Satellite Technology Feature Article
NBN Deals with ViaSat to Provide Satellite Broadband Access in Australia
By Meenakshi Shankar, TMCnet Contributor
NBN, a company owned by the Australian government prescribed as a Government Business Enterprise (GBE) to deliver Australia's first national wholesale-only, open access broadband network, signed a deal with Carlsbad-based ViaSat (News - Alert) to provide the ground-based communications, network management, and data processing systems for the Long Term Satellite Service component of the project.
The deal is valued a little excess of $240 million, which is expected to increase as the network is built out to reach up to 200,000 homes and businesses. The contract award follows a comprehensive, two-year procurement process by NBN Co. Commercial service, and is scheduled to begin in 2015.
ViaSat’s chief executive officer and chairman, Mark Dankberg (News - Alert), said that the rollout of Australia's NBN is the most comprehensive broadband plan in the world, and that his company is excited to deliver part of the satellite ground portion.
"We have long-shared the NBN Co vision of fiber-grade satellite network access. The work we do in Australia over the next three years will be pivotal in establishing the state-of-the-art in affordable, satellite broadband," Dankberg added.
The contract with NBN Co. calls for ViaSat to provide consumer satellite terminals, including broadband modems and antennas for Australian homes and businesses, as well as 13.5-metre diameter Ka-band satellite antennas for ten ground station gateway facilities across Australia.
ViaSat has been providing advanced network infrastructure and cost-effective customer premises terminals for the largest broadband satellites in North America, Europe, parts of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and now Australia. The company already has its offices in Australia in Canberra and Belrose in Sydney's north. The company said that, with this contract, it will establish at least one additional office.
Selex Elsag Ltd recently selected ViaSat to provide X-band antennas and the MD-1366 Enhanced Bandwidth Efficient Modem to expand NATO static ground satellite communications in Belgium and Italy, as well as upgrade services in Greece and Turkey.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo