SkyMuster Rollout

The Long Term Satellite Service (Sky Muster) provides coverage of around 400,000 premises, and is expected to service between 200,000 – 250,000 connections. It is available to all residents who cannot access other NBN access technologies.

There are approximately 60,000 subscribers on the existing satellites ie 36,000 ISS, 20,000 ABG and 1200 NSS customers. The number of customers on Telstra satellite is not publicly known. A description of the different type of satellite technologies can be viewed here.

The NBN Interim Satellite Service will be decommissioned in February 2017 as the Optus and IPSTAR contracts expire at this time. NBN and the service providers are working very hard to move eligible ISS customers to Sky Muster.

Half of the Sky Muster installations are reserved for ISS migrations; however there are over 36,000 existing connections and they cannot all be physically re-connected to Sky Muster in a couple of months. Not all 36,000 ISS customers will move to Sky Muster. A good number will move to a terrestrially based NBN connection.

Some ISS customers are in areas that will, over time, be provided with an NBN Fixed Wireless or a Fibre derivative service. If the new NBN technology is not available towards the end of 2016, NBN will provide an interim Sky Muster connection to maintain service continuity.

There is also a large group of potential Sky Muster customers that currently receive a mobile broadband service. This group were ineligible for earlier satellite connections and can now apply for a Sky Muster service.

No matter which group you are in, prospective Sky Muster customers must select a provider and apply for a Sky Muster connection. No one is automatically transferred to Sky Muster.

NBN has determined that the number of existing customers that an RSP moves to Sky Muster each month is determined according to market share. The larger RSPs have more customers to move, so they have a larger allocation compared to the smaller RSPs. No matter which RSP you are with, all customers will be moved to Sky Muster in an equally fair and orderly manner.

The total number of installations per month is finally determined by the number of trained installers in the field. NBN has worked hard to ensure that there are sufficient installers available for the task. It is understood that the May 2016 install rate was around 5,000, June is expected to ramp up to 7,000 (as more installers come on line and the efficiency increases), July 10,000 and subsequent months 10,000+.

SkyMesh made an offer of connection priority to BIRRR and ICPA members because they could see the need. NBN made ICPA distance education students a priority. All service providers give priority to existing NBN ISS customers.

Despite the urgency of many BIRRR members to move to Sky Muster, there are also many customers that don’t place a high priority on their internet connection. It is anticipated that the Sky Muster connection rate will peak quite quickly and then begin to subside. Overtime, connection delays will become a thing of the past.

The current Sky Muster service providers plan comparison can be viewed here.

nbn Satellite Service Growth – 25 August 2016

SkyMusterInstallationsAugust2016

Notes:

  • The chart does not indicate the total number of Sky Muster installations as many installations will be ISS to Sky Muster … ie nil net gain.
  • The satellite (Sky Muster) increases commenced in late April as Sky Muster installations kicked in.
  • Not shown are the satellite losses ie ISS to wireless etc
  • There is no premises covered data prior to 5th May 2016.
  • ABG, NSS and telstra satellite customer connections are not shown.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with NBN or your ISP regarding your own connection issues.

TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS FOR NBN SKY MUSTER ISSUES

If you get slow speeds all the time, it’s likely the problem is at your home, so here are 13 STEPS to try before calling your RSP. (It’s a good idea to do methodical tests and make detailed notes while you’re trying to find the cause of speed problems.)

If for some reason, you can’t complete one of the steps, like a speed test, then skip to the next step.

