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NewSat’s first satellite named Jabiru

  • 19 February, 2008 14:43

<p>NewSat Limited (NWT:ASX) takes this opportunity to update shareholders on its presentation to the Regional Telecommunication Independent Review Committee concerning the company’s proposal to launch Australia’s first independent and first Australian-owned commercial satellite with its invitation to the Commonwealth Government to contribute AUD$200 million, from the Communications Fund interest, or principle, in a matching dollar for dollar basis with the company. “Since making its initial submission, the company has been progressing its satellite project and welcomes the opportunity to give the Committee an update. In December, in its original submission, NewSat sketched out its proposition about launching and operating a satellite with advanced technology unavailable today in either Australia or the region, from any competitor. NewSat posited that this could and should be the lynch-pin of delivering the social contract the Commonwealth Government has made with the people of regional and remote Australia for the equitable provision of broadband communication access, price and performance for “the Bush” relative to metropolitan Australia. We are currently witnessing rapid changes in technological solutions in metropolitan and regional Australia with the industry now talking up FttH. At the same time some WiMax extensions of service provision beyond FttN seem to have unresolved problems. The future of major roll-outs to regional Australia appear uncertain in some respects and at all times they promise access for Australians in just a tiny fraction of the Australian land mass. What NewSat is proposing is a holistic solution to the many disadvantaged people, businesses, government projects, curriculum and medical services delivery as well as defence and emergency communications across the entire land mass, wherever it is needed and that includes out to sea for good measure. Wherever FttN, FttN + Wimax, FttH any other solution falls short, the NewSat satellite coverage can solve the problems whether they are just minutes outside a major town in a “blackspot” or in the red heart of the country with no post code. And NewSat can do it like do other satellite provider can today. So the myriad of broadband shortcomings now being documented by the Committee can best be resolved by a big picture solution such as put forward by NewSat, rather than a lot, or even a set, of band-aids and add-ons which will be relatively expensive to implement and operate as temporary fixes as well as being short lived in this rapidly changing face of technology. The NewSat solution will provide the outcomes sought by many around the Outback and the company will work closely (as it does already) with the States, NGO’s and other groups who will benefit from the satellite platform at a level of performance not previously known and a price not previously considered. The company judges these elements fundamental to the social equity equation and is proud to be leading the nation in delivering this infrastructure and making it available to consumers, to government and as a wholesaler to other down-stream telecommunication providers. Since the original submission in December 07, the company has identified a range of project suppliers with whom it has commenced early, but active stages of negotiation to bring the satellite project into orbit. Whilst no commitments have yet been made, NewSat is now confident that the world’s major space players, from satellite builders, to rocket builders and launchers, to satellite operators and risk mitigation experts are all “on board” and are very supportive of this NewSat project. The company is now in a position to start describing its satellite proposition in finer detail. This will continue to be refined over time and is, of course, subject to negotiation and change in the settlement of partners and customers of the project. Today, however, NewSat can announce that the name of the satellite will be Jabiru. The Jabiru, as you know, is the only indigenous stork to Australia, and makes a proud emblem for a satellite from this country. We acknowledge that there is a town in Kakadu called Jabiru and believe the there will be no mix-up of names seeing NewSat’s Jabiru will be some 36,000 kilometres above the equator. So today’s Jabiru is now expected to carry a mixed payload dominated by Ka band (see previous submission) and a balance of Ku, with a small amount of specialist requirement covered by X and L band transponders. Preliminary discussions with targeted clients have indicated this payload mixture as optimum. It will be a comparatively large satellite with many transponders weighing more than an estimated 5 tonnes. It will have a life of 15 years. NewSat is in negotiation with a number of parties for allocation of a necessary geo-stationary slot. The company has also announced the addition of a new director to NewSat, Chris North, who joined the Board in late 2007. Mr North had a distinguished career in public service and served as chief of staff to two Commonwealth Ministers in the telecommunications arena and was himself instrumental in developing telecommunications policy, before entering private consulting and more recently being a foundation director in launching the telecommunications public company, Unwired. Finally, NewSat extends an invitation to the Committee, to visit the company’s Perth and/or Adelaide teleport and see first-hand the world class, on-the-ground, space assets which provide the company’s springboard for the Jabiru satellite project. The Committee can see, at either teleport, the technical engagement with a range of satellites from the world’s largest space companies, such as Intelsat and NewSkies/SES, which illustrates the powerful reason why NewSat is extending its business to become a complete satellite/space model and why it is approaching the Committee to highlight that Australia should have its own satellite/s to fix its own problems and maximise its own productivity and emergency opportunities. NewSat’s bold telecommunications infrastructure solution recommendation and proposal can deliver the basis of Australia’s regional and remote broadband requirement beyond 2020.” Signed Adrian Ballintine</p>

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