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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 18693

Better broadband for remote and digital Australia

Photo of Gillard, Julia

Gillard, Julia

Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013

More information about Gillard, Julia on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 12/07/2012

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 18693

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy today announced the next round of high-speed satellite and fixed wireless broadband for regional and remote Australia.

A new contract worth an initial $280 million has been signed between NBN Co and Via Sat Inc for the manufacture of satellite dishes and other equipment to deliver fast and reliable broadband to families and businesses in regional, rural and remote Australia.

The contract includes the construction of two 13.5 metre-wide satellite antennas for the National Broadband Network's ten satellite ground stations; as well as household satellite dishes and network infrastructure for NBN Co's data centres.

This investment in the NBN's next generation satellite service will ensure as many as 200,000 homes and businesses in some of the remotest parts of Australia are able to access fast, affordable, and reliable broadband.

Speaking from Townsville in North Queensland today, the Prime Minister said Australians living in our regional, rural, and remote communities have had to put up with second-class telecommunications infrastructure for far too long.

Like water and electricity, the Gillard Government sees fast broadband as an essential utility that should be made available to all Australians, no matter where they live.

The Prime Minister also announced that planning and design work on the NBN fixed-wireless network would begin in rural areas around Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton.

This part of the fixed wireless network aims to cover approximately 30,000 homes and businesses and it is expected facilities will start to be switched on in stages from late 2013.

This is on top of 25,000 premises already announced, bringing the total so far in Queensland to 55,000 homes and businesses in rural areas that are expected to be served by fast, reliable broadband via fixed wireless.

The NBN's fixed wireless network and long-term satellite service are designed to offer speeds of up to 12 Mbps, better than many people in metropolitan areas receive today.

Fixed wireless and satellite technology will serve communities in rural and remote Australia with low population density, where it is impractical or uneconomical to rollout fibre optic cable.

The Long Term Satellite Service and fixed-wireless network are part of a comprehensive and unprecedented investment in broadband infrastructure for the bush, delivering access to much improved services at an affordable price that does not discriminate between the country and the city.

Further information about the rollout of the NBN is available on the NBN Co website at www.nbnco.com.au.

List of councils where fixed wireless planning proposals are expected to be lodged

Townsville

Tablelands Regional Council

Burdekin Shire Council

Charters Towers Regional Council

Townsville City Council

Hinchinbrook Shire Council

Cassowary Coast Regional Council

Mackay

Whitsunday Regional Council

Mackay Regional Council

Isaac Regional Council

Rockhampton

Rockhampton Regional Council

Central Highlands Regional Council

Transcript 18693