  1. First check that no one else in your home is downloading or streaming If you have teenagers, ask them to take a break from using the service and shut down any downloads and close YouTube. YouTube’s new auto-play feature is a big data thief.
  2. Next check your usage to make sure you’re not speed limited for exceeding your Data Allowance. (Sounds simple, but RSPs get lots of calls from speed limited customers).
  3. Run some speed tests at fast.com.
    Your service lands in Sydney no matter where in Australia you live if you are nbn SkyMuster, so if using another test, make sure it chooses a Sydney server. Telstra and Optus have good servers and lots of bandwidth for their speed tests.
  4. Power cycle everything, including your NBN Sky Muster modem, your router (if you have one) and your computer(s) – turn everything OFF and then back ON in THAT ORDER. A monthly reboot of everything often makes a performance difference. Do some more speed tests and see if that made a difference.
  5. What’s the weather like? Bad storms and heavy cloud cover may reduce speeds, but only a little. That’s also the case at your Beam’s Ground Station. Details on beams and what  ground stations they use are here. Wait until the weather clears and run some more speed tests.
  6. Download and install a fresh copy of a browser you haven’t used before. If you use Windows and Internet Explorer, try Chrome or Firefox. If you’re a Mac owner using Safari, try Firefox. Sometimes browsers get clogged up with cookies and other stuff and that can affect your speed.
  7. Windows users should set your computer into Safe Mode with Networking (how to is here). Reboot your Windows computer in Safe Mode with Networking and run some more speed tests. That starts your computer with the bare basic software, so if you have anti-virus or some other program that’s slowing your computer, speed tests in Safe Mode will reveal that.
  8. If you’re using the service via Wi-Fi, plug your computer directly into your router with a network cable and run some speed tests. If that solves the speed problem, your Wi-Fi signal may be poor, or your router has a problem or the Wi-Fi device drivers in your computer may need to be updated. You should ask your local computer specialist for help with device driver updates as it’s tricky if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
  9. Plug your computer directly into the Sky Muster modem with a network cable, bypassing your router (if you have one) then reboot everything. It’s best to wait for the modem to be rebooted first then reboot your computer. Do some more speed tests, and that will tell you if your router is causing speed problems.
  10. Try a different network cable, just in case that’s the problem. If you have a few of them in your home, try them all just in case you have a dud cable. Network cables lull you into a false sense of security by rarely being faulty, then when you least expect it, there they are!
  11. Try another computer (if you have one), plugged directly into the Sky Muster modem, in Safe Mode with Networking if it’s a Windows computer. More speed tests will tell you if you have a computer problem rather than a satellite service problem.
  12. Reach around the back of the nbn Sky Muster modem and locate the connectors for the black co-ax cable. Make sure it’s finger tight and not loose. Do the same if you have a wall plate for the cable . Don’t put a spanner or pliers on the connectors as a heavy hand could break the connectors and that would mean a service call. ‘Finger tight’ is the go.
  13. Take a look (from the ground) at the satellite dish and make sure there are no trees or branches close to the dish. Cockatoos chewing the cables usually take the service offline rather than making it slow, but it can’t hurt to check for obstructions or any obvious damage. Do not climb on the roof, do not go anywhere near the dish, do not knock it out of alignment!

Advanced Troubleshooting

We recommend doing this step while you’re on the phone with Support (at least for the first time)

  • Occasionally static electricity builds up around the dish (it’s more complex than that, but that’s the simple version) and causes issues. Gently undo the connectors from the back of the nbn SNTD with your fingers (don’t use a spanner or pliers please). Leave out for 30 seconds and re connect.
  • If you can’t get them off with your fingers, skip this step as it’s not worth damaging the connectors.
  • If you don’t solve the speed problem using these steps, you can forward your notes and your speed test results to your RSP and say “I tried all these things, what’s next?”

This document was prepared with the help of SkyMesh support.
Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your own connection issues.

How To: Log onto Windows Safe Mode

Windows’ Safe Mode is a boot option that only loads the operating system with absolutely necessary basic files and drivers. It is generally used to troubleshoot issues in Windows, as many components, such as graphic drivers or software that automatically start with Windows, are not loaded.

To start in Safe Mode you need to reboot your computer.

Repeatedly and gently tap the F8 key as Windows begins to boot. (This is the usual key you press, if that doesn’t work try Shift+F8, if that doesn’t work you will need to Google your brand of computer asking how to start in safe mode) If you see the Windows logo, you missed the right time point; just start over. Once you see Advanced Boot Options you know that it worked. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select Safe Mode from the options and press Enter to boot into Safe Mode.
Windows2

If your computer no longer appears sluggish when you are in Safe Mode, you can assume that your hardware is fine. A trouble-free Safe Mode is an indicator that a software issue is the source of problems you normally see. There are still many candidates, for example a driver or software conflict, malware, or simply too many programs launching at startup.

Note: Accessing Windows 10 Safe Mode is a bit different – see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-10/start-your-pc-in-safe-mode  for details.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with a professional if you are unsure.

Ways to speed up a slow Windows Computer

Windows PCs typically slow down as applications are installed and used. Whether you are using a word processor, writing a spreadsheet, surfing the internet, playing games or anything else, hard drives fill with temporary files that do not always get removed when no longer needed. Hard disks can succumb to this wear and tear over time. Read on to learn of ways to help keep a PC running smoothly.
1.     Clean up the Desktop
  • Empty Recycle bin – see below
  • Only have short cuts on your desktop (they should look similar to below … the little blue arrow indicates a shortcut). If there is no arrow, it isn’t a shortcut.
    Windows1
    Move all files stored on the desktop that don’t have the shortcut symbol to a folder in your Documents folder (you can create a shortcut, if you want quick access to it, on your desktop)
2.     Empty the Recycle Bin

Simply deleting files from the disk doesn’t really delete them at all; rather they are moved to a temporary holding area on the hard drive for easy restoration. This area is called the Recycle Bin and is usually displayed on the Desktop. Review the contents before emptying. Once emptied, the space on the hard drive that the data occupied is made available for reuse and the restoration of any files emptied from the recycle bin becomes extremely difficult if it is overwritten by new data. Note that this will only speed up your computer if the hard drive is nearly full.

