NBN Ground Stations

Installation and Commissioning; Fire Protection

With the rollout of Australia’s broadband network, “nbn” has constructed 10 critical satellite ground stations in remote rural locations. As part of the project, the 10 satellite stations will help to deliver broadband services to homes and businesses in remote and rural areas across Australia.

Cockram Corporation, based in Melbourne, constructed six of the facilities located in New South Wales (Bourke, Wolumla, Broken Hill), Queensland (Roma), Tasmania (Geeveston) and South Australia (Ceduna). In addition, Perkins (WA) Pty Ltd delivered the four satellite stations in Western Australia (Carnarvon, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Waroona).

Walker Fire Protection was engaged to provide design, installation and testing of the fire detection, occupant warning and gaseous suppression systems to the six Cockram sites, as well as four WA-based stations with Perkins. All services for the 10 sites were facilitated by the strong in-house delivery capabilities that Walker Fire Protection has available.

The satellite ground stations are critical telecommunication facilities, essential to the delivery of nbn’s Satellite Service. Each ground station has two, 13.5 metre satellite dishes. The majority of stations have on-ground solar farms, designed to offset the power consumption of the facilities. The sites are similar to mission Critical Data Centre facilities, requiring highly resilient infrastructure to support the reliable operation of telecommunications equipment.

The remote location of these sites has been a significant challenge. The closest site to the Sydney CBD is Wolumla – a five hour drive away, and Queensland’s Roma site is a 10 hour drive from Brisbane. Carefully planned logistics and closely controlled coordination has been crucial to the success of the projects.

Smart use of kit-form design strategies was important in the efficient delivery of the fire protection systems making for a quicker, safer and smoother site installation, and helping to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements.

A.G. Coombs also provided HVAC and mechanical services to the six Cockram sites in NSW.

We are excited to be working with nbn to help deliver fast broadband to Australia’s remote and regional areas. It was important for us to engage a specialist building services provider who understands these highly technical, complex sites. With their notable expertise in critical sites such as Data Centres, the A.G. Coombs Group was best placed to deliver the integrated mechanical, HVAC and Fire Detection and Protection services efficiently and safely. The team has significantly contributed towards the project’s successful outcomes.

Reg Struwig, Contracts Administrator, Cockram Corporation

Project Overview

Project Name: NBN Ground Stations

Location: NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, WA

Client: Cockram Corporation & Perkins (WA)

Year Completed: 2015

Project Type

Installation and Commissioning; Fire Protection


  • Fully in-house delivery of Fire Detection, Occupant Warning and Gaseous Suppression Systems, enabled efficient, seamless coordination of design, delivery and installation services across the 10 sites.
  • Carefully planned logistics and closely controlled coordination has been crucial to the success of the projects.
  • Smart use of kit-form design and delivery strategies for the fire protection systems enabled quicker, safer and smoother site installation, and helped to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements.

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