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Unmetered Data For NBN Satellite Users

NBN Co has announced changes to its satellite wholesale plans to give rural users more data and better speeds.

The Sky Muster Plus satellite service will give users unmetered access to select web browsing for essential services like online banking, emails, PC and smartphone OS updates to ensure customers retain basic internet and communications regardless of data usage.

Satellite plans generally have lower data allowances than most other NBN services, many of which offer unlimited data.

Video and music streaming, the use of VPNs, and other internet services will still be subject to monthly peak and off-peak data caps, with connection speeds for those services throttled after the cap is exceeded.

A trial of the service conducted from the start of June until earlier this month found around one third of all internet traffic on the service in July was used for data that would be unmetered.

80 per cent of users also reported their internet experience improved throughout the trial.

NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue said “satellite services are a critical part” of meeting the national broadband network’s goal to improve “the digital capability of Australia, and to champion social and economic progress through connectivity”.

Mr Rue added the unmetered services will “provide comfort to customers who can continue to access essential internet services such as online banking any time”.

“We know this is particularly important for small businesses, which are critical to local communities,” Mr Rue said.

Retail service providers will have three wholesale plans on offer at a speed tier of 25/5Mbps, but speeds may sometimes increase beyond that, given the right network conditions and capacity.

The SkyMuster Plus satellite services were first announced in November last year.

The NBN is due to complete its rollout mid-2020, but is already under threat in metro areas from the rise of 5G networks.

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