3.     Log onto Windows Safe Mode

Windows’ Safe Mode is a boot option that only loads the operating system with absolutely necessary basic files and drivers. It is generally used to troubleshoot issues in Windows, as many components, such as graphic drivers or software that automatically start with Windows, are not loaded.

To start in Safe Mode you need to reboot your computer.

Repeatedly and gently tap the F8 key as Windows begins to boot. (This is the usual key you press, if that doesn’t work try Shift+F8, if that doesn’t work you will need to Google your brand of computer asking how to start in safe mode) If you see the Windows logo, you missed the right time point; just start over. Once you see Advanced Boot Options you know that it worked. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select Safe Mode from the options and press Enter to boot into Safe Mode.
Windows2

If your computer no longer appears sluggish when you are in Safe Mode, you can assume that your hardware is fine. A trouble-free Safe Mode is an indicator that a software issue is the source of problems you normally see. There are still many candidates, for example a driver or software conflict, malware, or simply too many programs launching at startup.

Note: Accessing Windows 10 Safe Mode is a bit different – see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-10/start-your-pc-in-safe-mode  for details.

4.     Freeing Up Resources

Stop all unneeded background processes.

Look at the right corner of your Taskbar, to the left of the time, date, and essential system icons. You will see a group of small icons, collectively called the ‘notification area’ or ‘system tray’.
Windows3

Each of these icons represents a program that has been at least partially started or is running “in the background”. Regardless of state, each causes a reduction of available memory and processing power, or resources.

Closing, exiting or cancelling any unused background process returns those resources to the system, and becomes available for use by the application(s) started specifically by the user.

Go to your task manager and click on the Process tab. To access the Task Manager, you will want to hold down  CTRL and ALT keys, then tap the DEL simultaneously,  then click on the task manager button in the window that appears.  This will show you what processes are using your computer (If you aren’t sure what the process does, Google it and see whether it is important or not to the running of your computer)

A utility is built into Windows that can enable/disable task bar programs and processes from automatically loading with Windows at Startup

To access it, go to Start > Run > type in “MSCONFIG” and click OK.
Windows4

You may need to choose the Start-up tab (Windows 10 does it differently. From the taskbar, search System Configuration. Select the top result, System Configuration desktop app.)

If you do not know what a process does, search its name. Do not disable processes if you are unsure, as some processes are necessary for your computer to function normally. You can stop applications like Skype, your printer applications, camera updaters etc from being automatically loaded at start-up. Applications like your antivirus software need to be loaded at start-up.

5.     Install anti-virus software and keep it current

Today, anti-virus (AV) suites are an absolute must. There are many from which to choose at the software store, but there are free AV solutions that do a very good job, too. Three popular free AV solutions are Avast!, AVG, and Avira AntiVir. All include regular “virus definition” file updates that allow the AV program to detect and protect from the latest viruses being released. Note that while installing antivirus software actually slows down your computer, it does not slow it down as much as a virus does. Here is a 2016 review of Antivirus Software and Apps (http://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-antivirus,review-2588-5.html)

6.     Install Malwarebytes and check your computer for malware

Malware is short for malicious software. It is a piece of software, such as a virus, adware, or a worm, that you did not authorise to install but it eats up your system’s resources. It can decrease your systems performance, like any other running software, and can also compromise your operating system. Download the free version here https://www.malwarebytes.org/  Read the installation screens and make sure you UNTICK the option for a free trial.

7.     Clean up the primary partition

Click “Start” type “Disk Cleanup” and press “Enter” key. Select your primary partition (Windows installed drive, in most cases C:/ drive) and scan it for junk files. After few minutes, it will show a list of unnecessary files and simply select all these check boxes and start cleaning your drive.
Windows5

8.     Desktop Services

Turn off unneeded Desktop Features that try to make things look better. The fancy rounded window corners, the way the menus fade in and out, and the 3-D button styles on modern Desktops all require some computing power and can overwhelm older machines. To turn off these appearances only enhancements:
Windows6

Vista – Click the Start button, then Control Panel, then choose System and Maintenance, then Performance Information and Tools. Click Adjust visual effects. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation. Click the Visual Effects tab, and choose “Adjust for best performance”. You can also try the “Custom” option, and turn on and off individual settings to see which ones will work without slowing your machine down.

Windows 7 – Click the Start button, then Control Panel, and then System and Security. When you see System, click on it and then Advanced system settings. From here you can make sure you’re on the Advanced tab and click on Settings under Performance. Here, you can also choose Adjust for best performance or choose Custom if you’d like to compromise between fancy visuals and performance. On a side note, this menu can be accessed much quicker by right-clicking on Computer, from either the Desktop or Start menu, selecting Properties, and then Advanced system settings.

