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The risk of reaching the last three percent

There are few things that Labor and the Coalition agree on – one is that satellite is the only way to provide broadband access to the most far-flung Aussie residents. But launching satellites is a tricky business, will NBN Co pull it off?

At the NBN Rebooted conference last month Gregory Clark , chair of KA Comm expressed his concerns that NBNCo’s lack of experience in the delivery of satellites was a potential “national disaster”.

Has he got a point? Paul Fletcher, Parliamentary Secretary for Communications, says it would have made more sense to use commercial players, but the contracts were already in place.
Naturally, Matt Dawson, NBNCo’s program director for Satellite, disputes the claim and says they are on track and says people in regional Australia will find the new service “an absolute game changer”.

Dr Bob Horton, a consultant to the satellite industry, explains how the NBNCo’s KA-band satellite works, including how spot beams maximise the use of spectrum.

Making the best use of the available capacity is essential – evidenced by the need to introduce a fair use policy for the interim satellite solution. Does this mean we need to abandon the NBN’s uniform pricing policy and treat this technology differently?

In this week’s Crosstalk podcast we attempt to get across all the issues impacting the NBN satellite solution.

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