Rural and remote Territorians who use the Sky Muster satellite for their internet usage will get 50 per cent more peak data and twice as much off-peak data from October, the Coalition Government has announced.
NBN Co will provide the extra data at no extra cost to retailers although how the retailers structure their plans is up to them.
Issues around Sky Muster data were raised by federal Coalition Ministers Fiona Nash and Mitch Fifield at an NBN Co board meeting a few months ago.
The Ministers had heard the concerns from customers that Sky Muster did not supply enough data allowance for some customers, particularly for businesses, and asked the NBN Co board to find ways to deliver more data to customers.
“For the first time, we expect customers to be able to purchase plans of more than 100 gigabytes a month of peak data. We’ve heard customers’ concerns and acted,” Minister Nash said.
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said this was great news for the Territorians currently using Sky Muster on 1883 premises in the NT.
“This increase in data is a good first step, but importantly, there’s more on the way, including plans for businesses,” Senator Scullion said.
An extra 35 gigabytes of peak data would allow, for example, a business to do 50 more hours of high definition videoconferencing with colleagues and clients a month, or a student to watch 25 more hours of university lectures a month, or a photographer to send an extra 3500 pictures a month.
Under Labor, Sky Muster users were set to receive just 35 gigabytes of peak data a month in total.
The Coalition Government has already doubled the data available to Sky Muster users above what they would have received under Labor by using the second satellite rather than have it orbit the earth as a backup.
The Government’s announcement today follows the huge improvement in Sky Muster stability, with outages down 90 per cent in April on what they were in September 2016.
“This is a very positive step in the right direction. We hope that the plans will continue to adapt to address future needs of bush consumers,” Senator Scullion said.