Windows 8 and 8.1 – Search for “adjust visual” in Windows 8 Start menu, Choose “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows”,  Click “Settings” then select “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows” in the Settings are in the top left, Select “adjust for best performance” in the Performance options box that appears. Then Click Apply.

9.     Uninstall all applications that are no longer needed.

When applications and games are installed to a Windows PC, some files are written in the Windows directory structure and dozens (or more) changes are made to the Windows Registry file. Most of these changes are not readily apparent to the user, so proper removal requires uninstalling the application through the Control Panel’s “Add or Remove Program” or “Programs and Features” icon.

If the program is not listed in the Control Panel use the “uninstall” command provided by the application.

Please note: Simply deleting the entire application directory is not the same as uninstalling, as all the files written to the Windows directory and changes to the Windows Registry file will remain and may be reloaded when the system is rebooted.

Make sure that you do not uninstall any programs that are required by others. e.g. iTunes® will not work if Quicktime® is uninstalled, and many programs rely on other Microsoft programs.

10. Do a Cold Boot
(only necessary if you didn’t do the Safe Boot above)

Do a shutdown/reboot also known as a cold reboot. Some programs do not release memory properly when they close, which is the case for some operating systems. Even doing a warm restart will not release some of the memory drivers and other core programs had allocated. The computer has to be completely shut down and then restarted. When a program is asking for some memory, a space would be allocated for it by the operating system (like Windows). This allocated memory cannot be used by any other programs. “Well-behaved” programs typically let go of their hold of this memory space but some programs don’t – this is known as a “memory leak”, which is caused by a programming error. A memory leak is easily evident when a program uses up an abnormally high amount of resources because it keeps on asking for more and never gives back any of the allocated memory space. The user workaround is to terminate the program or process, but some processes and core processes cannot be closed. Shutting down the system will have the operating system forget which memory locations aren’t free, so on the next boot, all memory locations are free to use.

Be realistic.

The “high end” computer purchased as new 5 years ago may run the latest version of Windows, but that doesn’t mean that it will do it very well. Keep in mind that the Minimum System Requirements on the software box is indeed, minimum. The best experiences usually require that the system is configured to Recommended System or better, instead. Technology marches on and it seems there is a game of “one-upmanship” played between software developers and hardware designers. Regardless, eventually new software will require new hardware or vice versa. It seems that the amount of frustration you can endure best determines how long you will run your current setup.

Tips

Be aware that some of these steps are specific to a specific version of Windows; not all are cross-compatible.

  • Keep malware in check. If running utilities mentioned in this article gives you an “Access Denied”, “You don’t have rights to run this”, or the program will not run, you probably have a malware infection. Symptoms other than these are frequent phony, but realistic-appearing, anti-virus warnings that your system is infected, or your web browser sending you to pornographic websites or search sites you have not configured it to send you to.
  • Consider the use of an Adblocker in conjunction with your browser. An Adblocker may improve speed and appearance of pages displayed by your browser. Check that the Adblocker does not disrupt valid site pop-ups for the sites you visit. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_blocking
  • Add memory. While not free, adding memory is a very effective way of boosting performance, especially if your system has 1 GB of memory or less. Increasing the amount of memory installed reduces the need for the computer to write to and read from the hard drive. Check the motherboard or system documentation to determine size, type, speed and permissible configurations of memory before purchasing and installing additional memory. Systems with lower amounts of memory (256 MB to 1 GB) installed receive the greatest boost when increased to 2 GB or more (as this represents a 100-400% or more increase in system memory). Systems that have 2 GB or more memory installed also receive a boost – but it is less noticeable.
  • Keep your PC cool. When a computer gets too hot, the CPU fan will speed up. If the CPU is still too hot, the CPU will enter something called “thermal throttling” which slows down processing speed in order to prevent the CPU from breaking down. Turning off or hibernating your PC when not using it, increasing airflow, and keeping the room which your PC is located in cool will help keep your computer cool — and fast.
  • Keeping Windows Up-to-date, especially with Security Updates, is very important and can prevent BADWARE infections which slow a computer.
  • Consider re-installing Windows. It may be easier to format the hard drive and re-install Windows on the computer. Be sure to back up important data first and have all program installation disks ready for re-installation. Be aware that the format process will delete all files on the disk. This means that you will need to reinstall all software and restore all documents from a backup. This can take days!
  • Consider using a different operating system. If you have a slow or old computer considers switching to Linux. This has its own set of issues such as needing to learn a new Operating System, and much more.
Warnings
  • Do not delete unknown types of files, because they may be System Programming Files.
  • Discharge any static electricity. Touch an electrically grounded source (a heating or plumbing pipe or the metal case of an electrical device powered by a grounded 3 prong cord connected to a grounded receptacle) prior to touching components inside the PC case. Static electricity can pass through hands and could cause delicate electronics inside the PC case to fail.
  • Beware of using MSConfig. Using MSConfig as anything but a troubleshooting tool is considered dangerous by many in the IT field to long term computer stability. If you’re unsure of something do your research and don’t remove it until you know for sure you don’t need it. You can always uncheck it and come back later.
  • Download files from trustworthy sources. The developer’s page is best; P2P, newsgroups and anonymous file hosting sites are more likely to be infected with a virus.
  • Do not download any software which tells that they will speed up your computer. More downloads can also cause your computer to slow down as they (software) put more load on your PC’s processor and eat up its RAM.
  • Shut down your computer and disconnect all the cables from it prior to opening the case. This eliminates the chances of electrocution or damage to system components.
  • Do not use registry cleaners. Registry cleaners can be dangerous. They may seem legitimate, but after some amount of usage, they can fragment your registry. Leave them alone, if you feel that it must be cleaned up, make a backup and defragment afterwards. The registry does not need to be cleaned, so cleaning it can only result in nothing, or damage.
 Other things to try ….
Run “Error Checking” on all hard drives.

