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BOURKE in northwestern New South Wales has been picked as one of 10 towns across Australia to host a satellite ground station as part of the national broadband network (NBN).
“This ground station will act as an essential satellite gateway, helping deliver fast broadband to rural and remote communities across Australia,” Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said today.
The key ground station at Bourke will provide between 15,000 and 20,000 Australians in homes, farms and businesses with broadband speeds of up to 12 megabits a second from 2015.
Small satellite service providers have urged the competition watchdog to rethink its 121 point of interconnect model for the National Broadband Network amid fears the cost of leasing backhaul to regional nodes could squeeze them out of the market.
Under the model, satellite service providers would be required to connect their networks to each of up to 41 of the 121 points of interconnect established in regional areas in order to serve NBN Co’s planned long-term satellite product to all Australians deemed eligible in 2015.
These points of interconnect are connected through NBN Co’s transit network to a total ten earth stations the wholesaler plans to build over the next three years to support its two Ka-band satellites.
Satellite providers would purchase services from NBN Co at points of interconnect in the same general area as the premises intended to be served by that provider, even though the points do not physically connect to the premises.
The model differs from the interim service, in which all traffic is backhauled to a central Sydney point of interconnect, which is in turn connected to the two earth stations supporting the system.
The Communications Alliance has established a new working group to provide a “strong, coordination industry voice” on policy development around NBN Co’s long-term satellite services.
It would, among other things, investigate concerns the backhaul component of NBN Co’s satellit eplans could become cost-prohibitive for some service providers.
The satellite services working group, set to meet officially for the first time next month, will seek to sway some of the ongoing policy development impacting the satellite industry and specifically the NBN.
The working group counts representatives from Optus, Telstra, SES New Skies and satellite builder Thales among its members.