PlayOn Cloud

PlayOn Cloud is a mobile app that can be used to record and then download video files during off peak times.  This is useful for those on satellite connections (who usually have unused off peak data), those who are experiencing network congestion, slow equipment and those wanting to download movies and clips for times when you need to watch offline e.g plane trips and travel.

How PlayOn Cloud Works

PlayOn cloud is a streaming video recorder that is located in the cloud.  When you select a video file in the app, PlayOn streams and records the file to their server in the cloud (the recording does not use your data/connection).  Once the recording has completed you can download the file from the cloud to your device, and downloads can be scheduled to occur in off peak times or times when there is no network congestion. Cloud recordings are stored for 7 days and must be ‘downloaded’ before then or the recording will expire.

The PlayOn Cloud App is both Apple (iOS) and Android compatible.

Steps on using PlayOn

  • Download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play
  • Set up your PlayOn Cloud account

68701113_448858545962418_5045470074576568320_n

  • There are two ways you can get recording credits – Purchase recording credits from PlayOn (prices below as at 01/08/2020), prices vary depending on the pack you choose. Recordings can be as low as 29 cents per video download.Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 9.00.39 AM
  • Or purchase a monthly recording plan (monthly subscription).  Recordings can be as low as 25 cents per video download (prices below as at 01/08/2020). Check with your Internet Provider for any special discounts available for PlayOn Cloud.

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 9.00.49 AM

  • In Settings, select download options.  Select Auto-Download on WiFi & Restrict Downloads to off peak, set the off peak times (nbn Sky Muster off peak times are 1am – 7am for all providers).  PlayOn Cloud works off your local time.
  • Set your video quality (High Definition if wanting to watch on a large screen)

67966841_954754188194623_1443734813960830976_n.jpg68510617_968883196776799_3277621764145807360_n

  • Select channel settings and sign in to any channel accounts that you have e.g. Netflix, You Tube, Disney
  • Select the channel you want to stream from and the video, file you want to record.  Select record. The video file will now begin recording in the PlayOn Cloud, this will show in your Queue section.
  • Your video will download (this is the part that uses YOUR data) during the times you have setup in the settings tab.  Your device must be plugged into power with the app left open for this to occur, you must also have enough storage space on your device. The file will then be downloaded to your device and can be located in the Recordings tab, select device at the top of the tab to see your recording..
  • You can also download the files to your PC using the PlayOn Companion AppThe app works on both Windows and Mac systems. You still schedule recordings as normal in the PlayOn Cloud app, the files can then be downloaded directly to your choice of either the companion app on your PC or to your mobile device as normal. Download recordings automatically overnight while you sleep to use your Off-Peak data, and do it straight to your PC without the hassles of transferring the file afterwards.
  • PlayOn Cloud allows AdSkipping – Automatically skip ads when you watch recordings.

Synching between devices

If you login with the same PlayOn Cloud account, your recordings will sync across all of your devices that have the app installed. Please ensure your settings are updated in each version of the app.

Recording Failure

In the unlikely event of a recording failure, you’ll automatically be issued a replacement credit. If you encounter any further issues, contact the PlayOn support team at support@playon.tv

Playing your files on a big screen

To play your downloaded files, you can watch them directly from your device or cast them to your TV screen using a device such as Google Chromecast or Apple TV, or watch on your PC/Laptop using the PlayOn Companion App.

PlayOn Cloud Supported Channels

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 8.58.46 AM

You can suggest alternate channels via email to support@playon.tv

NB: Customers who downloaded the PlayOn Cloud app prior to it becoming available in Australia may have access to different channels and recording credit prices.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with PlayOn regarding any issues.  

Thanks to Jeff from PlayOn for his assistance in compiling this document.  Prepared for BIRRR by Kristy Sparrow,  updated on 1st August 2020.

nbn Sky Muster Plus v2 SM+

nbn Sky Muster Plus (SM+) is a new product development for satellite users, launched on 12th August 2019, with nbn Sky Muster Plus 2.0 (enhancement version) released on 1 April 2020.  You can read about the differences between a normal nbn Sky Muster plan and a plus plan here.

