NBN Co has selected West Australian and Victorian construction companies to build 10 satellite ground stations that aim to bring fast broadband to Australia’s most isolated communities.
Bunbury-based Perkins (WA) Pty Ltd will build four satellite transmission centres in WA.
Cockram Corporation, based in Melbourne, will build six facilities located in NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and SA.
The contracts are worth about $180 million in total and were awarded following a comprehensive procurement process.
Construction is due to be completed in 2015 in time for the launch of NBN Co’s Long Term Satellite Service that will deliver high speed broadband to an estimated 200,000 homes, farms and businesses in rural and remote parts of the country.
The satellite program is expected to boost local economies in the areas where the ground stations will be located. An estimated 20-30 construction workers will be required to build each facility. A further 60 people are expected to be employed nationwide to manage the service.
The Long Term Satellite Service is designed to provide retail broadband providers with the same basic wholesale speed (up to 12Mbps) and access price ($24 per month) that are available on the fibre and wireless networks.
“NBN Co’s satellite service is designed to bridge the divide between the city and the bush and ensure all Australians can receive high speed broadband,” NBN Co Program Director, Satellites, Matt Dawson, said.
Perkins Managing Director, Dan Perkins, said, “We pride ourselves on having building project teams that consist of the most experienced people in the industry. We look forward to playing a part in helping to build the infrastructure needed in WA to support NBN Co’s Long Term Satellite Service.”
Cockram Corporation Managing Director, Malcolm Batten, was similarly enthusiastic and said the company's professional expertise covers the full spectrum of specialist construction services including telecommunications.