John Simon

From building the overland telegraph line to launching two high-powered satellites, creating effective telecommunications across this vast country has always required big thinking and bold initiatives.

From copper to radio, microwave and fibre optics – every technology has been tested and pitted against extremes in weather, distance and landscape.

When nbn was given the task of bringing fast broadband to every single home and business across the continent, designers and engineers came together to develop the most powerful and agile set of satellites in the world.

Today we announce that the Sky Muster™ II, launched last October from Kourou, French Guiana, is now fully operational and sharing the load alongside sister satellite, Sky Muster™.

Both satellites, Sky Muster™ and Sky Muster™ II, are now in geostationary orbit 36,000 km above us and both are beaming the highest capacity broadband available on satellite. The technology is sophisticated, complex, expensive and highly efficient, designed by Australians, for Australia.

While the 70,000+ users now connected to the Sky Muster™ satellite service are experiencing fast broadband for the first time, or better broadband than they’ve had, we’re well aware that service disruptions and on-ground installation problems have been a source of frustration for customers. 

It has taken a great deal of testing on the ground and an extensive performance improvement plan over the last six months to get them up to peak operating performance. I am pleased to say that, together with our partners, we have delivered a more stable and better performing service with the weekly incident rate down by 80 per cent to achieve industry best practice levels.

We have also overhauled the installation process. As a result, end-user satisfaction ratings have improved significantly to 8/10.

We know many Sky Muster™ users live in some of the most remote parts of the world, and having access to a good working internet service is vital to your quality of life and ability to connect to your contacts and markets.

We are grateful for the feedback and patience of all those who have had a less than positive experience in our first year of operations. We have learned a lot during this time and we are confident we can provide a stable and reliable service. In short, we’ve listened to you and responded.

Now that these enhancements have been completed, and both Sky Muster™ satellites are performing well, nbn will continue to work on getting the most out of our satellites. This includes exploring innovations in ground-based equipment and looking at data capacity and usage.

Similar to the Sky Muster™ Satellite Education Service launched in August 2016, nbn is in discussions with peak industry bodies to determine how we deliver increased data limits to the health sector within regional and remote Australia. We expect to have more information to share about this in the coming months.

Also on our product development roadmap are Business and Enterprise products. We are on target to deliver these services within the year to better serve the needs of rural and remote businesses. Such services will provide access to more data capacity.

We thank you for your patience during the time we’ve taken to carefully recalibrate satellites to provide the positive experience and service that you expect.

Check your address to see if you can connect to the nbn™ network.

John Simon

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