SM+ is a plan which will provide nbn Sky Muster users with unlimited unmetered data across all online content and applications, with only two exclusions – video streaming and VPN traffic – which will continue to be metered. You can read the minister/s announcement here.

Unmetered = data that is not measured or counted as part of your monthly usage, this is unlimited and you will never be slowed for unmetered data.

Metered = data that is measured or counted as part of your monthly usage – this is the data that will be counted in your Sky Muster Plus plan.

Screen Shot 2020-04-22 at 9.43.09 PM

The above list is only a sample of the unmetered/metered content

* Certain unmetered activities MAY be shaped to wholesale speeds of 256Kbps between the hours of 6pm & 11pm daily, such as peer to peer traffic, uploads & downloads to cloud storage platforms, PC & smartphone operating system updates, software & gaming updates & internet activity related to applications which nbn cannot identify.

Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 5.05.15 PM

Refer to the BIRRR Guide on How To Choose an nbn Provider

LINKS TO PROVIDERS OFFERING SM+ PLANS:  

SM+ is OPTIONAL, standard Sky Muster plans are still available from your provider (see the BIRRR Standard Plan comparison here) .  Not all providers will offer SM+ plans, customers must place an order for a SM+ plan, it is not automatic, you may have several hours of downtime with your internet service whilst being transferred to a plus plan. Plus plans will reset on the 1st of each month. Please note that upgrading plus plans mid-cycle is currently not supported by any provider. 

NB: The ability to add top-up data blocks should be available by mid-May 2020

NBN Fair Use Policies apply to SM+, to ensure the finite satellite capacity is responsibly shared among users.

If you already have a nbn Sky Muster installation, SM+ plans do not require any additional equipment, in most cases you can use the equipment you already have.

BIRRR will continue to work with nbn regarding the wholesale pricing of SM+, with this in mind end-users should be careful of signing up for lengthy contracts in case nbn change the wholesale price in the future.

SM+ is only available on the 25/5Mbps speed tier, but does have the ability to speed burst, subject to network availability.

How was this developed?

BIRRR, along with other regional stakeholders have been discussing with nbn and the Federal Government ways to enhance the experience for Sky Muster users, to cater for the growth in data needs.  nbn has been actively looking at ways to optimise Sky Muster, and have spent time reviewing the usage of users.  After reviewing the data and conducting extensive research,  nbn determined that there is a way to deliver extra capacity on the satellites and thus the new SM+ product was developed. Enhancements to Plus have been worked on since it was launch in August 2019 and with the #COVID19 crisis have been announced sooner to help those who are now required to work and educate from home.

If you are a BIRRR member who has participated in one of our Facebook Polls or surveys, then you have contributed to some of this research.

ICPA, AgForce & BIRRR Meet with nbn Local

How will SM+ benefit me?

Based on the average user, it is estimated that approximately 70% of nbn Sky Muster Plus 2.0 usage will be unmetered  (from 1st April). However, this will vary depending on how each household or business uses the internet.

Will there be any changes to the peak and off-peak times on nbn SM+?

Off-peak times are not part of the SM+ consultation process, however BIRRR will continue to advocate for changes to the off-peak times on Sky Muster.

How else will nbn Sky Muster be enhanced to keep up with the growth in data usage?

BIRRR will continue to collaborate with nbn and the Federal Government on further enhancements to the nbn Sky Muster platform.  BIRRR is looking forward to future nbn announcements such as business satellite services and health and education products.

Will SM+ lead to congestion on the network?

No, SM+ plans should not lead to network congestion as the product is designed for nbn to better manage capacity.

Developed for BIRRR by Kristy Sparrow, in conjunction with nbn & updated 1/04/20

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your usage statistics, eligibility and best plans available.

 

Using PlayOn Desktop to Schedule Off Peak Video Downloads

What is PlayOn?

PlayOn Desktop is a program that allows you to schedule the download of movies and tv shows during Sky Muster ‘off peak’ data times. It is relatively cheap and very simple to use, you don’t have to be very tech savvy and its an excellent way to utilise your off-peak data that often goes unused.

