QANTAS and SkyMuster

Qantas to sign trial satellite product with NBN for Wi-Fi
http://blog.jxeeno.com/qantas-sign-trial-satellite-product-nbn-wi-fi/
The company responsible for building the National Broadband Network, nbn, has released its test agreement with Qantas allowing them to test a “Proof-of-Concept Aeronautical Mobile Satellite Service” on a Qantas test aircraft. The proof-of-concept test is expected to help guide the development of nbn’s Satellite Mobility Product expected to launch in the third quarter of 2017.

As part of the trial, the network speed will be limited to 20 megabits per second for each aircraft on at most two aircrafts concurrently. The connection will also be limited to agreed flight corridors.

Trial of a Proof-of-Concept Aeronautical Mobile Satellite Service
http://www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco2/documents/sfaa-test-description-POC-aeronautical_20170116.pdf.pdf
The purpose of the PoC Trial is to enable NBN Co and Test Participant to assess the functionality and performance of a proof-of-concept aeronautical mobile satellite service (the Mobility PoC Test Product) on Test Aircraft operated by Qantas Airways Limited (ABN 16 009 661 901)

Detailed analysis: How will Qantas’ on-board Wi-Fi impact NBN satellites?
http://blog.jxeeno.com/detailed-analysis-will-qantas-board-wi-fi-impact-nbn-satellites/
With under 350 flights spread out geographically and over a 24 hour period, I doubt the planes would have a material effect on congestion. Currently, the worst case scenario seems to be up 6-7 planes flying under a single beam at any given time. However, in the case of the 7-plane statistic, it happens only once in a 24 hour period. The speed at which planes travel also mean that they will typically fly in and out of narrow beams within 10-15 minutes, meaning any impact should be distributed across multiple beams as the plane flies through the airspace.

Diagram showing NBN Co satellite beams and risk of congestion as determined in the Fixed Wireless/Satellite Strategic Review (FWSat SR).

Diagram showing NBN Co satellite beams and risk of congestion as determined in the Fixed Wireless/Satellite Strategic Review (FWSat SR).

Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, 25/11/2016, Estimates. COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS PORTFOLIO. NBN Co Limited
Senator URQUHART: I know that there have been some discussions around the use of the Sky Muster satellite data on Qantas aircraft. What percentage of the overall data will be allocated under that agreement that you have got with Qantas?

Mr Morrow : It is not an allocation of data that we would offer for aviation-based services. It is only the use of idle capacity when it is sitting there not being used at all. Our intent is that the priority services are for the ground-based homes and businesses that are targeted with satellite. If they are using all the capacity and a plane flies through that beam, the plane does not get any sort of internet connectivity. If, however, there is available and idle capacity, the plane can download or upload, depending.

qantas-trial

National Broadband Network Select Committee 15/03/2016 
Mr Morrow : We did change the second satellite to give it a considerable amount more of capacity than it had had before –  almost double the capacity. So we have repurposed the second satellite for additional capacity.
http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommsen%2Fac4de09f-67a1-48f3-9459-755617e08c24%2F0003%22

The death of in-flight entertainment? American Airlines scraps screens and tells fliers to bring their own.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/is-this-the-death-of-the-seat-back-entertainment-screen/
The world’s largest carrier said it decided to ditch seat-back monitors on its new Boeing 737 Max aircraft – intended for domestic routes in the US – because most passengers travel with mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Instead of investing in screens it will upgrade in-flight internet speed, to ensure passengers can browse the web and stream movies quickly.

Qantas’ In-Flight Wi-Fi Seems To Be Up To The Challenge
https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/02/qantas-in-flight-wi-fi-seems-to-be-up-to-the-challenge/
The service uses NBN’s Sky Muster satellites, and the carrier says it’ll be around 10 times faster than inflight Wi-Fi already in place on other domestic airlines around the globe like Delta in the US. The full fleet of 80 Qantas 737s and A330s will get in-flight Wi-Fi some time throughout 2018.

Qantas expects around 50 per cent of passengers to be using its inflight Wi-Fi and internet service during regular flights.

