Arianespace: NBN sats will orbit this year – PROMISE*

*If nothing else goes wrong

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The delayed national broadband network (NBN) satellite launch will happen in 2015, Arianespace reckons.

The launch outfit has told multiple outlets there's little prospect of further delays to the launch, which will fill in the rural and remote black-spots on the NBN's coverage map, and will alleviate the capacity constraints that have plagued the interim service.

Originally slated for June this year, the launch was moved back when a co-passenger on that launch pulled out. Rather than buy a dedicated launch, nbnTM decided to wait for a new shared-launch date.

nbnTM had previously struck delays in negotiating its orbital slot with the ITU.

Now, Arianespace has told The Australian the only current dependency for the NBN satellite is a launch on May 27, and since the company hasn't “had a failure since 2002”, there's no reason to expect its other five launches in 2015 will strike delays.

Getting the birds into orbit in 2015 would let nbnTM meet its 2016 deadline for the commercial launch of its long-term satellite service (LTSS).

The company building the bird, Viasat, is pitching the idea that satellites will bust out of its “service of last resort” ghetto. After all, the LTSS will be sharing out an aggregate capacity of 126 Gbps. Viasat told industry newsletter Communications Day it's also working on Web caching for the ground technology so that the “700 ms of round-trip latency” is less noticeable to users.

Vulture South is pretty sure that gamers will argue about that latency until the world ends, but the company's probably got a point in a world where the dominant consumer of bandwidth is video. ®


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