What Do I Need?
You need an existing Netflix account or You Tube account to use PlayOn and a PC or laptop with Windows installed. Unfortunately PlayOn Desktop doesn’t work for Macs. 

BIRRR is currently researching the Play On Cloud app which works in a similar way on idevices, we will update when our research is done.

How Much Does it Cost?
PlayOn costs $4.99 USD per month or $30 USD annually or you can pay a one off lifetime membership charge of $69.95 USD. Prices do change regularly so check out current pricing on the Playon Website. Look into downloading a limited time trial, if you want to test the software without the commitment.

PlayOn charges are  an additional cost on top of your Netflix subscription. (Netflix AUS costs $9.99 per month for the basic package, which allows you to stream or download Netflix on 1 screen at a time in Standard Definition). Other plans are available, however it is not ideal to download from more than one device on Sky Muster. You may want to ‘trial’ Netflix for free for a limited time first.

How Does It Work? 

You can set your Play-On to record and download videos as .MP4 files during Sky Muster off-peak times.  PlayOn will start and end the recordings automatically. The recording works in a ‘streaming’ fashion. Meaning that if a movie is 3 hours long it will take 3 hours to record, and you can record up to 6 x 1 hour episodes of a TV series during your off-peak times. This means you can download up to 180 hours of movies and TV shows per month during your off peak time (subject to your data limits). This enables Netflix and You Tube to be more accessible to those on limited data connections.

PlayOn records during normal times too so if you find yourself at the end of your billing period with some leftover peak data and not enough time to use it up you can use PlayOn to record shows during peak times as well to use your data effectively.

How much data does it use?
You can easily adjust the quality of your recordings (similar to adjusting the streaming quality on your Netflix account), which will reduce the amount of data that is used per recording. However, I find anything less than Medium quality to be unwatchable and if you have a decent sized tv then you may want to stick to a High quality download setting.

Low Definition: reduced standard definition video quality, can use up to 300MB per hour.
Medium Definition: standard definition(SD) video quality, can use up to 700MB per hour.
High Definition: high definition(HD) video quality, can use up to 3GB per hour.

How to Watch?
Once you have downloaded your movies and TV shows there are multiple ways to watch them. You can use a streaming device (such as Chromecast) from your desktop, tablet or device. You can also put the files onto a USB or hard drive and plug that straight into your TV. If you have downloaded onto a laptop you can also use an HDMI to plug your computer directly into your TV.  Mirroring apps (try Googling one that is compatible with your TV and device) are also an easy way to watch.

Problems & Tech Support
PlayOn works really well the majority of the time. You can have issues where shows have not recorded properly or not at all (this can be from a minor Play-On glitch or a short Sky Muster outage or update). The program will flag the ones that failed to record overnight so you can add them to the queue to record next time.

PlayOn is a US based company so doesn’t offer phone based support in Australia, however there is a ‘tech support’ button in PlayOn settings which details problems and glitches and how to fix them.  PlayOn tech support can also be contacted via email.

How to Use?

