Australia's first space-gateway to the NBN will be located in Merimbula on the NSW Far South Coast, NBN Co. has announced.
The ground station gateway and six satellite dishes will be located in Wolumla; approximately 15 kilometres north-west of the Merimbula township.
The new facility will transmit NBN’s Long Term Satellite Service to remote areas of Australia which fall outside the NBN’s fibre and fixed wireless network. It will also deliver broadband services to people living in offshore territories such as Norfolk and the Christmas Islands.
The Wolumla station will be the first of 10 NBN satellite facilities around the country. Construction work will commence next year, with the station expected to be operational by 2015.
“Merimbula was chosen for a number of reasons,” NBN Co satellite project director, Matt Dawson, said in a statement. “The climate is perfect for our needs. It’s also located close to reliable power and other infrastructure including the NBN’s core fibre transit network.”
Mr Dawson also stressed that the location of the facility does not mean Merimbula residents would miss out on fibre optic broadband.
"[We] expect many in the town of Merimbula will receive the fibre optic service before the end of the planned 10-year rollout of the nationwide upgrade to Australia’s communication infrastructure," he said.
According to NBN Co, the satellite service should see download speeds increase to up to 12Mbps, though results for the end user will vary, depending on equipment, in-premises connection and their specific ISP and plan type. People connecting to the current NBN Co. Interim Satellite Service can choose plans from ISPs offering up to 6Mbps download speeds.