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NBN Co has selected construction companies in Western Australia and Victoria to build the NBN’s ten satellite ground stations.

Bunbury-based Perkins will build four satellite transmission centres in WA. Cockram Corporation, based in Melbourne, will build six facilities located in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia.

The contracts are worth approximately $180 million in total and were awarded following a comprehensive procurement process. Construction is due to be completed in 2015, in time for the launch of NBN Co’s Long Term Satellite Service, which will deliver high speed broadband to an estimated 200,000 homes, farms and businesses in rural and remote parts of Australia.

NBN Co says its satellite program will provide a boost to the local economies in the areas where the ground stations will be located. An estimated 20-30 construction workers will be required to build each facility. A further 60 people are expected to be employed nationwide to manage the service.

The Long Term Satellite Service is designed to provide retail broadband providers with the same basic wholesale speed (up to 12Mbps) and access price ($24 per month) that are available on the fibre and wireless networks.

Matt Dawson, NBN Co’s Program Director, Satellites, said “NBN Co’s satellite service is designed to bridge the divide between the city and the bush and ensure all Australians can receive high speed broadband. Better broadband will give people in the most isolated parts of the country access to economic and social opportunities that the rest of the country takes for granted.”

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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