The National Broadband Network Company (nbn™) recently conducted the first public demonstration of its new Sky Muster™ satellite service, which reached speeds of 25 Mbps and 4 Mbps for download and upload, respectively at the ENEX Test Lab in Brunswick, Victoria.
Gavin Williams, Executive General Manager of Fixed Wireless and Satellite, and Matt Dawson, Program Director for Satellites led the public demonstration and went a long way to dispel the negative perceptions concerning the sub-par satellite program.
“We are delighted with the progress that we are making towards the planned launch of Sky Muster™ commercial services in the next couple of months … Rural and remote Australians will be able to access fast and reliable internet through their phone and internet provider in the bush, via the Sky Muster™ service,” Williams remarked.
The Sky Muster™ is the first of two twin Ka-band High-Throughput Satellites (HTS) that have been designed to reach the regional parts of the country that have limited or no Internet connectivity. It launched into orbit on October 1, 2015 from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. The other satellite will lift off later this year. Space Systems Loral (SSL) built the satellite, ViaSat completed the ground system, and Arianespace was the launch provider.
The satellites will cover the Australian subcontinent and her territories with 101 spot beams, with each beam having its own capacity and smart networking to regulate the bandwidth. The nbn™ will be allocating different premises to the different satellites and spot beams to balance the load. It will also employ content caching in order to speed up web browsing.
Director Dawson said his company is still balancing and calibrating the system. More performance and business readiness tests are set with partners ahead of the commercial service launch, which is scheduled for either late April or early May of this year.
“The whole point of testing is to discover ‘hiccups’ and fix them before we go into full-scale commercial service,” Dawson explained.
Dawson has reassured the public that his company remains focused on delivering on its commitment to bring fast, affordable, quality satellite broadband to regional Australians as soon as possible.
“The priority of our Sky Muster satellite service remains to bring the benefits of fast broadband to rural and remote Australians,” Dawson emphasised.
The nbn™ will continue to conduct assessments of the technical readiness of its services. It will commence a field trial utilising 200 customers located in several spot beams in regional Victoria in the coming weeks. This field trial involves customers from three leading retail service providers (RSP), namely Activ8me, Harbour ISP, and SkyMesh, which were selected in an expression of interest (EOI) process initiated by the nbn™. These RSPs have been authorised to start signing-in customers for satellite plans, but will only be able to provision those orders starting this April.
The NBN’s Sky Muster satellite brings better satellite internet connectivity to regional Australia. To get onboard Sky Muster, call Activ8me today 13 22 88 or visit: http://www.activ8me.net.au/internet/skymuster