Australia's NBN Co, the state-owned company building the National Broadband Network, has contracted Speedcast International to provide wholesale satellite broadband services in rural areas.
NBN Co has awarded Speedcast's wholly-owned subsidiary Speedcast Managed Services a 10 year, A$184 million ($144.7 million) contract to provide wholesale business-grade satellite broadband services using NBN Co's fleet of two Sky Muster satellites.
The contract covers the design, build and management of the network and service operation of the new wholesale platform. Enterprise-level sky muster services are expected to be launched by early next year.
NBN Co launched its two satellites in October 2015 and October 2016 respectively, to serve the approximately 3% of premises not due to be covered by the NBN's fixed line or fixed wireless infrastructure.
The company already offers wholesale residential satellite services to its retail service provider customers, but has been preparing since 2014 to introduce wholesale business-grade services.
The Sky Muster fleet has been designed to provide access to around 240,000 premises in regional and remote areas. To date around 84,000 services have been activated and NBN Co is recording around 1,000 activations per month, the company said.