Are you ready for Sky MusterTM ? This article will help you cover the bases, including:
- Satellite Dish installation
- NTD installation (nbn connection box)
- Rethinking your Home Network
- Router installation (incl what to do with existing routers, upgrading routers)
- Adding a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service to Sky Muster
- Distance Education using a second ‘educational’ NTD port
Q: Who will co-ordinate this part of install? A: nbn, via your chosen ISP (provider)
Most Sky MusterTM dishes are more compact than earlier satellite installations and more akin to a large Foxtel dish. Customers don’t have much control over dish installation – nbn will allocate (at the time of order) which dish your premises will get, determined for your location -although you can suggest to installer WHERE generally on the roof might suit your office setup most.
There are three sizes of dish; 80cm, 120cm and 180cm; and two transmitters’ (TRIA’s); a 3W and a 6W. That makes six possible combinations. Well over 90% of premises will get the 80cm/3w combination.
The three dishes have different mounting capabilities. The 80cm can go on a wall, on a tin roof or on the gutter of a tile roof. The 120cm can go on a wall or on a tin roof. The 180cm is a pretty special size that won’t be used much, but it’s a non-penetrating ground mount.
(more detailed SkyMuster Satellite Installation info also here)
NTD (nbn connection box) INSTALLATION
Who will co-ordinate this part of install? A: nbn, via your chosen ISP (provider)
This schematic of a typical Sky MusterTM installation shows the NTD and a WIFI router.
RETHINKING YOUR HOME NETWORK
Q: Who you will deal with? A: your chosen ISP (provider) and nbn installer
The Sky MusterTM installation may be an opportunity to rethink how your existing home network is configured and where the key equipments are located.
- Is your current modem in the best location?
- Is it handy to your WIFi router?
- Where is your printer?
- Is the WIFI router in the best location to provide coverage throughout your home?
BASIC FACTS to keep in mind:
– The provisional maximum cable distance from the Sky MusterTM satellite dish to the Network Termination Device (NTD) is 50m.
– The nbn™ standard practice is to wall mount the Sky MusterTM NTD to keep it out of the way of damage, tripping hazard etc. However it is possible to desk mount (discuss this with the installer on the day of installation).
– The NTD must be adjacent to a power socket.
– A special blue coloured, single coaxial cable from the dish will terminate at a wall plate.
– The Sky MusterTM NTD consumes around 40W continuous and is quite warm/ hot to the touch.
NB More details will be available in the nbn™ User Guide – Sky MusterTM connection. (Link will be added as soon as this becomes available.)
Q: Who you will deal with? A: Your ISP (provider) and IT expert
We now have a specific post about Sky Muster routers here
*Before making changes, always talk to your provider and follow their advice.
Your existing Satellite Router
For those who are already connected to the nbn™ Interim Satellite Service (ISS), the transition should be straightforward. It will be something like; unplug your router from the ISS modem and plug it into UNI-D1 on the new Sky MusterTM NTD.
It might be necessary to factory reset your router; in the case that there were changes to the routers WAN configuration. Check your router manufacturer manual for how to do this. Configure your router for Dynamic IP, which will almost certainly be the factory default setting. Some RSP’s may require usernames and passwords configured for the PPPoE. After a factory reset you will need to re-establish your WIFI network.
Your RSP will assist with any troubleshooting of the new Sky MusterTM connection. This support will work best if you are using the router models that they provide.
You may also take this opportunity to upgrade your router, prior to Sky MusterTM service installation. (Your RSP will have a range of suitable routers available.)
Upgrading your router
It may be worthwhile upgrading your current router if it is old. Current routers can offer more features that may better serve your network requirements. (Discuss this with your RSP in conjunction with your trusted technical advisor).
It may be useful to install Gargoyle on your router. Gargoyle is a free router firmware that can be installed on certain routers. Gargoyle provides tools to both measure and conserve your precious monthly Sky MusterTM plan quota. It may sound complicated, but if you can perform a firmware upgrade on a router, you can install and run Gargoyle.
Late model routers also offer improved WIFI and may support both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WIFI bands. It is worth noting that 2.4Ghz generally provides better and wider coverage in a large home.
Late model routers may offer faster LAN ports (1,000Mbps), USB ports(s) that may support a USB printer and or a hard drive. These devices may then be accessed by anyone on the network.
