Geraldton has been chosen as one of 10 sites across Australia that will have multi-million dollar satellite ground stations built as part of the National Broadband Network.
NBNCo said Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Carnarvon had been selected as sites for the ground stations, which will support two satellites scheduled for launch in 2015.
The company has previously announced Wolumla and Bourke in NSW, Ceduna in SA, and Geeveston in Tasmania.
The three final sites have yet not been announced.
NBNCo spokeswoman Edwina Hinchcliffe said construction of the Geraldton facility, at Moonyoonooka, would begin next year.
Work would need to be complete by the first quarter of 2015 when the first satellite was launched.
The second satellite would be launched in the third quarter of 2015.
The satellites will provide high-speed broadband to households across Australia that fall outside the fibre and fixed wireless footprint.
“The facility at Moonyoonooka will act as an essential transmission centre to deliver services over the National Broadband Network to outback communities across the state and across the nation,” Mrs Hinchcliffe said.
“NBNCo has worked with the City of Greater Geraldton Council to identify a parcel of privately-owned land 13km east of Geraldton on Abattoir Rd at Moonyoonooka.
“It should provide a boost to the local economy when construction begins next year.
“An estimated 20 to 30 construction workers will be required to build the facility.”
Once built, the facility would also provide potential local jobs in maintenance, including grounds and electrical workers.
City chief executive Tony Brun said he welcomed NBNCo’s investment in the region.
“We look forward to Moonyoonooka being part of an important national project to connect Australians living in rural and remote parts of the country to the NBN,” he said.
The NBN plans to connect every home and business in Australia to high-speed broadband via fibre optic cable, fixed wireless and satellite within the next decade.
Geraldton was included in the three-year fibre rollout announcement made earlier this year.
Mrs Hinchcliffe said construction was under way and NBNCo planned to switch on modules progressively in the first half of next year.
“Following the completion of the works, residents and business owners in the city should be able to activate their services,” she said.
“NBNCo’s fixed wireless service is also now available in parts of Moonyoonooka, as well as Deepdale, Moresby and Rudds Gully.Mrs Hinchcliffe said the two NBN communications satellites were under construction and would deliver wholesale speeds of up to 12Mbps.
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