NBN have announced improvements to the satellite service that will power the broadband connections to remote Australians. Launching the Sky Muster service in the second quarter of next year, users will get ‘up to 25Mbps down and 5Mbps up. The improvement has been to bandwidth, now allowing up to 150GB plans to be sold on the service.
NBN say this improvement has been achieved through an innovative process of network optimisation, offering ‘significantly more’ capacity than originally planned. By covering premises with other technologies and making more use of the second purpose-built broadband satellite due to be launched next year, those users who have to get satellite, will get to download more of the internet per month.
40,000 less premises will use the satellite instead being fixed serviced by fixed line and fixed wireless connections. This change helps make more network capacity available on the satellite network.
It is still unclear what happens when users exceed their monthly data allowances on the service. On ADSL2+ your connection is shaped to a slower speed, but you can continue to download. NBN say there’ll be a fair use policy to help protect the quality of service for all end users, which could mean you’ll be cut off, if you use too much. If you’re a distance education student, there may be exceptions to this rule, like an additional 50GB each month.
Wholesale plans will enable ISPs to offer up to 75GB plans per month during peak periods while heavy users may opt for the largest 150GB plans. As a guide, a 75GB plan could allow more than 7 hours per day of standard definition video streaming. Everything you need to know about the NBN satellite is right there, in that line. Standard definition video is the comparison of choice as that’s the best these Australians can hope for, on what will inevitably be a congested service, particularly during peak times.
While the rest of Australia is talking about multiple 4K streams, these remote customers will be substantially disadvantaged because of the connection method allocated to them.
nbn Executive General Manager of Fixed Wireless and Satellite Products, Gavin Williams said:
“The nbn Sky Muster™ Satellite service will be a game changer for rural telecommunications delivering a new generation of satellite broadband to remote and isolated areas of Australia.
“We are freeing up capacity by rolling out more fixed wireless and fixed line broadband and using the unallocated capacity of the second satellite.
“We have worked hard to deliver vastly improved speeds and data allowances compared to services over the interim service, while ensuring we maintain a good quality experience for all satellite users. The satellite capacity is shared between users and there are limits in place so available capacity is managed carefully and fairly.
The service will have 135Gbps of capacity compared to just 4Gbps on the Interim Satellite Service (ISS). Sky Muster is designed to serve more than 400,000 premises in some of the most remote and isolated parts of Australia and Islands such as Norfolk, Christmas, Cocos and Lord Howe. Many of these Australians have no broadband options other than satellite