Australia’s National Broadband Network has successfully launched the communication satellite Sky Muster into orbit, which will provide high speed internet services to rural areas.

The satellite was lifted from Guiana Space Centre in South America.

Considered to be one of the most advanced communication satellites worldwide, Sky Muster will provide fast broadband access to 400,000 Australian homes and businesses.

It will also provide broadband services to 200,000 Australians living in rural areas, including Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie and Cocos islands.

National Broadband Network CEO Bill Morrow said: "With the launch of Sky Muster, we’re one step closer to changing the digital face of our nation.

"With the launch of Sky Muster, we’re one step closer to changing the digital face of our nation."

"The ability to video conference friends and family, study courses online and visit doctors from your lounge room will all be possible in areas which have traditionally struggled to access basic internet services like online banking and shopping.

"Many homes and businesses in regional and rural Australia still rely on dial-up level speeds and have little or no access to a commercial broadband service. This satellite will help to close the divide and ensure no-one gets left behind."

Sky Muster will undergo final technical testing ahead of its commercial launch scheduled next year.

After the commercial launch, the service is expected to provide wholesale speeds even faster than present connections.

National Broadband Network recently signed additional contracts for the rollout of high speed broadband across Australia.