Alternate Voice Telephony

Alternate Voice Telephony

Everyone is familiar with landline and mobile phones. 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 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 etc. VoIP is available over the Interim Satellite Service and an improved VoIP service  is now available over the Long Term Satellite Service (Sky Muster). Click here to read more on VOIP over Sky Muster.

For more details regarding a VoIP service, talk with your RSP or arrange for a VoIP service with a VoIP only service provider.

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. See http://www.skype.com/en/features/call-phones-and-mobiles/. You may also purchase a Skype cordless phone which LAN cable connects to your internet router. See http://dualphone.net/

*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

SKY MUSTER PLANS BETTER FOR THE BUSH, BUT FOR HOW LONG?

Bush broadband to get a light shower, but no real end to #DataDrought predicted.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.37.23 PM
Image from nbn co

After a long wait, Australia’s bush broadband users can finally get a look at nuts-and-bolts information for the new Sky Muster satellite with the release by nbn co of the Satellite Fair Use Policy… and it confirms their expectations.

Whilst they were hoping for a widespread soaking of data, the announcement of plans by nbn co for the Sky Muster satellite has provided ‘a light shower’ rather than long-term resolution of predicted data shortfalls.

“With years of dealing with almost non-existent speeds and very low data limits, rural regional and remote Australians have been looking hopefully to Sky Muster as ‘The Answer’ to their internet woes,” said BIRRR chief admin, Kristy Sparrow.

The maximum plan (issued by nbn co to retail suppliers) will be 75Gb Peak data usage, peak & off peak data limits will be set by providers. The Sky Muster Satellite is expected to be available for use by customers in four months time (April 2016).

There are 200 ‘trial sites’ currently being installed for Sky Muster by nbn co.

“While this (announcement) is better that we currently have, it by no means covers what data needs could be in a year, two years time, let alone another decade,” said Ms Sparrow.

The maximum nbn co deal of 150Gb (total) will see users speed limited if they breach the plan limit over a 4 week rolling period. The nbn co Fair Use Policy has severe penalties (for the service provider) if a user goes over the 150Gb in any 4 weeks (not necessarily their billing period). This will impact plan pricing and tiers as no provider will want plan limits breached. nbn co considers that 75Gb or more of data usage during Peak hours in any four week period constitutes a breach of its Fair Use Policy AND 150Gb or more of Data Usage in any four week period (Peak or Off Peak) also breaches the Fair Use Policy.

“As we take on feedback from people across Australia at the BIRRR Facebook group, members are very concerned that the new limits – while an improvement on current restrictive plans – will not address decent long-term service across Australia, as business becomes more and more internet and cloud based.“

Everything is app or internet dependant these days – from mapping and management of properties, to tracing cattle movements and payment of bills and accounting needs. That’s not even taking into innovative farming technology, social, health or education requirements”.

The BIRRR team were also disappointed to see off peak times announced as 1am – 7am and hope that nbn co and providers continue to investigate innovative ways to use off peak data allowances.

“The majority of members feel that these times are virtually unusable and as such the data will not be able to be accessed,” Ms Sparrow said.

BIRRR were however thrilled to see details of a second port for distance education users released, details are still to be confirmed however the port is expected to provide distance education students with a 50GB per student data allowance (to a maximum of 150GB per port), as well as expected priority of access to Skymuster.  This is fantastic news for primary and secondary students and we hope tertiary students can be included in the near future.

“All in all, whilst there has been some improvements, we are still going to have inequitable service and costs when compared to metropolitan areas,” Ms Sparrow said.

“Our main concern at BIRRR is that data usage is doubling at a rapid rate and plans are not keeping up.”

Speeds are expected to be better than current connections, with 25/5Mbps touted by nbn co. Current BIRRR survey data shows, bush broadband users endure speeds below 4/2Mbps (and often less than 2Mbps).

BIRRR predicts customers will flock to secure access to the new satellite as soon as providers have plan offers available.  Skymesh LTSS plans are available here 

As information and plans become available, the BIRRR team will post it to their website: www.birrraus.com.au as well as the Facebook page.