Every Major Airline’s Wifi Service, Explained and Ranked (in the USA)
http://gizmodo.com/every-major-airlines-wifi-service-explained-and-ranked-1701017977
Here are details from the 9 major US airlines that offer wifi. (This list is specific to domestic flights; if you’re flying internationally, the check-the-website rule applies even more fiercely because international fleets carry different gear than domestic fleets. If an airline has good in-flight wifi on domestic routes, though, they’re probably good for international routes as well.) Three things were taken into account when making this list: the likelihood that your plane would actually have wifi; the type of equipment powering the wifi; and its relative dependability, speed, and value.

LIST OF AIRLINES OFFERING INFLIGHT WIFI
http://www.edreams.com/blog/in-flight-wifi/

 

 

 

Problems with your NBN connection?

Until now, BIRRR has spent considerable time troubleshooting nbn issues – we now ask that these issues are directed to NBN or your provider. It doesn’t mean we don’t care, or can’t help if you continue having issues after you have tried these alternate contacts.

NBN now has a new ‘specialised regional support team’  inside the existing nbn contact centre which customers can call directly, dealing with a wide range of issues. BIRRR welcomes this improvement, as we have consistently called for this contact centre to be created. We also appreciate that NBN has acknowledged the work the BIRRR team has done up until now.

We are looking forward to spending more of our time advocating for RRR communication needs, rather than troubleshooting. BIRRR encourages providers to follow NBNs lead and establish their own specific RRR contact centres.


For ‘GETTING CONNECTED’ PROBLEMS

  • Not sure what type of NBN connection you can get? Visit here and type in your address (you may have to drag the marker over your house).
  • If you are ‘on the fringe’ of a footprint(eg just outside a Fixed Wireless area and are seeking to get fixed wireless) then you can contact NBN and ask to be reclassified. You will need to provide them with your address and GPS coordinates (Find your GPS via Google Maps here)
  • Your address is not there? You can contact NBN and ask to be reclassified. NBN’s engineers will then evaluate your situation and potentially change your designated nbn technology to fixed wireless. You will need to provide them with your address and GPS coordinates (Find your GPS via Google Maps here)

CONTACT NBN at 1800 OUR NBN (1800 687 626) or send an email to info@nbnco.com.au

 NB: the nbn co call centre will not be able to help with tower/nbn activation dates, nor will the BIRRR team. The ‘nbn co check your address’ site has a date of service available.

For INSTALLATION PROBLEMS:

  • Cancelled/Postponed installations?  Contact NBN and report your problem! NBN have set up new procedures and are trying to be more helpful.
  • Installer fails an install?If you feel that they could have tried harder (different locations on your property, tried a 3m mast etc)  Contact NBN.
  • Equipment is installed, but not working.  Try the power cycle routine (see here). Try the different ports on your NBN box, power cycle in between swaps. If still not working contact your service provider (RSP). Make sure you get a ticket number.

 For CONNECTION PROBLEMS:

  1. If you don’t have a working connection, please try a power cycle routine once with a computer plugged directly into the NBN modem. See here to see how to do a power cycle correctly (the article is about SkyMuster, but the principle is the same). If you have a SkyMuster connection check here for further details.
  2. If you are still offline check the service status pages offered by SkyMesh who lists unplanned outages here, and Iinet  who list scheduled maintenance events here, to make sure your problem is not a widespread problem. Activ8me Facebook page and the ANT Facebook page also list outages when they know about them.
  3. You can also ring the NBN hotline for SkyMuster outages. They will tell if a beam is down, an earth station (many beams) is down or the outage is national
  4. If you are offline and it is not a widespread problem, please contact your RSP (service provider), make sure you get a ticket number. Send an email (if you can) to your RSP support about the problem, so they know it exists, especially if the callback queues are long (if the queues are long, it means that many customers have a problem).
  5. Contact your service provider (RSP) when you have problems with your speed, dropouts, excessive data usage.

nbn-call-centre

If you have tried the options above and you still need help either post in the BIRRR Facebook group or  send an email to birrraus@gmail.com


nbn co recently announced:

  • call centre policy and protocols have changed so that satellite end users will not be referred immediately to their RSP.
  • nbn’s call centre will now be able to provide basic network outage information so that callers will at the very least know if the network is down in their area.
  • set up ‘a dedicated regional support team inside this call centre to handle rural addressing issues, location I.D generation, non-standard fixed wireless installs, or other issues that people living in regional, rural and remote areas experience’.
  • nbn will also incorporate this approach into its official Facebook page, nbn Australia.

