Do more with nbn® Sky Muster® Plus

5-minute read
The nbn Sky Muster Plus satellite service now includes more data than ever before with major changes introduced to benefit households and small businesses across Australia.

From the explosion in video streaming and online banking to working and studying from home, access to fast and reliable broadband plays a vital role for people across Australia.

This is particularly so for those living in regional and remote parts of the nation.

nbn’s Sky Muster satellite service was established to ensure that even those in some of the most inaccessible and isolated parts of the continent have access to the social and economic opportunity that broadband connectivity provides.

And in the latest of a steady stream of enhancements designed to help deliver a better experience, Sky Muster Plus customers can now access more data. These will come at no extra wholesale cost. 

More data at no extra wholesale cost

From 1 July, people connected to nbn Sky Muster Plus can now access Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and video streaming for 16 hours a day – between 12am midnight and 4pm– without it counting toward their monthly data allowance.1,2,4 Previously all VPN and video streaming counted towards a person's monthly data allowance, regardless of the time of day.
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This means between the hours of 12 am midnight and 4pm, only video streaming and VPN use will count towards a user’s monthly data allowance.1,2,4 All other activities like online shopping, emails, and internet banking, audio streaming, video calling and Wi-Fi calling will not count towards a user’s monthly data allowance for the full 24 hours.1,2,4

nbn has listened to feedback from those who use and rely on the Sky Muster Plus satellite service asking for more data to meet their daily needs and understands the importance of this latest change in an increasingly digitally-connected world.

Gavin Williams, Chief Development Officer, Regional and Remote at nbn, says the enhancements to nbn Sky Muster Plus is part of nbn’s commitment to lifting the digital capability of Australia, right across the country.

“We’re making these changes to help deliver a better experience for our customers,” says Gavin.

“We know how important nbn Sky Muster is to people living in regional and remote areas of the nation, and that it’s just as important that we deliver fast and reliable broadband access that better reflects the way they are accessing data on our network to do the things that really matter to them.

“These changes make managing data simpler and give customers freedom and peace of mind to do more with their data,” says Gavin.

Gavin Williams, Chief Development Officer, Regional and Remote at nbn

Kristy Sparrow, Co-Founder at Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia, says it has never been more important for people in Australia – no matter where they live or work – to be connected.

“The changes will allow nbn Sky Muster Plus users to have more flexibility to use their satellite connection during the day, without data constraints, for the very first time.

“This will help transform regional users’ ability to access connectivity that help meet their needs and keeps up with current data demands. 

“BIRRR has advocated very strongly for nbn Sky Muster plans to be enhanced and we are pleased that this advocacy has resulted in better plans for business, health and education in the bush.”  

Continuous improvement for our customers

Since the launch of the original nbn Sky Muster satellite in 2015, Gavin says nbn has had the backs of people living in the bush when it comes to meeting their connectivity needs.

“Broadband demand has continued to grow and, as Australia’s digital backbone, nbn is determined to help cater to this demand and support the evolving needs of our customers.

“We have listened to feedback and monitored data usage trends with a view to continually improve delivery and customer experience for our satellite customers.”

Over time, other improvements to nbn’s Sky Muster products include4:

  • Steadily enhancing the resilience of the satellite network
  • Introducing greater data allowances and faster download speeds
  • Removing the use of essential services, such as email and online banking, from monthly data allowances on nbn Sky Muster Plus.1,2
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“We will continue to listen to our customers and stakeholders and evolve our service as their needs change,” says Gavin.

From supporting people living in rural and remote parts of the nation, working from home and staying connected with loved ones during the pandemic, to helping keep remote First Peoples’ communities safe, and providing a vital lifeline for residents and emergency services during floods and bushfires, nbn’s Sky Muster satellite services have played a vital role.

“It’s important to remember that Sky Muster services are available across the country,” says Gavin.

“Just contact your preferred phone and internet provider for details on how you can sign up for a plan that suits your needs or, for existing nbn Sky Muster users, upgrade to Sky Muster Plus.” 

Top tips to get more from your data on nbn® Sky Muster® Plus

With the introduction of the changes, here are our top three tips to help you get the most from your data.
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Check if nbn Sky Muster is right for you

The nbn Sky Muster satellite service is available across 99.98 % of nbn’s satellite footprint in Australia and is a great option for many homes and small businesses, especially in regional, rural and remote areas.Check in with services like the Regional Tech Hub and with your preferred retail provider to see if it will meet your needs.

Choose the right plan

nbn Sky Muster Plus is available through a range of retail service providers who can offer you a range of plans with monthly data allowances for video streaming and VPN use between 4pm – 12am midnight, to suit your needs.1,2,4 Find a phone and internet provider that suits you.

Data smarter

To help get even more from your monthly data allowance, you can do things like download your favourite TV shows and movies before 4pm to watch them later, adjusting play back settings on video streaming services and turning off auto play settings for websites that have embedded streaming content when using them between 12am midnight and 4pm. 

1 Exclusions and fair use conditions apply. If you’re accessing your connection via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) between 4pm and 12am midnight, all activities will count towards your monthly data allowance. For more information on which traffic may be shaped to proactively protect the nbn™ broadband access and ensure fair access to the network for all users, and exclusions, visit nbnco.com.au/skymuster-plus or speak to your internet service provider. For details on fair use conditions, contact your internet service provider. 

2 Note that, to proactively protect and ensure the fair access to the nbn™ broadband access network for all users, nbn may from time to time, at its discretion, shape the following data activities to maximum wholesale upload and download speeds of 256kbps:   

  • uploads and downloads via peer to peer;  
  • uploads and downloads to cloud storage platforms;  
  • PC and smartphone operating system updates;  
  • software/application updates;  
  • gaming software updates;  
  • any other data traffic related to applications which nbn cannot identify. 

Other data applications that nbn considers may cause adverse network impacts may also be added to the above list to be shaped, including streaming video and VPN outside of 4pm and 12am midnight. 

3 nbn will assess whether an installation is standard, because practical and optimal installations differ at different locations. End customers should contact their preferred internet service provider to ask about the retail prices they charge. 

4 nbn provides wholesale services to phone and internet providers. nbn™ wholesale plans and speed tiers available to providers vary depending on the access technology in your area. Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the  nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the  nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside of nbn’s control (like your equipment quality and software, chosen broadband plan, signal reception, or how your provider designs its network). Satellite end users may also experience latency.