Californian-based ViaSat used Britain’s Farnborough Air Show to reveal that it had beaten off tough competition to win an Australian contract, worth about $286 million (AUS$280m), to provide the ground-based infrastructure for broadband-by-satellite across the nation. The scheme is designed to serve up to 200,000 subscribers.
Two satellites have already been ordered from Space Systems/Loral by Australia’s NBN Co for a total of $620 million. A satellite launch contractor has yet to be selected. NBN is an Australian government agency tasked with providing broadband services to Australia’s scattered and rural communities. Pending the delivery of the new satellites NBN is using capacity on a Thai satellite and one from Optus.
ViaSat’s contract covers the 13.5 metre Earth Station dishes which will be built at 10 locations across Australia, plus the all-important consumer equipment including receiving dishes, and set-top boxes.