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NBN Co prioritises bringing broadband to the bush

22 July 2014

New Satellite Support Scheme to connect up to 9,000 more Australians

NBN Co today announces a new initiative to boost the number of broadband connections for Australians who cannot access an existing commercial broadband service – NBN Co Satellite Support (NSS) Scheme.

Available to apply for from today, the NSS Scheme will connect to up to 9,000 additional premises in remote and regional mainland Australia and Tasmania, until the expected launch of NBN Co’s Long Term Satellite Service (LTSS)i in late 2015.  The scheme will be delivered by wholesaler, IP Starii and participating Internet Service Providersiii (ISPs), not by NBN Co.

NBN Co Chief Customer Officer, John Simon said:

“Bringing broadband to the most remote communities across Australia is one of NBN Co’s highest priorities.  It gives residents access to e-health, distance education and internet banking, while businesses can benefit from increased productivity, reduced costs and access to new markets.”

“With high demand for broadband in regional areas, this initiative is essential to providing a reliable service to families and businesses that cannot access a commercial broadband service today,” said Mr Simon.

Judy Newton, Federal President of the Isolated Children's Parents' Association said:

“This is great news from NBN Co. These are common sense measures that will mean a great deal for families in the bush especially for students and teachers who need broadband for lessons.  We are very pleased with this announcement."

Eligibility Criteria

Only one commercial service per eligible home or business can be ordered under the NSS Schemeiv.  Residents who have not previously connected to a subsidised satellite service under the Australian Broadband Guarantee or the NBN Co’s ISS program will be eligible to apply.

Those residents eligible for NBN Co’s LTSS will be able to connect to the servicev following its launch.

Five-step guide to applying for the NBN Co Satellite Support Scheme

1.     Visit and click on the Broadband Service Locator (BSL).

2.     Input your address and a few other details into the BSL.

3.     If you are eligible, contact NBN Co to provide you with a registration number.

4.     You will then be sent an information pack including your registration number and a declaration form.

5.     Complete the application and declaration form and send these plus the registration number to your chosen participating internet service provider and choose a plan.

Media enquiries

Grant Thomas
M: 0417 554 787
P: 02 8918 5853

Notes to editors

Features provided under the NSS Scheme

The NSS Scheme is designed to deliver wholesale speeds of up to four Mbps download and one Mbps upload.  Key product features include:

  • Speed and Availability Service Levels: the wholesale service is expected to provide ISPs with a minimum performance of 65 percent peak speed, 85 percent of the time. This is equivalent to achieving a minimum download speed of 2.6 Mbps for 20.4 hours per day.
  • Equipment Support and Maintenance: the wholesale service is expected to have no upfront costsvi, with reduced ongoing maintenance chargesvii over a minimum one year service term.  This is expected to reduce the barriers to accessing satellite services for users in remote locations.
  • Data Plans: eligible customers will purchase their preferred retail plan directly from a participating service provider.

Eligibility Criteria

The NSS Scheme is available to premises that, according to the NBN Co Broadband Service Locator tool:

  • cannot access a ‘commercial broadband serviceviii’ and
  • have never had a satellite service via the Australian Broadband Guarantee or NBN Co ISS programs.
  • are within the coverage and line of sight of the WSP’s satellite
  • NBN Co, in its discretion, determines that they are either a:
    • Residential End User
    • Small Business End User
    • Indigenous Community Organisation
    • Not-For-Profit Organisation
    • Education Facility
    • Health Facility
    • Local Government Facility.

Commercial broadband services include:

  • an NBN Co fixed wireless or fixed line service
  • traditional broadband services such as ADSL or ADSL 2+
  • mobile wireless service in ‘hand held areas’; or with the addition of an external antenna and
  • listed commercial fixed wireless services.

i Unlike the NSS Scheme, NBN Co will be the wholesale service provider for the Long Term Satellite Service (LTSS).

iiNBN Co funds the NSS Scheme and IP Star is the wholesaler.  Other wholesale providers may also qualify to join the scheme.

iii Participating Trial ISPs include: Orion trading as Reachnet and APN trading as Active8me, with additional ISPs expected to participate.

iv Eligible customers then have up to four months to place an order with their chosen ISP before registration validity expires.

vMigration to the LTSS is at NBN Co’s discretion.  Eligible customers must be active on the NSS Scheme for at least 12 months.

vi ISPs may include some upfront costs depending on the specific plan purchased by the end user.  NSS Scheme plan details are to be confirmed by participating ISPs.

vii Ask your service provider if they apply any additional charges for the support and maintenance of the service or additional obligations.

viii A ’commercial broadband service’ is a service that can offer peak data speeds of at least 512/128 kbps and 3GB per month usage allowance (with no restrictions within these limits on downloads or uploads or usage time) and at a cost to the end user of no more than $2,500 (incl. GST) of monthly ongoing charges over three years, excluding equipment and connection costs.

NBN Co prioritises bringing broadband to the bush

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