Satellite demand may hamper NBN service
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CANBERRA, Dec 21 AAP
December 21 2012, 5:25PM
The national broadband network (NBN) builder could face problems supplying high-speed services to remote regions if the popularity of the current interim satellite arrangement increases.
NBN Co chief Mike Quigley says demand for the interim service is already well ahead of projections.
The satellite is being used by Australians in remote and rural areas and provides broadband speeds of up to six megabits per second (Mbps) download/one Mbps upload.
"It is almost certain that if the take-up continues on this, then there's going to be a gap between the capacity we have available to us and when we launch the satellite (in 2015)," Mr Quigley told AAP this week.
The full satellite service will begin in the second quarter of 2015, when its users will have access to peak speeds of 12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload.
These speeds are at least the equivalent of many fixed-line broadband services in metropolitan areas.
Mr Quigley says NBN Co will look at how to avoid a possible problem in providing the full interim service before the launch of the two satellites worth $620 million half a year apart in 2015.
"There is a very limited amount of (satellite) capacity over Australia for broadband service," he said.
"We have already bought a large chunk of what was available."
Meanwhile, some residents in areas where fixed wireless technology is planned to provide NBN services had given "strange" reasons to local councils to reject plans for the necessary towers.
"People are obviously worried about radiation, even though they use mobile handsets with radiation levels that are about thousand times what they will get from the tower," Mr Quigley said.
"We even saw one application from a person saying that the towers we are putting up is causing global warming. I hadn't heard that one before."
Under the government's $37.4 billion project, NBN Co will deliver broadband services to the seven per cent of premises outside the fibre cable footprint by fixed wireless and satellite technologies by 2015.
By Ed Logue