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NBN Get ViaSat Satellites

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NBN Co has signed a $240m+ contract with California based ViaSat for the manufacture and supply of large satellite dishes and equipment for its fledgling NBN satellite service.

The satellite service will deliver high speed National Broadband Network service  to 200,000 premises in rural Australia and territories including Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie and Cocos Islands.

The “large” satellite dishes will be located at NBN Co’s 10 ground stations to send broadband signals and technology is also to be installed in NBN Co’s data centres to manage the integration with the rest of the NBN network.

The contract was subject to a “comprehensive, two-year procurement process”s undertaken by NBN Co and is part of a a $2 bn investment in the Long Term Satellite Service.

.And to fend off criticism the NBN Co is awarding contracts to non-Aussie companies, the company has announced the project will lead to the creation of more than 300 Australian jobs, as well as IT workers to manage the project.

“The NBN will ensure everyone in Australia can have access to fast and affordable broadband. ViaSat’s role in providing ground equipment to support the Long Term Satellite Service will help bridge the digital divide between urban and regional communities,” said NBN Co’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Quigley.

ViaSat CEO Mark Dankberg said the California based company is “very proud to play a part in this important nation-building project and to be part of helping to deliver the Long Term Satellite Service to areas that are out of the reach of the fibre and fixed wireless networks.”

The contract announced today is the second of three major tenders to be awarded as part of the NBN’s Satellite Service. In February, NBN Co awarded a $620m contract to Space Systems/Loral to build two leading edge Ka-band broadband satellites plus associated telemetry, tracking and command systems.

NBN Long Term Satellite Service is expected to provide initial peak speeds of 12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload when launched in 2015.

 There are already around 10,000 homes and businesses connected to the Interim Service.