Announcement from NBN about their SkyMuster issues (Nov 2016):

‘By now you have no doubt heard about Sky Muster, nbn’s $1.8 billion custom-built broadband satellite delivering fast internet to the bush. While nbn has heard many stories of people having a great Sky Muster experience, we have also heard your concerns. These concerns are something nbn takes very seriously and the company wants to directly address them here. 

nbn is currently implementing a satellite service improvement programme, which is being led by a committed task force to address and resolve the issues identified. Some of the corrective action already undertaken includes software fixes to reduce connection times and configuration updates to improve the stability of the service. This work is ongoing and has seen a substantial improvement in network stability.

nbn has implemented changes to our call centre and social media processes which means we are now providing network information directly to end users as it becomes available. We have also set up a dedicated regional support team in our call centre to handle regional-specific queries. In addition, nbn is working with our retail providers and delivery partners to help improve the installation process and ensure the number of rescheduled and missed appointments is minimised.

The Sky Muster technology is breaking new ground and as with any new technology, particularly one as complex as satellite broadband, there are issues early in the roll-out that need to be worked through.

nbn acknowledges that we need to get this right as soon as possible and we are working hard to do just this as we ramp up to connect more than 10,000 premises a month to Sky Muster.’  (source: nbn co )

SkyMuster not working?

  1. If you don’t have a working SkyMuster connection, please try a power cycle routine once with a computer plugged directly into the NBN modem (wait at least 30 minutes before going to the next step). See here to see how to do a power cycle correctly.
  2. If you are still offline please contact your service provider. Send an email (if you can) to your support about the problem, so they know it exists.  If you have to call it may involve a long wait if there are many problems. Keep records of who you have phoned/emailed, dates and ticket/fault numbers
  3. Contact nbn – 1800 OUR NBN or via their FaceBook page or email: info@nbn.com.au to see if there are any widespread outages. SkyMesh also have a network status page that is usually up to date at https://www.skymesh.net.au/advisories/ and Active8me post network outages on their FaceBook page here (like their page and the updates will appear in your newsfeed). Iinet posts all the planned maintenance events here https://www.iinet.net.au/status/
  4.  After you have completed steps 1,2 and 3 above and Sky Muster still not working (as in NO connection, complete outage or not activated on install), Fill in this form (please follow instructions on the form first), fill in for your neighbour or friend or family member if they have no connection. Form link here http://tinyurl.com/skymusteroutage
  5. Also, post to the BIRRR FaceBook group and state where you are located (nearest town), who your service provider is and how long you have been out for, just in case others in your area are also affected.

sky-muster-not-working

Contact a Politician

Here is basic letter to get you started! (Click here to open it)  – Please make sure you replace the RED wording with your own relevant details.

Details for the relevant MPs to contact on matters of NBN and internet problems:

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield
Manager of Government Business in the Senate
Minister for Communications
Minister for the Arts
Liberal Party of Australia
https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Contact_Senator_or_Member?MPID=D2I
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorFifield
https://twitter.com/SenatorFifield

Senator the Hon Fiona Nash
Deputy Leader of The Nationals
Minister for Local Government and Territories
Minister for Regional Communications
Contact Form
https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Contact_Senator_or_Member?MPID=e5g
PO Box 6100, Senate, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP
Minister for Urban Infrastructure
Liberal Party of Australia
Paul.Fletcher.MP@aph.gov.au
PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
https://www.facebook.com/paulfletchermp
https://twitter.com/PaulFletcherMP

ANTHONY ALBANESE
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development

334a Marrickville Road, Marrickville, Sydney NSW 2204
a.albanese.mp@aph.gov.au
https://www.facebook.com/AlboMP
https://twitter.com/AlboMP

MICHELLE ROWLAND
Shadow Minister for Communications

230 Prospect Hwy, Seven Hills NSW 2147
Michelle.Rowland.MP@aph.gov.au
https://www.facebook.com/mrowlandmp

Scott Ludlam’s Office (Greens)
8 Cantonment Street, Fremantle, WA 6160
Ph: 08 9335 7477
toll free (WA only) 1300 733 450
Fax: 08 9335 7499
senator.ludlam@aph.gov.au

Contact details for all MPs  here

Web Page Optimisation (WPO)

nbn SkyMuster uses a system called Web Page Optimisation (WPO).
Web Page Optimisation is designed to help speed the loading of pages, as you browse.
A downside of WPO is that nbn counts all the data that WPO pre-fetches, including data collected to speed up your page loads even if you never see them.
Some providers (if asked) will disable (turn off) WPO.
You may experience some pages loading a little slower, but for many there is little change in speed.
Disabling WPO will stop the addition of the WPO overhead to your account.
The amount of additional data that WPO uses will vary with the the day to day internet activity of your household.
For those on SkyMuster who are struggling to keep within their account quota, disabling WPO may be something to consider.

