JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
SENATOR THE HON FIONA NASH
MINISTER FOR REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS
6 October 2016
Fast broadband services for rural and remote areas have been boosted today with the successful launch of nbn’s second satellite, Sky Muster II.
The new satellite blasted off from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana early this morning and will provide additional capacity and support for the first satellite, Sky Muster, which launched in October last year.
Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield and Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash welcomed the launch, which is helping to bridge the digital divide between the cities and the country.
“Today’s launch means the satellite and ground station infrastructure is now complete, marking yet another milestone in the Coalition’s commitment to deliver fast, reliable broadband to all Australians, regardless of where they live,” said Minister Fifield.
“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.”
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 satellites are expected to revolutionise 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 will cover around 400,000 homes and businesses in regional areas, many of which haven’t been able to access high-speed broadband services. This will help businesses set up or expand in rural, regional and remote Australia. I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to and good internet is a big part of that.”
The satellites offer download speeds of up to 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps. With a total capacity of 135 Gigabits per second (Gbps), the new satellites are a vast leap forward from the 4 Gbps of capacity provided by Labor’s interim satellite service.
The launch brings nbn closer to their goal of connecting all Australians to fast and essential broadband services by 2020.
For more information on eligibility and retailers, visit www.nbnco.com.au or freecall nbn on 1800 687 626.