Communications

Current arrangements for the internet/phone services for regional and remote Australians are poor compared to the facilities offered to city folk. The NBN Co., with its two ‘Sky Muster’ satellites will be seriously challenged in the very near future to provide sufficient capacity (bandwidth) and speed to match the unlimited downloads and speeds now being offered to city users, if these sorts of downloads were given to country users. For example, city based users are being offered 1,000 Gb/month at around $70/month, while regional and remote internet users are being offered a  maximum/limit of only 150Gb/month at $200/month via the ‘Sky Muster’ satellite service. It is declared government policy to insure that all Australian users of the internet be treated equally. This is clearly not the case here.

In addition, it is unlikely that even with two satellites in operation there will be sufficient available capacity at peak times, and at the guaranteed speed, to handle all of the outback traffic, particularly with the ever increasing demands for the download of You Tube videos and streamed movies. Overall the internet capacity per person will be greater in the outback compared to that of a person in the city. This is because of the likely enhanced capacity needs per person in the bush for the use of e-medicine, e-surgery possibly with robots operated by city based surgeons, e-education, e-kindy. Importantly will be the future use by regional farmers to photographically survey their crops and dams, find the location of their cattle and sheep and open/close gates and valves as required, all via the internet.

Altitude Energy, an Australian owned company, specialises in the use of quad-rotorcraft to provide extra internet services for regional and remote Australia, all at an extremely low-cost compared to that of the ‘Sky muster’ technology. These rotorcraft can be used to generate electricity while ‘riding unpowered’ on the winds at around 20,000 feet altitude. Tests with a twin-rotor craft are shown in the video and photograph below, where the tethered craft rides on the wind while simultaneously generating electricity. This electricity may be used on-board to power the internet electronics. Alternatively in different circumstances and locations, these craft be used to generate grid electricity, which is then conducted down the tether to connect with the conventional electrical grid. The winds above Australia are powerful and persistent enough to have ten quad-rotorcraft each operating as ‘internet receiving and transmitting towers’ at 20,000 feet, not at around only 100 feet as with conventional fixed-towers. In this manner the internet signals can be collected from anywhere within a line-of-sight range of 298 km in all directions. In other words, they function as mobile phone towers 20,000 feet tall. With ten units suitably located in the outback, with CASA approval, it is possible to create a national internet facility at around 1/100th the installation cost of the ‘Sky Muster’ system.

Altitude Energy has designs ready to demonstrate this innovative quad-rotorcraft technology.

With ten units suitably located in the outback, with CASA approval, it is possible to create a national internet facility at around 1/100th the installation cost of the ‘Sky Muster’ system

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