*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.

Kindly prepared for BIRRR by John Kitchener 21/7/2016

Temporary fixes to Sky Muster internet connection problems July 2016

Problems include

  1. Unable to visit certain websites, especially HTTPS ones.
  2. Unable to do any form of remote logins (Reckon, Phoenix, Microsoft Remote login etc)
  3. Short term dropouts, especially noticeable in any forms of chat.

Possible solutions that have worked for SOME people (see below for more details)

  1. Clear the browser cache.
  2. Turn off iPV 6 on your computer and/or router (Note SkyMesh has done this for their Sky Muster service so no action is required for SkyMesh customers)
  3. Ask your provider to turn Web Acceleration OFF
  4. Test using a VPN application called Tunnel Bear
  5. Enable TCP Timestamps
  1. Clear the browser cache.

    See here for instructions http://www.refreshyourcache.com/en/home/

  2. Turn off iPV6 on your computer and/or router

    Instructions here for Mac OS X https://kb.iu.edu/d/aqig
    Instructions here for Windows https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/kb/929852
    Y
    ou will need to read your router’s manual to determine how to turn off iPV6 in it.

  3. Ask you service provider to put a request into NBN to have web acceleration turned OFF
    for your connection.Browsing will be slower, but you should be able to visit the problem websites.
    Ask Service Provider to get NBN to disable the Transparent Performance Enhancing Proxy (TPEP)
    Web Page Optimisation to OFF, Transport Protocol to OFF
  4. Trial a VPN application called Tunnel Bear (first 500Mb is free)https://www.tunnelbear.com/
    Download the Tunnel Bear extension in Google Chrome
    Visit the website via Chrome with the tunnel bear extension turned on
    If your secure website or Remote desktop is now working, let your Service Provider’s Support know.
  5. Enable TCP Timestamps (this has now been done at the NBN end of SkyMuster, so you shouldn’t have to do this)The following was worked out by technical support at SkyMesh. Original Workaround provided by SkyMesh  here  

 

sky muster 3

Detailed below is a temporary workaround for customers with Sky Muster services that are having issues browsing some websites. Some operating systems do not have the TCP Timestamps extension enabled by default. By enabling this extension on each affected computer, customers can overcome the problem. The workaround temporarily resolves a certain class of issues. If you continue to experience browsing issues after enabling timestamps, you might be affected by a different problem.

You must run the command prompt as the Administrator.
This is how you do it
Windows Vista and Windows 7 http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/windows-elevated-command-prompt/
Windows 8 and 10
http://www.howtogeek.com/194041/how-to-open-the-command-prompt-as-administrator-in-windows-8.1/
Apple computers
http://www.wikihow.com/Get-to-the-Command-Line-on-a-Mac

WINDOWS INSTRUCTIONS
These instructions are not suitable for Windows XP. See below for dedicated instructions.

How to Check the Status of Timestamps

  • Click Start.
  • In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press ENTER.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type netsh interface tcp show global and the press ENTER.
  • Check if RFC 1323 Timestamps is listed as enabled or disabled.

How to Enable Timestamps

  • Click Start.
  • In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER (the command below requires administrator privileges).
  • If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type netsh interface tcp set global timestamp=enabledand the press ENTER.

How to Disable Timestamps

  • Click Start. In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER (the command below requires administrator privileges).
  • If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type netsh interface tcp set global timestamp=disabledand the press ENTER.

WINDOWS XP INSTRUCTIONS
How to Enable Timestamps

  • Click Start.
  • In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER (the command below requires administrator privileges).
  • If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters /v Tcp1323Opts /t REG_DWORD /d 2 and the press ENTER.

How to Disable Timestamps

  • Click Start. In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER (the command below requires administrator privileges).
  • If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters /v Tcp1323Opts /t REG_DWORD /d 0 and the press ENTER.