  1. Create an account on the PlayOn website. (you will also need to have created a Netflix or YouTube account)
  2. Choose which payment option you want.
  3. Download the program to the computer you want to use (remember it is not compatible with Mac Computers)
  4. Follow the prompts as instructed.
  5. Once the PlayOn desktop program has downloaded go into settings and the ‘channels’ tab and enter your Netflix or YouTube logon and password details.
  6. In that same settings screen under the ‘General’ tab you can choose the quality of your download from HD to Low Quality as discussed above.
  7. Once this is set up you can go to the top right hand side of the screen and see an ‘off peak’ button. Click it to set up to record during off-peak times. You will need to enter your off-peak times in. PlayOn is very definite and only starts once the off-peak time has begun, it also won’t continue to record past the off-peak time you have set. e.g. If you have a 55 minute episode to record, but only 45 minutes of off-peak time remaining PlayOn will simply not record that episode (rather than record most of it or go over the specified time) and it will remain in the ‘Recording Queue’ until next time.
  8. Now the fun part. Click on the channels tab and choose the Netflix channel. Now you can choose whichever movies and tv shows you want to download. Once you have found what you want to record you will see the button on the far right of the show/episode description that says ‘record’. Click that and it will add it to your ‘Record Queue’ to be recorded during off-peak. You will have to click record for each episode of a series.
  9. Click on the ‘Record Queue’ button on the top right of the screen to see everything you have in your queue. You can change the record order etc from there if you want.
  10. Keep your computer turned on and connected to the internet overnight for the recordings to work (turn the volume down on the computer if you don’t want it annoying you through the night).
  11. You can see which recordings have downloaded successfully and which haven’t in the ‘new recordings’ and ‘failed recordings’ tabs on the left hand menu. Any ‘failed recordings’ you can just add to the ‘Record Queue’ again for next time and they will usually record successfully.  If you continue to get failed recordings or have other problems go to the ‘Help’ button at the bottom left of the screen.
  12. Sometimes when you open the PlayOn program you will get a screen that says ‘Server can’t be found’. Simply click the ‘Open Settings’ button and you will see a ‘Start/Stop Server’ button on the right of your settings. Click it and wait for the box to become green and say ‘Running’ and you are good to go. This happens often and is due to settings that don’t start the server automatically (to save data).

How to View
Refer to the How to Watch section above. You can open the PlayOn program to watch them, otherwise the recordings are also stored in a ‘Play-On’ folder in your Video files on your desktop. From that folder these can be transferred to a USB or hard-drive for viewing (and travel etc) if you want.

Check out Skymesh’s PlayOn hack article

Prepared for BIRRR by Sophie Parbury & Ben from SkyMesh.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your eligibility and best plans available. Page updated 25/10/18.

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. Check the NBN outage page to see if it is widespread – https://www.nbnco.com.au/support/network-status
  3. The RSPs that have network status information are
    1. SkyMesh also have a network status page that is usually up to date at https://www.skymesh.net.au/advisories/
    2.  Active8me post network outages on their FaceBook page here (like their page and the updates will appear in your newsfeed) and on their network status page here.
    3. Iinet posts all the planned maintenance events here https://www.iinet.net.au/status/
    4. Clear Networks here
    5. Westnet here
  4.  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
  5. After you have completed steps 1,2,3 and 4 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.
  6. 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.

Thanks to SkyMesh for providing this printable power cycle document. Please note SkyMesh are one of 12 providers offering nbn Sky Muster.  You should always contact your provider for assistance.

21931195_176029549631441_828593649_o (1)

*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

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

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.

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.

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

How to use your off-peak data

This article is particularly helpful for nbn Sky Muster Satellite customers. 

SKYMUSTER hours (regardless of your provider) will be:

PEAK: 7am – 1am and OFF-PEAK: 1am to 7am

Wondering how to best utilise your off peak data?

Here are some ways to get the most out of your satellite plans.

Mac Systems: You need to perform a few simple tasks to prepare for scheduled downloads. First, go to System Preferences > Energy Saver and press the Schedule button. Check the Start up or wake check box and select the time for your Mac to wake. You want it to wake at least 1 minute before your Calendar event will fire, to ensure that you are connected to the Internet. Once you have set the wake day and time, click OK and close the Energy Saver window.

OPERATING SYSTEM SOFTWARE:

Operating system updates for Windows 10 and Apple iOS are AUTOMATIC, you cannot schedule them. Earlier versions of Windows can be scheduled.

How to Schedule Windows 10 PRO UPDATES

RECORDING PROGRAMS

Playon 

PlayOn is a program that allows you to record movies and TV shows during off peak times. You can record streaming video from over 100 popular streaming sites including Netflix. Recordings are saved as .MP4 video files which can be easily transferred to an iPad or iPhone via iTunes, or to an Android mobile device. Cost is $2.50US a month. WINDOWS Compatible Only

Playon Cloud

  • Is compatible with both Windows computers and Apple devices. More information about PlayOn Cloud is here. 
  • PlayOn Cloud is a mobile app that can be used to record and then download video files during off peak times.  This is useful for those on satellite connections (who usually have unused off peak data), those who are experiencing network congestion, slow equipment and those wanting to download movies and clips for times when you need to watch offline e.g plane trips and travel.

