Australia launches communications satellite

Sydney, Oct 1 (IANS) Isolated Australian communities are a step closer to high-speed internet after the successful launch of one of two new satellites specifically designed for the country’s National Broadband Network.

The half-a-billion dollar satellite, named Sky Muster by six-year-old Northern Territory student Bailey Brooks, was launched from French Guiana on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

National Broadband Network (NBN) spokeswoman Frances Kearey told the media that the world’s eyes would be watching how Sky Muster delivered on its promises.

“It’s one of the world’s largest communication satellites and is purpose-built to deliver broadband to Australia, an incredibly vast country,” Kearey said.

“The NBN satellite service will provide speeds that people in the cities take for granted, opening up new opportunities in education, health, social connectivity and business.”

At least 200,000 residents in remote communities across the northern reaches of Australia, including the Cocos, Christmas and Norfolk Islands will be connected in 2016 after tests.

Despite promises of 25 megabits per second (mbps) internet speeds, experts remain sceptical those speeds can be maintained once all 200,000 residents have been connected due to congestion.

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