the divide and ensure no one gets left behind."

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said Northern Territory school students had come up with the satellite's name.

"The name itself was actually thought of by a schoolgirl, Bailey Brooks, who lives on a station in the Northern Territory," he said.

"Her painting, her depiction of the satellite is actually on the rocket that was launched into the sky.

"So full credit to Bailey for that work of art, but also to she and her classmates for coming up with the name Sky Muster."

The satellite, the first of two to be launched, will orbit 36,000km above Earth and send signals back at the speed of light.

Topics:  editors picks nbn

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