NBN to Offer More Data Allowance in Sky Muster Satellite Service

July 7, 2017
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Since the launch of the Sky Muster satellite service by the National Broadband Network, potential subscribers raised their eyebrows to the limited bandwidth allowance in the retail plans. The NBN, knowing beforehand the peak time usage that made the service practically unusable in peak hours, hoped to mitigate the denial of service and slow connections incurred during such times by offering allowances in non-peak hours. Still, the problems persist and the very limited peak hour allowance was barely consumed or at times, simply not enough.

In a rare showing of sincerity, the NBN has announced that it will raise the data allowance for Sky Muster plans starting October 2017 in which data allowances could rise as high as 300Gb monthly.

Currently, NBN Sky Muster resellers and their subscribers are limited to a maximum of 35Gb per month – some of which are never consumed by subscribers to the service unusable at times.

For select individuals and businesses who are consuming more data, they are limited to 75Gb in peak hours and 150Gb in off-peak hours.

With the announcement, the NBN plans to raise Sky Muster data allowances by as much as 50 per cent with a 45Gb as a starter allowance. For peak hours, the NBN plans to raise the limit to 150Gb and 300Gb for off-peak hours.

With the planned expansion of the data allowance, the NBN will leave it to the Sky Muster satellite internet resellers on how these plans will go about:

“The majority of consumers and businesses on the service are expected to receive larger peak and off-peak plans from their retailer at a similar cost to what they are paying today,” according to the release statement of the NBN as quoted by ITNews.

This means that Sky Muster resellers can raise the data allowances for Sky Muster but without a uniform raise as different providers are expected to give out more or a bit less than what the NBN prescribes.

To no one’s surprise, NBN finally admitted that that the company is “listening” to subscribers of the Sky Muster service following various complaints raised by regional groups, households and even local governments to the faulty and limited Sky Muster service. Everyone remembers how the NBN indirectly described Sky Muster as the savior of regional and rural connectivity.

In a blanket statement in shading the company’s long line of indifference towards legitimate complaints over the Sky Muster service, NBN CEO Bill Morrow said: “We are confident that this announcement is a step in the right direction to improve their internet experience.”

“We will continue to optimise the pricing model and data plans of the Sky Muster service with further offerings on business and education services expected to be available in the next 12-18 months.”

Kristy Sparrow, founder of the Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote (BIRRR) Australia, welcomes the long expected raising of the ceiling for these data caps.

“We’ve advocated for increased data limits ever since the launch of Sky Muster, as we believe the current maximum of 75GB [in peak times] is inadequate for the multiple needs that rural customers often require,” Sparrow said in a statement published by ITNews.

Miss Sparrow also urged Sky Muster resellers to positively make changes following the NBN: “to work with NBN Co and their customers to ensure the new higher data plans are affordable and meet the individual needs of regional consumers”.

Despite the raising of the bandwidth allowance, Sky Muster satellite service remains a cause of frustration to its subscribers due to the connection dropouts and intolerable slow speeds recorded.

We all know that raising the bandwidth does not improve the reliability of Sky Muster where it often comes to a state of unusability. The NBN knows that and the proactive regional communities like BIRRR are well aware.

BIRRR is expected to champion better internet service and that includes Sky Muster. “improved reliability, changes to off-peak hours, business grade services and an increased fixed wireless footprint to help alleviate pressure” on Sky Muster.”

In the months ahead, NBN is looking at further optimization for Sky Muster to better deliver a dependable service overall.