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  1. 1,476 Posts.
    This is not new but may be interesting to people that think that Newsat is new.

    Mr MILTON — I do not, but NewSat do. They then buy theoretical pipes of data up and back from the satellite service provider, which is a satellite provided by New Skies in Holland, a satellite called NSS-6, launched in December 2002. Of particular interest is that that is a true IP or Internet protocol satellite. It was the first of its type.

    There is two-way satellite available from Optus, from Telstra and others utilising other satellites which have inherited disadvantages in that they are not optimised for Internet. They are general data communications TV, DVB as it is called, satellites.

    There is one further satellite, an IP satellite, launched in August this year by a company called IPStar, which is only the second. That may bring competitive pricing issues as it is commercially rolled out with the NewSat pricing, but currently it costs about four times as much for the satellite for the service. With the equipment, if you buy a stand-alone dish for a farm, you are looking at about $5000 installed. The HiBIS subsidies went towards doing that and the Broadband Connect subsidies will go towards defraying those costs.

    The CHAIR — Currently under the satellite there are two options, from what I can gather, 256 kb and 512 kb broadband?


    Mr MILTON — No. You are probably thinking about some of the plans that are available from Optus or Telstra.

    Plans on this satellite, because it is true Internet, enable much higher speeds. In fact, it has up to 62 megabits per second down and 1.15 megabits per second up.

    The CHAIR — So the satellite has got the same kind of capacity — —

    Mr MILTON — It has a huge capacity, yes. It is not cheap when you get to those data rates, but the capacity is there, whereas the limitations with the previous satellites were of the order of 800 kb down per second
    and something like 400 kb back up.

    Dr NAPTHINE — Do you feel that there are any issues with regard to the rules and regulations that apply to telecommunications that disadvantage your part of the industry compared to the other part of the industry, or are you satisfied with the regulatory framework for now?

    Mr MILTON — I think the regulations really do not affect it. It is a bit like voice-over IP that we have probably had some discussion about, and people looking at whether that should be regulated, compared to voice over a normal system. The satellite service is a means of providing the Internet connection. All of the general regulations in terms of service providers prevail, as do the spectrum issues that people have to work with in their designated spectrums. Just like with wireless, they have to work within the designated spectrums that they have.

    But I do not believe there is anything against it. It is purely the cost of the satellite having to be defrayed over its lifetime amongst the number of subscribers.

    - Rural and Regional Services and Development Committee 28/11/05


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