Australia's second NBN satellite targets remote areas

Eden Estopace
11 Oct 2016

Last week's successful launch into orbit of the second broadband satellite of Australia’s national broadband network, Sky Muster II, is expected to provide fast broadband services for rural and remote areas in the country.

An estimated 400,000 Australian homes and businesses are set to benefit.

“This service is already helping to improve healthcare outcomes by connecting remote patients to city specialists, delivering access to a new world of educational opportunities for kids in the bush and increasing productivity for local small businesses,” said nbn’s CEO Bill Morrow.

“We are ensuring that no Australian is left behind by providing access to fast broadband for those who need it the most,” he added.

Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield and Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash welcomed the launch, saying it will help bridge the digital divide between the cities and the country.

The Australian government has invested $2 billion in two purpose-built broadband satellites and a network of ground stations that make up the Sky Muster service. The first satellite, Sky Muster, was launched in October last year.

“Services went live in April this year and already, almost 31,000 homes and businesses are experiencing the benefits of nbn’s world-class satellite broadband,” Fifield said.

The satellites are expected to revolutionize many services that rural Australians rely on, such as distance education for students in remote areas, and will be a game changer for rural business and agriculture.

“As a farmer from rural NSW myself, I know how crucial fast and reliable broadband is for rural, regional and remote Australia,” Minister Nash said.

The satellites offer download speeds of up to 25 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps. With a total capacity of 135 Gbps, the new satellites are a vast leap forward from the 4 Gbps of capacity provided by the previous government's interim satellite service.

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