How to Check the Status of Timestamping and Window Scaling Features

  • Click Start.
  • In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press ENTER.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type reg query HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters /v Tcp1323Opts and the press ENTER.
  • Check if
    Tcp1323Opts is listed as 0x2 or 0x3 (enabled) or 0x0 or 0x1 (disabled).

MAC OS X INSTRUCTIONS
Please note that these instructions may not work with El Capitan:https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7408993

How to Check the Status of Performance Extensions (including Timestamps)

  • Run sysctl net.inet.tcp.rfc1323 from the command line.
  • Check if net.inet.tcp.rfc1323 is listed as 1 (enabled) or 0 (disabled).

How to Enable Performance Extensions (including Timestamps)

  • Run sudo sysctl net.inet.tcp.rfc1323=1 from the command line.
  • Modify the /etc/sysctl.conf file with net.inet.tcp.rfc1323=1 to make the setting permanent.

How to Disable Performance Extensions (including Timestamps)

  • Run sudo sysctl net.inet.tcp.rfc1323=0 from the command line.
  • Modify the /etc/sysctl.conf file with net.inet.tcp.rfc1323=0 to make the setting permanent.

GNU/LINUX INSTRUCTIONS
How to Check the Status of Timestamps

  • Run sysctl net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps from the command line.
  • Check if net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps is listed as 1 (enabled) or 0 (disabled).

How to Enable Timestamps

  • Run sudo sysctl net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps=1 from the command line.
  • Modify the /etc/sysctl.conf file with net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps=1 to make the setting permanent.

How to Disable Timestamps

  • Run sudo sysctl net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps=0 from the command line.
  • Modify the /etc/sysctl.conf file with net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps=0 to make the setting permanent.

What are Sky Muster spot beams?

To provide the capacity required for Australian Sky Muster users, 101 spot beams are used to illuminate small population centres.

This technique increases the capacity of Sky Muster considerably over earlier satellite systems that provided internet in Australia.

SpotBeams1
Note: This map is for illustrative purposes only. It should not be used to determine which spot beam nbn have allocated to your connection.

SkyMuster Earth Station Gateways

There are nine active Sky Muster Earth Station Gateways, geographically spread across Australia.

They are located in areas that are least likely to suffer from atmospheric degradation and each site is connected by redundant fibre cable to Sydney.

All traffic from the Earth Station Gateways is aggregated by nbn at Eastern Creek in Sydney where the various Sky Muster providers interconnect.

birrr-sm-beams-and-esg-2

 

This chart identifies the connection between a spot beam and the Earth Station Gateway.

Compiled by BIRRR ©

How are spot beams allocated?

nbn use a clever beam planning tool that determines from the customers coordinate location, which satellite and to which spot beam that location is best allocated. It also advises the antenna size and the power of the TRIA (transmit and receive integrated assembly). For some locations there is a choice of up to 10 x different beam/ satellite combinations. A user might be allocated to one beam on one satellite and a week later their neighbour might be allocated to a different beam, or a different satellite, or different equipment; for effectively the same latitude and longitude.

If a spot beam were to ‘fill up’ (e.g. higher take up rates in some areas versus others compared to initial predictions) the system could flag a problem and propose to move existing services from one beam to another. This would require a 10 minute planned outage per service moved.

You can estimate what spot beam you are on by using the map above and ‘guess’ the beam you are on and then visit here and click on the spot beam you maybe on. Then you can zoom in on the map and it shows you what area that spot beam covers. More than one spot beam can cover certain areas, so it is not a certainty that your are on one spot beam. Here is an example of one area covered by 3 spot beams.

My Beams

Why some customers have slightly lower latency than others

When conducting Ookla speed test you may notice that some SkyMuster users record a lower latency or ping than others.

This difference in ping times is due to the differing distances of the terrestrial paths to Sydney. The time taken for a signal to travel the terrestrial path, adds delay to the relatively fixed satellite propagation delay, which is approximately 590ms for Sky Muster.

Geraldton in WA is much further from Sydney than say Broken Hill NSW and there may be up to 30ms difference in ping times, as a consequence.

Images courtesy of the Satbeams website. Satbeams.com is a global Web 2.0 reference website that provides consolidated information about the Geostationary/Communications satellites, their technical details, coverage zones and frequency charts.