Right-click a drive icon in “My Computer” and select “Properties” followed by “Tools”. Choose “Error Checking” to let the utility scan the drive for damaged files that can contribute to slow drive access speeds. This process may take several minutes to hours or more to complete. Warning: Do not do this if you have an SSD. (solid-state drive)

Run “De-fragment” on all hard drives.

Right-click a drive icon in “My Computer” and select “Properties” followed by “Tools”. Choose “De-fragment” to let the utility clean up fragmented files and consolidate free space on the drive. Note: this is not needed on an SSD drive. This process may take anywhere from several minutes to hours or more to complete depending on size of the drive(s) and amount of unused capacity or free space. Consider starting the defragment process so that it will run overnight or prior to logging off. You may have to disable your screensaver as well.  After completion the speed of hard drive read and writes times may improve significantly. Warning: Defragmenting an SSD will yield no performance gains, and can actually damage the SSD.

Set your computer’s energy settings to High Performance.

This is especially useful in Laptops and Netbooks where the processor speed is altered in accordance to energy settings (and if you are running on battery power).

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with a professional if you are unsure.

How to: Block Windows 10 Upgrade

How to: Block Windows 10 upgrade on Windows 7 & 8.1 using “Never10”

This program disables Windows’ pestering insistence to upgrade Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10.
Many users of Windows 7 and 8.1 are happy with their current version of Windows, and have no wish to upgrade to Windows 10.  For more information visit http://www.grc.com/never10

If at some time you wish to proceed with a Windows 10 upgrade, this little program also provides the functionality to allow the upgrade to proceed.

If this is you,follow the steps to install the program.

  • Download the small “Never10” application from the following link https://www.grc.com/files/never10.exe and save it to a known location or USB drive – don’t worry its quite tiny
  • Run the file simply by double clicking, it will adjust your registry settings and leaves nothing behind.
  • You will be presented with one of the following 4 screens:
  1. Yay!– the update doesn’t apply to you. Close the box and have a good rest of the day!
    Never10_1
  2. Boo! The version of Windows update on your machine CAN’T be instructed to not upgrade. Click the “Install Update” button to upgrade your windows so you can block the update by running Never10 again afterwards.
    Never10_2
  3. Yuck! Your machine is currently enabled to receive the update! Click the “Disable Win10 Upgrade” button to block the update from occurring You can also click the “Remove Win10 Files” button to remove the files Microsoft so kindly downloaded to your computer in the background (ahh -that’s where all my data went….) On system restart the little “Windows 10 Upgrade” icon should also be gone from the system tray.
    Never10_3
  4. Congratulations !– one of two things has happened – you have either correctly completed the step above or someone else has beaten you to it! If you haven’t clicked the “Remove Win10 Files” button do that now to free up some space! If you change your mind you can also RE-ENABLE the update here…..
    Never10_4

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with a professional if you are unsure.

Kindly prepared and illustrated for BIRRR by Tim Stockman 2/6/2016

Alternative Voice Services Using the Internet

Please note that exisiting landline phone services are not being ‘switched off’ in nbn Sky Muster and nbn Fixed Wireless mapped areas.

However, there are a number of alternative voice technologies that you may use over your internet connection. They can provide a reliable alternative or back-up voice service and they are inexpensive.

VoIP

VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in simple terms, a telephone service that works over the Internet.

VoIP can be an exhausting topic. In a nutshell it is a relatively cheap and reliable way of voice communication and can work well over satellite and other internet connections. You may use a standard analogue phone handset, or a dedicated VoIP cordless phone system.

