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29th May 2018

Cobham partner AST Australia’s rural broadband solution for South Australia government workers includes state-of-the-art EXPLORER VSAT antennas

Copenhagen, Denmark - The Government of South Australia's Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) has selected a solution that features EXPLORER 8120 VSAT antennas enabling broadband data connectivity and high quality telephony for workers delivering essential services to communities in remote areas. The EXPLORER 8120 antennas, which are the only 1.2 meter auto-acquire, drive-away antenna system to feature Dynamic Pointing Correction technology to improve link uptime, were delivered in May 2018.

DPTI strives to provide high quality infrastructure for the welfare and operational capability of its teams, ensuring they are enabled to continue delivery of essential services for communities in remote South Australia. A critical aspect is providing communication facilities for both worker welfare and operational support, but due lack of terrestrial infrastructure in remote regions, contact has until now been maintained through a combination of fax, satellite phones and high frequency radio, with limited Internet access available for personal or productivity use.

In a significant drive to improve conditions for remote workers, the department recently started a process of upgrading 11 mobile units to be used as accommodation for work crews during their 18 day work periods throughout remote South Australia. Facilities to improve contact with family and friends through, for example, VoIP, email and social media for when crews are off-shift were core to the project, alongside a desire to improve communication with head office and provide secure remote access to the department’s data network.

EXPLORER 8120 was chosen due to its easy installation and proven ability to deliver high uptime, augmented by a unique antenna stabilisation technology that ensures a reliable link to the satellite, even if the antenna is being buffeted by winds or people are moving around inside the accommodation unit.

"AST Australia was successful in meeting the requirements utilising the Cobham EXPLORER 8120 and our VSAT service provisioning with local support,"; said Richard Coston Managing Director of AST Australia. "Cobham's unique platform was preferred by the customer over all other 'Communications on the Pause'; antennas due to its unmatched performance and best-in-class operational qualities, such as the built in stabilisation system, blocking zone functionality and harmonic drive gearing. Additionally, its robust design delivers operational continuity in extreme environments, making sure that DPTI workers always have a stable connection even in the highest summer temperatures and arid climate experienced in South Australia."