SCHEDULING ITUNES DOWNLOADS

MAC Users: The following link shows you how to schedule downloads (apps, music, movies, TV shows etc) in off peak times in itunes using a Mac CLICK HERE  You can also use this method to update apps in off peak times and then connect your i-device to the computer / itunes and update on your device or transfer downloads without using data.

DROPBOX SYNCING

Use the following links to sync your dropbox files at night during off peak times.

MOBILE DEVICES SOFTWARE UPDATES

APPLE: Apple iOS are only automatic if you are connected via WiFi or cable. If the device is Cellular only, it is NOT automatic, and can be scheduled but therefore can’t use your Sky Muster off peak data for these updates.

DOWNLOAD SCHEDULERS

Install a DOWNLOAD SCHEDULER to your computer that allows large file downloads to be scheduled during off peak hours. They work by adding a link to the file you want downloaded and then scheduling this download.  Some recommended download schedulers are:

Once you have installed the download scheduler application you can choose the time/day you wish to download the file(s).

WARNING: Please be careful with download manager add-ons, some have been known to be malicious and deliberately spam users or Hijack user’s computers.

Do not click on any pop ups, links, ads or programs that promise to speed up your computer or internet connection – these often contain malicious software. These links or ads are especially common on popular speed testing websites.

SCHEDULE EMAILS

GMAIL SCHEDULER DOWNLOAD

Email Scheduler for Gmail lets you schedule email messages inside Gmail with the help of a Google Spreadsheet. You can write your messages now and Gmail will send them later at your specified date and time, thus you can schedule it to use your off peak data. The scheduler can also send recurring emails that go out automatically on daily, weekly, monthly or yearly repetitive schedule.

MICROSOFT OUTLOOK SCHEDULER

Microsoft Outlook can also schedule delivery (and reception) of email messages.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your ISP regarding off peak data if you have any concerns.  As the #datadrought mainly impacts satellite customers with off peak data we have focussed on off peak data for these customers.   Thanks to BIRRR members  Julie Stott & Kye Rosendale for assistance in compiling this document.  

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

 

BIRRR survey SAYS…

2017

Link to survey – 2017 Regional Internet Access Survey Results

2016

Announcing the release of the 2016 SURVEY RESULTS for REGIONAL INTERNET ACCESS!!!

survey image

LINK TO MEDIA RELEASE: ‘GETTING LEFT BEHIND’

Please use the following links to download the PDF’s of the results document (52 pages/1.9MB) and our media release (4 pages/1MB)

2016 Regional Internet Access Survey Results

BIRRR ‘SURVEY SAYS’ MEDIA RELEASE

 

 

 

How to find your Latitude and Longitude using Google Maps

Google Maps is a web application that allows users to find and search for locations, get directions, and view street view maps using a scalable, virtual map interface via their browser. The service is powered by high-resolution satellite images, allowing users to zoom in on maps, sometimes down to street level, through the Street View feature.
This article provides details for how to get longitude and latitude for any given location using Google Maps. Your co-ordinates will offer the best information for nbn™ and your service provider to locate you.
1. Go to https://www.google.com.au/maps/

Google Maps2.  Enter the city, town, country, address, or other location you want to find the longitude and latitude for and click the “Search Maps” button.

 

google maps 2

 

A red marker is placed on the map, pinpointing the location you have entered.

3. Right-click the red marker or a surrounding area and select the “What’s here?” option from the context menu.

 

google maps 3

4.  A pop up appears with the location latitude and longitude displayed. This will also drop a grey arrow marker on the map.

google maps 4

5.  Left click on the latitude and longitude. The side panel displays the details of the location.

 

google maps 56.   Copy and paste details as required from the side panel.

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

Prepared  for BIRRR by John Kitchener 24/4/2016

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).

10418540_10153470487062316_4889024704295236924_n

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

In QLD, NT & SA the end-user (YOU) is responsible for the ordering and payment of the education port (you are eligible for an allowance to help subsidise the cost of internet), in other states the Department of Education organise the connection and payment (NSW & WA) or there is no subsidised port available (VIC & TAS).