Your RSP may configure each nbn™ Sky Muster™ service with a dedicated 150Kbps channel exclusively for voice services. The increased VoIP channel bandwidth of Sky Muster™ provides much improved VoIP voice quality and clarity over the previous Interim Satellite.  However please take into account the reliability of the Sky Muster service before choosing to replace your existing landline.

This small amount of dedicated bandwidth is termed Traffic Class 1 (or TC-1) and is afforded the highest priority. By way of contrast, internet services are allocated Traffic Class 4 (TC-4) or best effort delivery. This means that no matter how busy Sky Muster™ may be at any point in time, the VoIP call will always be delivered with full quality.

How much bandwidth is required and how much internet data will VoIP use?

The bandwidth required to make a VoIP call is dependent on the audio codec used by your provider and equipment.

The most common codec used in Australia is the G.729 codec. G.729 uses just over 13MB per hour receive and 13MB per hour transmit, or about 27MB of two-way data per hour during a call. A VoIP call using G.729 requires 31.2 Kbps for the receive path and 31.2 Kbps for the transmit path. The 150Kbps Sky Muster™ TC-1 channel can support up to four simultaneous G.729 voice calls.

A higher quality G.711a codec requires more bandwidth and will use around 80MB of two-way data per hour during a call. A G.711a VoIP call requires 87.2 Kbps for the receive path and 87.2 Kbps for the transmit path. The 150Kbps Sky Muster™ TC-1 channel can support one G.711a voice call.

VoIP data usage when calls are not active is negligible.

See http://voipchoice.com.au/voip-faqs/#two and https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/voip_codecs

How much will the Sky Muster™ data cost to make VoIP calls?

Using the G.729 codec as an example, talking for 2 hours per day will consume 54MB per day. Over a month that will total 30 x 54MB or 1.6GB, for 60 Hours of ‘talk time’.

Checking the Sky Muster™ BIRRR plan guide, you will see that, 1GB of data typically costs around $1.00.

Note: 1 GB = 1,000MB. Typical 12/1 plans provide 40GB of peak time data per month for ~ $45.00.

Therefore, 1.6GB costs 1.6 x $1.00 = $1.60 per month.

How much will a VoIP plan cost per month?

A VoIP plan is typically $10 – $20 per month, depending on the inclusions.

VoIP call charges; which are generally economical, when compared to traditional phone call charges. Here is a typical VoIP call charge plan:

VOIP_call_costs

What is the cost of the VoIP hardware?

Most households already have a couple of cordless phones connected to their copper land line. You can re-use this phone system, by connecting it to a suitable VoIP router or router + ATA in lieu of the phone line.

Contact your RSP (or VSP) for the one off cost of providing the necessary VoIP hardware. Typically this cost is ~ $50-$150.

Voip

The diagram shows a Netcomm Wireless NF5 router as used by the provider SkyMesh. This VoIP WIFI router provides an analogue VoIP port for your phone or cordless phone, 4 x 10/100 LAN ports and a USB port.

  • NetComm NF5 Wireless N Router with VoIP – $105.00 (SkyMesh VoIP hardware cost)
  • Netcomm NF13ACV Wireless AC1200 with VoIP – $155.00 (SkyMesh VoiP hardware cost)

Can I keep the same Telephone number for my VoIP service?

You may port your current landline number to the VoIP service, or you can acquire a new local number for the VoIP service, should you wish to keep the landline. Or you could take all incoming calls on your landline and make outgoing calls via the cheaper VoIP service. There are many viable options.

Should I keep my current landline?

It is recommended for nbn™ Sky Muster™ and Fixed wireless users, who do not have access to a mobile service, that a basic land line connection is maintained, as emergency backup. BIRRR recommends using VOiP only as an additional voice service.

For SkyMuster there are three events that WILL cause a temporary loss of service and your VoIP connection will fail:

  1. Power failure, which can be overcome with a backup power source.
  2. Rain fade, for which there is no solution.
  3. Provider or back haul transmission failures and nbn Sky Muster outages.

It is important that both your landline and VoIP line accepts 000 calls.

Your RSP can guide you in the provisioning of a VoIP service on Sky Muster™. Experienced users may consider a 3rd party Voice Service Provider (VSP), however this avenue should only be explored should you require a more complex VoIP service or have business grade requirements.

It is suggested that you discuss VoIP requirements with your RSP and or your trusted technical advisor.

The BIRRR website Preparing for SkyMuster , provides an overview of VoIP on Sky Muster™.

Skype

You may use Skype for voice calls, with the Skype app installed on your smart phone or computer. You can call home and mobile numbers for a small cost.