If you would prefer to LAN connect your devices (rather than WIFI), you may need to install a switch to accommodate the extra LAN ports. Your technical advisor can provide further information.
Will my old router work on SKY MUSTERTM?
2009 saw the arrival of 802.11n WIFI, which delivered 300n and WIFI speeds in excess of 100Mbps. WIFI of this speed, is fine for a 25Mbps SkyMuster™ connection.
If your existing WIFI router is less than 5-6 years old, 300n WIFI (minimum), has a WAN port (blue) and a 1-4 10/100Mbps LAN ports (yellow); you’d be unlucky to find that you cannot successfully connect your network to the 25/5 SkyMuster™ service. It may look something like this:
Even older 802.11g routers which first arrived in 2003, will work, albeit with slower WIFI.
Why buy a newer, faster router?
The key reason to buy a faster late model router (as indicated earlier), is if you ‘do a lot’ with your home network e.g it is connected to many client devices, includes a media server and/or fast hard drives, printer(s), scanners and the like; where 1000Mbps LAN ports and faster Wireless AC will speed connections and data transfers within the network.
Late models routers may also support a printer or a hard drive (for data storage) via one or two USB ports.
Note: 99% of ADSL routers are unsuitable for any nbn™ service.
Any new router from your RSP or shop, will be supplied with a suitable Ethernet cable to connect the nbn™ NTD to your WIFI router.
Discuss your network needs now
Now is an ideal time and opportunity to discuss your evolving network needs with both your RSP and/ or trusted technical advisor.
However (and this is the important bit), a late model router is unlikely to speed up your connection to the outside world via SkyMuster™, unless the existing router is too old, faulty or poorly configured.
The router WIFI evolution timeline:
ADDING A VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL (VOIP) SERVICE TO SKY MUSTERTM
Q: Who you will deal with? A: Your ISP (provider)
It is anticipated that Sky MusterTM will provide an excellent quality voice telephony service.
Whilst users experience some slight delay due to the satellite latency, familiarity with the ISS VoIP service suggests that this is rarely a problem in daily conversations.
Sky MusterTM provides a dedicated VoIP (TC-1) channel of 150 kbps, rather than the 60 kbps channel available on nbn™ ISS. This translates to improved voice quality and clarity.
Those with an existing ISS VoIP service should find that their existing services transition seamlessly.
To take full advantage of the higher bandwidth VoIP channel available on Sky MusterTM offer, your RSP will likely recommend some changes to your VoIP appliance configuration. Discuss this with your RSP.
Given the benefits of a low cost, reliable all weather telephone service via Sky MusterTM it is anticipated that the take up of new VoIP services might increase.
Should you wish to establish VoIP on Sky MusterTM a typical VoIP installation would look something like this.
The diagram shows a Netcomm Wireless NF5 router as used by SkyMesh. This versatile router provides both an analogue VoIP port for your phone or cordless phone and a USB port that may be used to support either a 3/ 4G modem internet service (auto fail-over internet back-up) or a shared network hard drive.
It is suggested that you discuss VoIP requirements with your respective RSP and or your technical advisor.
You may keep your existing landline as this service will continue to be maintained for Sky MusterTM customers as part of the Universal Service Obligation. You may find that keeping the landline for incoming calls only and using VoIP for outgoing calls may be a useful cost benefit compromise. Two phone services for less than the price of one.
DISTANCE EDUCATION USING A SECOND ‘EDUCATIONAL’ NTD PORT.
Who you will deal with? A: QLD – your provider (if they offer an educational plan), NSW – the NSW Education Dept/your distance education school, other states – to be advised.
Whilst this feature will be accessed by relatively few customers, and not all details are currently known, it will likely require a few changes to your current distance education internet configuration.
The distance education network is not connected to your standard home network.
Additional routers and equipment may be necessary.
Your RSP may assist with the initial service installation, router provisioning and equipment configuration.
To print to a single central printer accessible from both networks, you may be able to use Google Cloud Print (or similar).
You can read more about the Education Port in the BIRRR document What is the nbn™ education port ?
NB Without fully understanding the service restrictions on the education port, it is difficult to advise further at this time.
Kindly prepared and illustrated for BIRRR by John Kitchener 28/2/2016
*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider, regarding your Sky Muster connection and equipment needed.