NBN complete satellite base stations to service 400,000 remote homes and businesses


    NBNCo have announced today that faster broadband in remote and regional Australia is one step closer. Construction work on all ten of its satellite ground stations is now complete. These stations will act as a backbone to help deliver NBN services to around 400,000 Australian homes and businesses via two of the biggest telecommunications satellites in the world.

    The news follows a recent Akamai report which ranked Australian Internet speeds at 44th globally, suggesting many schools, businesses and homes in remote areas are at risk of falling behind in a vastly competitive digital world. Satellite internet is certainly not going to deliver the same speeds as a copper or fibre, but for those in really remote areas, it’s simply not financially viable, not even for government to run hard wired connections.

    In terms of the speeds and experiences possible, NBNCo has published some very contentious numbers, suggesting an ADSL2+ connection will have you downloading a movie in just 10 minutes. If you’re house is located in the exchange and you have no congestion, then sure, this may be possible, but in reality, it’s not even close. Certainly if your trying to download movies on dial-up, you have bigger issues than waiting 3 days for it to finish.



    Time taken using average dial-up (example 56Kps download / 33Kps upload)

    Time taken using high speed broadband service over the NBN (example 25Mbps download / 5Mbps upload)

    1. Download a movie

    3 days 10 hours

    10 minutes

    2. Upload a podcast 

    8 hours 30 minutes

    3 minutes 21 seconds

    3. Download a YouTube video

    1 hour 33 minutes

    11 seconds

    4. Open a webpage

    58 seconds

    0.13 seconds

    Released as part of today’s announcement is the following infographic.


    NBN Co’s Satellite Architect, Julia Dickinson said many people in bigger cities take for granted the benefits that fast broadband provides.

    “With no access to any other form of commercial broadband service, some rural and regional Australians are still using dial-up Internet – the NBN is designed to provide access to minimum download speeds which could be up to 100 times faster than what they are experiencing now.”

    “Not only are those in remote areas physically removed from some essential services such as access to education and health specialists, a slow Internet connection can further disadvantage them from the benefits enjoyed by their inner-city cousins.”

    “The NBN satellite service will play a critical role in helping Australians to be on a level playing field as everyone in the bush will have access to speeds that are as good as if not better than what many people in the city have today. No matter where you live, no home, school or business will be left behind.”

    Federal President of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association, Judy Newton, said the completion of the ground stations meant kids in the bush were another step closer to having access to better learning opportunities.

    “Country kids are just as intrigued with the world of technology as their urban counterparts and with all distance education schools in Australia now providing lessons over the Internet, it is vital that these children have access to fast broadband. They eagerly await the launch of the new NBN satellite services to help them overcome issues such as slow speeds and drop outs, which they struggle with on a daily basis,” she said.

    To mark this milestone, NBN Co is launching the ‘Shoot for the Stars’ competition to give Aussie school kids aged 5-12 the opportunity to decorate the nose cone of the rocket which will launch the first satellite into space. In addition, the grand prize winner and their school will have the opportunity to name the satellite, etching their place in history.

    “As the future beneficiaries of fast broadband, we’re encouraging children and their schools to be part of this groundbreaking initiative by asking them to help us name the first satellite and decorate its rocket’s nose cone,” Ms Dickinson said.

    If you live in remote Australia, we’d love to hear from you in the comments, what is your current connection speed and does this satellite option on NBN get you excited?

    For entry details and terms and conditions on the ‘Shoot for the Stars’ competition please visit

    This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.

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