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 you with:

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

NB: iinet, Westnet & Bordernet do NOT offer PLUS plans.

DOWNLOAD THE FACT SHEET : BIRRR Sky Muster Education Ports

Education Port State Specifics:

* You may need to provide a Student ID number from your child’s school to order an Education Port.

QUEENSLAND

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 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.

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 an additional nbn Sky Muster installation. 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).

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 12/10/2020. For further details please check with your education department and provider.

Preparing For nbn™ Sky Muster™

Are you ready for Sky MusterTM 

Once you have ordered your Sky Muster service (with your provider) the below steps will walk you through how to prepare for your installation.  You can check out the nbn Guide on How to prepare for your Sky Muster Installation here.

The BIRRR article below will also help you cover the bases, including:


SATELLITE DISHES

Q: Who will co-ordinate this part of install?  A: nbn, via your chosen ISP (provider)

Most Sky Muster dishes are more compact than earlier satellite installations and more like 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.

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Example of Sky Muster Satellite Dish

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.


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. The installer is responsible for installing the dish on your roof and the nbn (NTD) box in your house.  They are NOT responsible for connecting your router and home network.

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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.

– 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 are available in the nbn™ Sky Muster User Guide

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ROUTERS

Q: Who you will deal with?  A: Your ISP (provider) and if necessary your IT expert

See the BIRRR document on Sky Muster Routers

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


 

ADDING A VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL (VOIP) SERVICE TO SKY MUSTERTM

Q: Who you will deal with?  A: Your ISP (provider)

See the BIRRR document on Voice Services over Sky Muster.

You should keep your existing landline as this service will continue to be maintained for Sky Muster 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.


 

SKY MUSTER ‘EDUCATIONAL’ NTD PORT.

Who you will deal with?  A: The Education Port on Sky Muster differs in each state, depending on your department of education policies.

A specific ‘education’ port is available for students who are home schooled or enrolled in an approved school of distance education.  Availability differs in each state. BIRRR advises you to check with your state’s Department of Education regarding your eligibility.

Additional routers and equipment may be necessary to access the education port.

Your RSP may assist with the initial service installation, router provisioning and equipment configuration. You will need a student ID to access the port.

Further information is available in the BIRRR Document What is an Educational Port.

 


*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. Updated 29/8/18

How Do I Get nbn™ ?

Did you know EVERY Australian residence will be able to access some form of nbn™ by the end of 2020 ?

  • Every Australian residence  will be able to access some form of nbn™ – fixed, fixed wireless or satellite. nbn™ are a wholesaler for the service, they sell to providers who then sell to the public.

At BIRRR headquarters we spend a lot of time researching the facts for our many members. We have noticed lately some confusion over the release of the new nbn Sky Muster Satellite service. The single most important item to remember is to research plans and providers, don’t stick with an old plan just because you have been with that provider for years. Sky Muster Providers are listed here.

To help choose an nbn provider check out the BIRRR Tip Sheet.

To compare Sky Muster providers – see our Sky Muster Plan Comparison.

How do you find out what type of nbn™ you will be getting at your address ?

STEP 1. Check your address on the NBN Rollout Map. The map should state what nbn technology your address is mapped for. If the pin on the map is not your actual house, go to Step 2.  If you are close to purple shading or have line of sight to a nbn Fixed Wireless tower (and not in purple shading), go to Step 2.

If your address looks correct, click on the arrow to find out if your residence is ready for service and which providers you can chose from.  When you contact a provider you will be given an install date for an nbn technician to come and install your equipment.

If your address does not map. Go to Step 2

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STEP 2. If you find your address does not display or is incorrect on the nbn Check your Address site you can contact nbn directly via email – info@nbn.com.au or phone 1800 687 626 and ask for your address to be fixed up so that you can order a service.

If you have any difficulties or think you are eligible for a different nbn technology,  BIRRR can assist via our desk check process.

Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with nbn™ or your provider regarding your connection.

Prepared for BIRRR by Kristy Sparrow, updated 17/08/18