NBN’s second satellite to launch in October


news NBN Co has started the count down to the launch of its second telecoms satellite, which it has announced will take place on 5 October.

Called Sky Muster II, the hefty 6,400kg satellite will blast off from French Guiana Space Centre in South America and is planned to reach an orbit of 36,000km.

Following the launch of NBN Co’s first satellite late last year, Sky Muster II is aimed to provide extra data capacity to support the company’s satellite broadband service.

According to NBN Co, the service will help “bridge Australia’s digital divide” for approximately 400,000 homes and businesses in regional and remote Australia, bringing better access to distance online education and healthcare services, as well more business opportunities for outback farmers.

“The NBN Sky Muster satellite service is transforming the day-to-day lives of people from all over the country,” said Julia Dickinson, NBN Co’s Satellite Architect.

“We are already seeing how access to fast broadband for small businesses and farms in the most remote outback and offshore locations can improve productivity by better enabling the ability to store files in the cloud and avoid lengthy business trips by communicating with customers and suppliers through more reliable video conferencing,” she said.

Calling it an “enormous project”, Dickinson added that NBN Co is working to deliver the satellite service as fast as it can, but “reaching all corners of the country will take some time”.

Alicia Garden, CEO of advocacy group Grain Growers, commented: “Like any other business, grain farmers require fast, affordable, reliable Internet connectivity to operate their enterprises to their potential. However, currently many farmers are not able to access connectivity comparable to their urban counterparts.”

She said that access to the NBN’s satellite service is a “potential game-changer” for grain growers.

“It will enhance connectivity standards to improve the efficiency and profitability of Australian farming by changing the way farmers do business – in particular their capacity to collect, analyse and apply agriculture data,” Garden said.

NBN Co has also revealed the initial version of the artwork that will be printed on the nosecone of the rocket that will take Sky Muster II into orbit.

The mosaic-style image is made up of more than 700 Australians who won the chance to include an image of their face on this notable piece of telecoms infrastructure.

Back in January, one of the key engineers who helped guide the NBN’s first satellite into orbit was awarded Australia Day Honours.

The Governor-General’s listed Mark Harman Thompson a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia, “for significant service to science as a satellite communications engineer through program management and design.”

Image credit: NBN company


  1. Sky Muster II is such a boring name. Surely after the Boaty McBoatface event we could come up with something better.

  2. Ah, yes, the second satellite that’s not needed, because there’s more than enough existing capacity from commercial providers to meet Australia’s bandwidth requirements…

    Yet another piece of the legacy of Mike Quigley and the real NBN nation-building team, who were summarily dismissed by the current gov’t for being good at their jobs.

    • @bw Wasn’t what was said. Private operators capacity would have grown to service demand, especially given $1.8b plus indefinite ongoing subsidies.

      Thankfully new management moved to utilise the new satellite’s capacity for customers, rather than Quigley $600m redundancy proposal.

      Many premises missed by Quigley now accounted for; some 40k premises moved from satellite to alternatives. Then the identified ~240k users (~400k premises passed) will average 0.56mbps available sustained capacity.

      Sadly Morrow is desperately looking for additional revenue to offset costs (cross subsidy model continues to kill the policy) and positioning capacity for retail-style services (despite a prohibition); Qantas and school of the air. Always the same; competition destroying capacity of govt funding too tempting.

      Lets hope the second satellite launch is successful. Taxpayers hit is just beginning.

      • Wasn’t what was said. Private operators capacity would have grown to service demand, especially given $1.8b plus indefinite ongoing subsidies.

        Really Richard?

        So you agree with Malcolm that “There is enough capacity on private satellites already in orbit or scheduled for launch for the NBN to deliver broadband to the 200,000 or so premises in remote Australia without building its own,” http://www.afr.com/technology/the-rolls-royce-nbn-satellite-malcolm-turnbull-didnt-want-is-ready-for-launch-20150923-gjtm6f

        Care to actually provide some evidence of your, and Malcolm’s, assumption? Especially as he is now considering a third NBN satellite?

        • Tinman
          Don’t forget Optus said there was enough on the satellites.
          As well as NBN said that already used up what’s current aviable in the ISS.

          But then Tinman Richard like to claim things or rewrite history that isn’t true.

          • You both contadict my position whilst providing evidence supporting it (nothing new). It wasn’t as BW claimed.

            Turnbull, and myself at the time concluded commerical capacity would increase without NBNCo building their own. Indeed the ISS demonstrated it, Quigley’s failure not monitoring customer usage (remarkable). A number of satellites has since been launched with Australian footprint; not providing broad Internet coverage due to the govt decision to build their own (see the killing of private investment in fixed line). Another satellite company went bust, unworkable business model thanks in part to the taxpayer funded elephant in the room.

          • Lol Richard
            So you are claim Optus was lying when they said there was no capacity now or in the future.

            But then if you claim was true “Turnbull, and myself at the time concluded commerical capacity would increase”. The ISS would beable to sign up a lot more people and have less congestion then what it’s currently got.

          • Optus spoke of their then satellite capacity and plans. You need to comprehend what others are saying, rather quick to jump to the “liar” conclusion.

          • Lol Richard so they weren’t lyning how fascinating so your claim commercial capacity would increase is false then. Thanks for clearing that up then.

          • Extraordinarily (though unsurprising) you believe Optus is the only provider of satellite capacity over Australia; now and in the future. You are wrong (again).

            Thanks for clearing that up then.

          • Extraordinary you claimed claim commercial capacity would increase one one of the satellite providers say the opposite. You are wrong again

            Thanks for clearing that up then

          • “Turnbull, and myself at the time concluded commerical capacity would increase without NBNCo building their own”

            Specifically which facts led you to that conclusion? What satellites were you expecting? Considering that a Sat launch is announced years in advance, I assume you had a very specific solution in mind…?

  3. 1″when i looked at the figure of 14756 dollars .Than I have no other choice but to accept , what i saw .They have been doing this for a year and get rid of their debts.. Yesterrday they purchased new Aston Martin…v05

    ====== http://tiny.tw/3pc8

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