Aussie firm reaches for the sky

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is well underway, with rollouts happening all across Australia. ICN has been involved from the beginning, helping Australian companies win contracts on this exciting project.

An important part of the NBN rollout is the Satellite Service which will be capable of providing high speed broadband to subscribers at any location in Australia where access to terrestrial services like Fibre To The Home (FTTH), Fibre To The Node (FTTN), or fixed wireless are not available.

Two NBNCo satellites are to be launched in 2015 and American based firm ViaSat Inc. has been contracted to manufacture equipment for 10 Satellite Gateway Earth Stations including installation and commissioning in remote townships throughout Australia. Each of the 10 gateways will have two 13.5 metre diameter antennas (one for each satellite) and the first Gateway will be installed in early 2014, at Bourke in outback NSW.

As part of the contractual arrangement, ViaSat has an Australian Industry Participation (AIP) requirement, which will see millions of dollars awarded to Australian suppliers, to provide goods and services for the development and installation of these satellite earth stations.

ICN has been working with ViaSat on finding suitably capable Australian contractors.

‘Through listing the project on ICN Gateway, and working with local suppliers, we have helped ViaSat identify local capability for various work packages,’ said ICN’s National Sector Manager - NBN, David Anderson.

One such Australian supplier is NSW-based company, Stolway. Stolway provides custom engineered Explosion‑Proof Heating, Ventilation and Air‑Conditioning (Ex HVAC) equipment to the oil, gas and downstream industries. However, with this NBN contract, they have expanded their service offerings to a whole new market.

‘This was a great win for Stolway,’ said Phillip Wilson, Sales Engineer, Stolway. ‘ICN has brought opportunities with the NBN to our attention that we didn’t even know existed. They have opened the door for us to not only access this work, but to enter a whole new industry we have not worked with before’.

Stolway won the air-conditioning contract, after ICN nominated them to ViaSat. ‘We knew that Stolway was a good fit for the project’, said David. ‘ICN has worked with the company previously and knew they had a high quality offering.’

The first satellite installation will be in Bourke, NSW in January 2014, where it will be operating in 45°c plus temperatures. The Stolway units have performed exceptionally well and as a result, Stolway is now on ViaSat’s list of global suppliers and will receive opportunities to supply projects well beyond the NBN.

‘Their equipment will be operating in Bourke and other locations in Australia where the local environment is over 45°c and the Stolway air conditioning units keep the critical equipment cool in harsh conditions’, said Dennis Jerram, General Manager, ViaSat Australia. ‘A common theme in all installations is that they are in rough, out of the way places, with extreme climatic conditions, dust, frost and vermin problems. Anything that performs well in those environments is top of the class’.

These satellite systems will help distribute high speed internet throughout all of Australia, including Christmas, Cocos, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands.

ICN is Australia and New Zealand’s innovative industry matchmaker. If you’re a major project developer, ICN can put you in contact with the best suppliers. If you’re a supplier we will connect you with the best projects for your business.