Satellite to benefit Eyre Peninsula

DISCUSSION: Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull discussed the latest developments with Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula chief executive officer Dion Dorward.
DISCUSSION: Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull discussed the latest developments with Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula chief executive officer Dion Dorward.

FEDERAL Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government wanted to make sure regional areas, including Eyre Peninsula, would benefit from the National Broadband Network (NBN), with assistance from the network's satellite to be launched later this year.

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey invited Mr Turnbull to speak with representatives from across the region at the Port Lincoln Yacht Club Thursday morning, with delegates from local government, education, regional development and local businesses attending.

Council areas represented included Port Lincoln, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Whyalla, Wudinna and Elliston.

Mr Turnbull said the NBN Co satellite was planned for launch in October, with the goal of being commercially available in April.

Mr Turnbull said the government and NBN Co were committed to covering all of Australia by 2020 and the launch of the NBN satellite was a major step towards that goal.

"We will look at the ways we can manage the satellite so everyone can get a first class performance," he said.

"I want the satellite to deliver as close as possible the quality of performance the fixed line service does in the city."

Mr Turnbull said people on Eyre Peninsula would have access to either fixed wireless or a fixed link to the satellite, which would allow for greater access to video streaming and educational sources.

A three-year estimate for NBN connections will also be released at the end of June and Mr Turnbull said he expected Port Lincoln to be listed then.

Already locations including Cleve and Port Neill have access to fixed wireless.

Mr Turnbull said he wasn't going to make the same mistakes as the previous government did and planned to deliver without promising too much.

"The previous government made a lot of extra promises, which they failed to meet," he said.

"I aim to under-promise and over-deliver, and I'm hoping to do that with black spots as well."

Feedback from the forum was mostly positive with the outline of the satellite launch and when service would start to be available.

Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula chief executive officer Dion Dorward said it was assuring to know there was a goal in sight.

"They've started construction at Port Augusta and Whyalla, at Cleve they've got wireless on periphery, so it's at our doorstep," he said.

"This region is particularly challenging for projecting what provision of coverage for our communities because we've got a small amount of people over a long expanse.

"We're happy Mr Turnbull has looked for practical conclusions that get people connected sooner than previously planned."

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