WiFi Calling

You can use your mobile phone (if compatible) to make calls over your nbn Sky Muster.  Check out the BIRRR Guide to WiFi Calling here

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider, regarding your own connection issues. Prepared  for BIRRR by John Kitchener 7/1/2016, updated 29/8/18

 

 

Finding SkyMuster

How to find the location of Sky Muster relative to your place

  1. Go to http://www.dishpointer.com/
  2. Sky Muster is not yet listed on DishPointer, so use a satellite that is just next door ie Express-AM5 at 140E.
  3. Enter your location zoom in or out and drag the green marker to the likely dish location.
  4. Tick the ‘show obstacle’ box and move the ‘red marker’ to any obstacle that is in line, to determine if there is any impact of the obstacle on a clear line of sight to the satellite.

Satellite Finder

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your own connection issues.

Kindly prepared and illustrated for BIRRR by John Kitchener 25/5/2016

Troubleshooting your Fixed Wireless Internet Connection

If you are having issues with your nbn Fixed Wireless connection, they normally fall into the following categories:

  • Dropouts
  • Slow Speeds – If you get slow speeds all the time, it’s likely the problem is with your in-home equipment. If the slow speeds are during peak times/busy periods it may be congestion
  • No connection

Here are 7 STEPS to try before calling your RSP. (It’s a good idea to do methodical tests and make detailed notes while you’re trying to find the cause of your problems. You might like to take screen shots or record the speed test results you get.) Likewise, if you are experiencing drop outs and other (non speed related issues), there could be a problem with your equipment and you will need to escalate with your provider.FW Indicator lightd

Information about your nbn™ Wireless Connection Box

If you cannot complete one of the steps, then move to the next one.

  1. A full power cycle routine.

When troubleshooting your nbn Fixed Wireless connection, your first step should be a power cycle. To do this, you need to turn the device off, and all devices connected to it, then turn it back on. This will force it to reset, which can fix a lot of basic problems. It is important to turn the devices on in order. A monthly reboot of everything often makes a performance difference. Do further speed tests and see if that made a difference.

Here are the steps to power cycle a typical nbn Fixed Wireless setup:

  • Turn off ALL devices.
  • Wait at least 5 minutes.
  • Turn the Devices on in order
    • Turn on the NBN box first (also known as the NTD or modem). Wait until all the lights are on and indicate an active connection (this may take a few minutes). Active connections for NBN Fixed Wireless connections are indicated in the nbn light chart above.
    • Then turn on your router. Wait until all the lights are on the router, this indicates an active connection.
    • Then turn on all your other devices – e.g. computer, tablet or phone.
  1. Plug direct into the NTD

Plug a computer directly into the NBN modem (NTD), with an ethernet cord – thus bypassing the router. Repeat Step 1 above (do a complete power cycle). If this fixes your problem, you may need a new router, contact your provider for help with router issues.(NB make sure you use the same port that has a cable in it already, only one port is activated by NBN – usually port 1)

  1. Check cables

Try a new network cable / ethernet cord from the router to the NBN NTD, check that the cord is plugged into Port 1 (unless instructed otherwise by your provider). If you have a few of them in your home, try them all just in case you have a dud cable. Network cables lull you into a false sense of security by rarely being faulty, then when you least expect it, there they are!

nbn Fixed wireless equipment diagram Uni D

  1. Check your account usage

If you are on a limited data nbn Fixed Wireless plan log into your account and check you aren’t ‘shaped’ or ‘speed limited’ (used all your peak data & have been slowed).  Check what ‘speed tier’ your plan is on whilst you are logged in.

  1. Check for any network outages

Check for any nbn Fixed Wireless or provider network outages.  Nbn outages can be either provider or nbn related. You will need to check both.

To check for an outage, see our Network outage Page

  1. Do a speed test

If you are experiencing slow speeds, do some speed testing.

Run regular speed tests , see the BIRRR How to Run A Speed Test. You should run the speed test at various times of the day and night, especially when you think your speed is slow.

Record the speed test results, so you can forward them to your RSP. Please keep in mind that your speed will vary depending on a number of factors including congestion at peak times. Your RSP probably doesn’t guarantee to give you 100% of the peak speed of your service 100% of the time, so check your Customer Agreement and see what it says about expected speeds.

