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New"fair go" for internet in the Bush

  • 07 September, 2007 13:48

<p>Broadband internet connection in the outback just got a whole lot better with the announcement of a joint venture today between Dodo and NewSat to deliver a new “fair go” for the bush.</p>
<p>Called “Dodo Satellite powered by NewSat” the new service will deliver a new “lowest price and best performance” benchmark in broadband internet connection for remote Australia.</p>
<p>“Dodo Satellite powered by NewSat” will offer a range of seven connection plans, all capped, with a starting price of below $20 per month. This move is set to revolutionise the price of broadband satellite connection in the country by slicing approximately 30 percent from the current starting prices for a 256/64kbps speed connection.</p>
<p>As part of the new “Dodo Satellite powered by NewSat” alliance, Dodo is committed to delivering a minimum target of 12,000 remote customers under Australian Broadband Guarantee budgeted funding to the 30th June, 2008. This exclusive agreement is a landmark endorsement of the “Broadband to the Bush” push.</p>
<p>The service will form the basis of an application to the Commonwealth Government’s ABG programme this month and is subject to approval by the Australian Government’s Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts.</p>
<p>Both parties to the agreement expect strong continuing uptake of their best price/best performance, remote broadband connectivity by satellite offer and look forward to the Commonwealth Government’s review of the expenditure from the $400 million funding sourced out of the interest from the Telecommunication Fund for the years beyond 08.</p>
<p>In a further show of confidence in the outcomes of the agreement, Dodo Satellite Pty Ltd has also joined the NewSat share registry as a major stock-holder by subscribing to $500,000 of ordinary shares in NewSat Limited, as well as performance based options.</p>
<p>“Now Australians at work and home in the outback will be able to access internet voice communication, data transfer, web browsing and emails, and even video streaming over Dodo Satellite powered by NewSat,” said Dodo Managing Director, Larry Kestelman.</p>
<p>“Wherever you are in Australia you will be covered by Dodo telecommunications either by land line, mobile and now, satellite.</p>
<p>“Dodo is pleased to partner with NewSat to deliver communications to the outback and even those black spots not so far from regional Australia’s cities and towns.</p>
<p>“Dodo has always been a ‘fair go’ telco in the bush. We established comparable prices for the bush and metro Australia back in the dial-up days and were the first ISP in 2001 not to price discriminate against rural Australians, on a national basis, I may add,” he said.</p>
<p>“Satellite has a place in the broadband delivery mix and NewSat has invested in the world’s best technology to ensure that we can deliver the connection at an unbeatable price and performance point.</p>
<p>“This spells good news for those who live and work in remote Australia and delivers on the Commonwealth Government’s policy to provide internet access to the remote on equivalent terms to those living in metropolitan Australia enjoy,” Mr Kestelman said.</p>
<p>NewSat Limited is a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX:NWT) and owns and operates two substantial teleports, one in Adelaide and the other in the Perth suburb of Bayswater.</p>
<p>From the 23 antennas located in the teleports, NewSat provides connection to eleven satellites and assists in the control of more than $3 billion worth of space assets.</p>
<p>Dodo and NewSat both operate are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round. Which means service delivery for customers is 99% uptime in accordance with the Howard Government’s ABG guidelines.</p>
<p>“We are delighted to add NewSat’s world class technology and expertise to the joint venture with Dodo,” said Adrian Ballintine, Managing Director, NewSat Ltd.</p>
<p>“We recognise that Dodo has outstanding marketing and customer interface. Combined with our technical excellence this means we can provide Australians in remote locations with the best satellite communications,</p>
<p>“We currently supply quality satellite communications to many remote communities, even some without postcodes. NewSat’s services support health, business, government, education and household communication needs,” he said.</p>
<p>Central to NewSat’s technology will be the introduction of a ViaSat Surfbeam hub from the US which with other system enhancements is being dubbed “Ku plus” technology by NewSat.</p>
<p>This satellite breakthrough involves NewSat introducing to Australia the US-sourced Surf Beam hub and ancillary technology which not only makes rapid deployment of connections possible, but enables the offering of highly desirable price points for consumers as well as delivering enhanced quality of service.</p>
<p>Explaining the new technology, Mr Ballintine said, “This is the first time ViaSat’s SurfBeam technology has been deployed in the Australasian region, so it is quite an achievement for NewSat.</p>
<p>“We saw the opportunity to step ahead of the prevailing market technology in Australia and now will be able to deliver the best of breed consumer satellite connection and quality, arguably superior to the existing satellite service in Australia up to now.</p>
<p>“ViaSat’s Surf Beam technology has been tried and tested extensively in the USA and Canada and is the platform of choice there.</p>
<p>“Through NewSat and Dodo, it won’t be long before it is ubiquitous in Australia, too,” he said.</p>

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