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Signal base takes shape

Monday, 18th November, 2013

Work on the satellite ground station east of the city has begun. Work on the satellite ground station east of the city has begun.

By Andrew Robertson

Work is underway on a satellite ground station outside the city that will deliver fast broadband to Menindee and other small remote communities.

The ground station, which is being built nine kilometres east on the Sydney road, near the former RFDS Base, will be used to support the NBN Co’s long term satellite service.

Ten are being built around the nation to receive signals from two yet-to-be launched NBN satellites capable of delivering wholesale speeds of up to 12 megabytes per second.

The new coalition government has ordered a complete review of the NBN rollout as it seeks to implement its pre-election promise of delivering a cheaper NBN. 

In a statement of expectations to the NBN Co, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said work associated with the build and launch of the long term satellites should continue. 

Broken Hill is included in the rollout of the fibre network but as yet there has been no indication of when that is likely to happen.

Federal MP Sussan Ley used the announcement in November last year that Broken Hill had been selected as a ground station site to criticise the NBN Co.

“For the NBN Co to announce the nearby satellite ground facilities and not include any timing for the fibre rollout in the city is, to be blunt, a bit insulting,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the NBN Co said yesterday said the satellite service was still on track to be operational by 2015.

She said once all the ground stations were built, testing would begin before the two satellites were launched.

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