      7. Check your device

  • Check to see if you can access the internet with another device, phone, tablet or laptop. If you can the Wi-Fi device drivers in your computer may need to be updated. You should ask your local computer specialist for help with device driver updates as it’s tricky if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
  • If using a computer, download and install a fresh copy of a browser you haven’t used before. If you use Windows and Internet Explorer, try Chrome or Firefox. If you’re a Mac owner using Safari, try Firefox. Sometimes browsers get clogged up with cookies and other stuff and that can affect your speed.
  • Make Sure Your PC Is Healthy. Check for spyware, viruses, and malware. These programs are easily downloaded and installed, without your knowledge, while you’re surfing the Web. They can run undetected and have a significant impact on your Web surfing speed and overall system performance. There are plenty of free and subscription-based utilities available that will detect and eradicate these programs and prevent them being downloaded and installed in the first place.  If you notice an improvement, then you may have something wrong with your antivirus software (try disabling web shield in your antivirus software.to see if there is an improvement). Scan your computer for malware. (Anti Malwarebytes is a good program)
  • Windows users can try setting the computer into Safe Mode with Networking (how to is here). Reboot your Windows computer in Safe Mode with Networking and run some more speed tests. That starts your computer with the bare basic software, so if you have anti-virus or some other program that’s slowing your computer, speed tests in Safe Mode will reveal that.

STILL HAVING ISSUES

If you have tried all the steps above and are still having problems, you will need to contact your provider.

Use your Provider Contact Sheet to contact your service provider to help you troubleshoot your issue further.

If your provider is unable to help resolve your issue, get a fault number/ticket number from your provider, also ask for the nbn Incident Number and fill in the BIRRR Escalation form.

You can also try activating a second port on your service with a different provider, such as Aussie Broadband, to see if your service improves. Aussie Broadband will offer a no contract 30 day trial to enable you to see if your old provider has the congestion issue, or if the issue is with nbn.  You can read more about nbn Fixed Wireless Congestion here.

You can also check out Whistle Out’s Guide to how to fix a slow nbn connection here.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your ISP regarding your own connection and speed issues.  Thanks to SkyMesh for their assistance in compiling this document. This page was updated on 20/11/2020

Sky Muster Routers

BIRRR recommends that customers use the router offered by their provider; as this ensures ongoing support for both the service and your local network.

Now is an ideal time and opportunity to discuss your evolving network needs with both your RSP and/ or trusted technical advisor.

Before making changes, always talk to your provider and follow their advice.

Your RSP will assist with any troubleshooting of the new Sky Muster connection. This support will work best if you are using the router models that they provide.

Common Questions:

Will my old router work on SKY MUSTER?

Your existing WIFI router may be fine for Sky Muster; as long as it has a WAN port that provides Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Note: 99% of ADSL routers are unsuitable for any nbn service.

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); it should work on your Sky Muster service. It may look something like this:

SM8
A typical 300n 10/100 4 LAN port router

 

Even older 802.11g routers which first arrived in 2003, will work, although they may be slower.

Should I upgrade my current 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). However, a new model router is unlikely to speed up your connection, unless your existing router is too old, faulty or poorly configured.

New 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. If you ‘do a lot’ with your home network e.g it is connected to many devices, includes a media server and/or fast hard drives, printer(s), scanners etc; a newer router will speed up WIFI connections and data transfers within the network.

Newer routers may offer faster LAN ports (1,000Mbps) and 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. Refer to the router manufacturer website for specifications for further information.

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.

Do I have to get a router?

If you want to connect more than one computer to your Sky Muster installation you will need WiFi and therefore you will need a router.

If you would prefer to LAN connect your devices (rather than WIFI), you can install a switch to accommodate the extra LAN ports. Your technical advisor can provide further information.

Is there a router that can help me manage my data usage?

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 Muster plan quota. It may sound complicated, but if you can perform a firmware upgrade on a router, you can install and run Gargoyle.

What router should I get?

Some providers configure their supplied routers before sending to the customer.  This means they are ‘Plug and Play’ and use the DHCP protocol.  Other Sky Muster providers use PPPOE protocol which means you will need to set up your router.  You would need to have a username and password with PPPOE, while the configuration of DHCP is automatic.

DHCP = Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol

PPPOE = Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet

Sky Muster™ RSP Router offers – August 2018

The following router information is provided by best endeavour.
Please confirm details with your RSP

SkyMuster Routers25May

  1. VoIP (Voice calls over the Internet) may be provided by the addition of an RSP provided Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA). This is additional equipment, or a VoIP Compatible Router.
  2. NOTE: Some providers offer free or discounted routers, if customers sign up to a 12 or 24 month contract.
  3. Please refer to the Router Manufacturer for further specifics and information on the Router Capabilities.

300n (or 802.11n) are base model single WIFI band 2.4Ghz routers.

AC (or 802.11ac) provide faster WIFI speeds. The higher the ‘AC No.‘ the faster the router. It will likely have more user features.

Links to RSP router offerings and Manufacturer websites

D-Link

NETGEAR

TP-LINK

 

Typical Router Setup

S-NTD Router cable connections

NOTE:  The LAN cable (yellow here, can be other colours)  generally goes from UNI-D 1 on your Sky Muster Modem (NTD)  to the WAN input on the router (usually the yellow socket).

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your own connection issues. Updated 29/8/18