NBN Co selects satellite providers

Australia's NBN Co has awarded A$300 million (€224 million) worth of satellite deals to SingTel's Australian subsidiary, Optus, and Thaicom's IPSTAR Australia. 

The next-generation network operator plans to use satellite as an interim measure to bring broadband data speeds to rural areas, with the first services due to come online in July.
Optus has been commissioned to provide managed services and some capacity in a five-year deal worth A$200 million. The firm will lead the satellite rollout, and has contracted Israeli-based specialist Gilat to deploy VSAT equipment in gateways and end-user premises. The firm will initially deploy 11 hubs and 20,000 VSAT’s in a deal worth up to A$120 million.
NBN Co is also paying IPSTAR Australia A$100 million to access capacity on the Thaicom 4 satellite. 

Retailers will be able to access NBN Co’s wholesale satellite service to offer data rates up to 6Mbps, though the peak rate will be doubled once NBN Co launches its own birds in 2015.