nbn Sky Muster Educational Port ?

An nbn Sky Muster Education Port is a dedicated port in the nbn modem (NTD), specifically designed for distance education and home school students (preschool, primary & secondary) who are mapped to receive nbn Sky Muster. The port enables each eligible student to access a set amount of data for education (50GB per student, limited to 150GB per Sky Muster NTD).

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Who can access the port, what is the cost & how do I apply?

Each state department of education decides on eligibility requirements for the nbn Sky Muster Educational Port and how it is delivered.  

QUEENSLAND & SOUTH AUSTRALIA

In QLD & SA the end-user (YOU) is responsible for the ordering and payment of the education port (you are eligible for a subsidy to help subsidise the cost of internet).  You place an order with your choice of provider and your choice of plan/cost (you may need to provide a Student ID number from your child’s school). If you are a QLD Home School Family you will need your Student ID number and can order an education port direct with your chosen provider.

Please note, Education Ports can take several weeks to be approved.

QLD broadband internet subsidy: An annual payment of $500 to eligible students to assist with provision of broadband internet access.  Available to students currently enrolled at a State School of Distance Education for a minimum of 6 months continuous enrolment.

NEW SOUTH WALES & WESTERN AUSTRALIA

In other states the Department of Education organise the connection and payment (NSW & WA), you need to contact the school regarding an Education Port.

In Western Australia (updated 29/8/18):

  • Primary Students must be enrolled in a School of the Air (any one of 5 schools at Kalgoorlie, Meekatharra, Carnarvon, Port Hedland or Kimberley).
  • Secondary Students must be enrolled in the School of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE) – these students must request access, as it is not automatically offered.
  • Once enrolled, the school Principal will request and pay for an NBN satellite service through the Department’s Customer Service Centre. The service is ordered by the Department’s Information and Communications Division through the RSP (Clear Networks).
  • The nbn Sky Muster service is fully funded the Department.

NORTHERN TERRITORY, TASMANIA & VICTORIA

There is no subsidised port available (VIC, NT & TAS).

Is an Education Port the best type of Sky Muster plan for me?

If you are home-schooling or educating via distance education in QLD, SA, VIC, TAS & NT, you may like to investigate an nbn Sky Muster Plus Plan.

nbn Sky Muster Plus Plans would provide your student/s with:

  • unmetered data for schooling, things like Blackboard, emails, Dropbox, One Drive, web browsing, video conferencing + more etc are unmetered (they don’t count in your usage & are never slowed).
  • a data allowance for metered content, things like You Tube, Tik Tok, Netflix, Stan, Kayo e.t.c (video streaming & VPN).
  • a speed burst

BIRRR advise is to analyse your current data use on your Education Port and look at switching to a small Plus plan (either 25GB or 50GB depending on the number of children in your classroom), the majority of your children’s schooling requirements will be UNMETERED and therefore PLUS represents better value for money than an Education Port for QLD, SA, VIC, TAS & NT users.

NB: nbn estimate on average that 70% of your current usage will be unmetered, this is likely to be higher for current ed. port accounts.

Service Providers offering Education Port Plans (as at 31/08/18)

These providers DO NOT Offer Educational Port services: Bordernet, iinet, Westnet, Southern Phone

NB: Although nbn Fair Use Policies will be ‘relaxed’ for the educational port, it will be up to the providers to have the final say on the types of plans offered, this includes costs and data limits.

What equipment will I need ?

Please refer to the BIRRR Preparing for Sky Muster document.

Google Cloud Print (or similar) allows you to print to a central printer if you have more than one port operational on your nbn Sky Muster connection.

What if I have a separate school room ?

If your school room is located close to your house or within your house, you will be able to access the education port on your home nbn Sky Muster installation.

You have one port on the NBN NTD (the nbn modem) for your education port and use another port for your personal use – i.e. you will have TWO plans and may need TWO routers.

Alternatively your RSP may offer you a combined plan for private and educational use over the same port using the same router and plan. RSPs do have the ability to offer combined plans. You need to check with your RSP

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However if your school room is located a considerable distance from the home connection this will require a separate ‘Location ID’ to be raised with NBN and it will be subject to nbn approval. This 2nd Sky Muster connection can have ONLY the education service activated.  This will be determined on a case by case basis by nbn. If you have more than 1 habitable house on your property, each residence is entitled to a Sky Muster™ installation.

You can have a Sky Muster service that has only 1 port provisioned and this port can be JUST the educational port (this will be the case for school rooms located some distance from the home NTD) and will be determined by nbn on a case by case basis.

See more details in our Preparing for Sky Muster document and the nbn Education Services End User Guide

How did the Education Port come about ?

Late in 2015 the Federal Government set nbn the task of developing a dedicated port for education for use with the new nbn Sky Muster Satellite.

nbn worked with State and Territory education departments to develop an Educational Port’  which is delivered over a dedicated port at the remote user’s home via Sky Muster. This port was designed specifically for distance education and home schoolers, however future uses could include health and emergency services. You can read more about the announcement here.

What is the Distance Education Working Group?

In 2015 the Government established a Distance Education Working Group consisting of the Federal Department of Communications and Department of Education, executives from nbn Satellite team, Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA),  and State and Territory Education Departments. The Distance Education Working Group was formed after a BIRRR discussion with Paul Fletcher who was then the Parliamentary Secretary to the Communications Minister of the time (Malcolm Turnbull). The group meets to discuss how to best meet the needs of remote students. You can read more about the need for such a group here.

* Prepared for BIRRR by Kristy Sparrow, images by BIRRR members & John Kitchener. Updated 19/08/2020. For further details please check with your education department and provider.