BIRRR urge all regional Australian’s to ensure they complete the regional internet access survey to ensure our voices are heard. Please access the survey here

 

Controlling Internet Data Usage with Gargoyle Router

Are you regularly running out of internet “downloads” or data? Kids keep on using it all? Not sure where it’s going?
This document describes the process of setting up a “Gargoyle” Router to enforce data usage quotas for each device on your computer network.
Unfortunately, due to the many variables of different internet connection types and equipment types, it is not simple to give a single step-by-step guide, but this may hopefully help some of you out, even if you have to get a computer tech in to set it up for you.
There is a New Zealand company selling Gargoyle routers (posted to Australia), and will help you set them up if you pay for their time.
http://www.portable.geek.nz/
These Gargoyle routers will allow you to set quotas limiting how much data each device on your network can use over a given time period, so as to ensure you do not use all of your monthly internet allowance. You can see how much data each device is using, and set limits for each device. These limits can reset every hour, every day, every week, or every month, and can be set differently for different devices on your network.
The Gargoyle program is free, and can be downloaded from Gargoyle , however you need a special router to put it on, and this can be a bit tricky for those who are not experienced with computer networking.
IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ: You, and you alone are responsible for what you do with this information. It has the potential to stop your internet from working, and to destroy your new Gargoyle router. BIRRR & I are not responsible for this, and cannot necessarily help you fix any problems occurring as a result of this. This is complicated stuff, and you may need help from an experienced computer tech to get it working.
Due to the large amount of possible modems, routers and network types, I cannot give step-by-step instructions for every router available. However the Gargoyle website provides some instructions for the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND Router, which is fairly cheap (about $70) and can be purchased from many online retailers, and maybe your local computer shop or IT Technician, who may also be able to assist you with the setup. (But they quite likely will not know of Gargoyle, so you would have to show them the website – http://www.gargoyle-router.com)
Types of Modems/Internet connections
Your setup will also vary depending on the type of internet connection you have. BEFORE YOU START, take note of how everything is plugged in and connected together. Draw pictures, write notes, take photos, whatever is needed to help you put it back as is if you run into trouble.
If you have a modem or router that has an Ethernet port (to take a cable that looks like this),

cable

then it is reasonably easy to make work. If you have satellite, ADSL, Next G Wireless Loop or a Telstra/Bigpond Network Gateway, this is what you should have. When you are finished, It will all be plugged in like this:

gargoyle 1
If not, you will likely need the assistance of someone experienced with computer networking, so I will attempt to provide some examples of how to set it up for them to follow.
If you have a 3G/4G USB Dongle, you will need to get a router to connect the USB dongle to. This will be another separate piece of equipment to purchase. Check out http://ofmodemsandmen.com/ If you do this, you would then end up with the scenario in the drawing above, and can continue setting up Gargoyle. Alternatively, and preferably, if your Gargoyle router has a USB port, you may be able to connect the USB dongle directly to the Gargoyle Router, and use it as the internet source. I have done this once, and it worked quite well. However, Some routers will not supply enough power to the USB dongle for this to work reliably.
You may also have a wifi only device, like the Telstra 4G Wifi modems. I have never tried this, but you should be able to set it up like this:

gargoyle2

Getting Gargoyle installed onto a router

You cannot just use any router, and this page has some links to different options: Gargoyle Router

But, for the sake of this document, let’s go with the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND – it can be purchased from many Australian retailers, look here for places to order it from: Static Ice

There are currently three versions of the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND router, V1.x (old), V2.1 (current) and 3.0 (current). Version 2.1 and V3.0 are identical in appearance.

Version 1 is the oldest. Version 2 is newer and is well proven. Version 3 (latest), may be problematic, as it is not yet directly supported by Gargoyle (at Jan 2016). When buying the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND, check with your supplier to determine which version they can supply.

Note: Here is a link to other routers which run Gargoyle:
https://www.gargoyle-router.com/wiki/doku.php?id=supported_routers_-_tested_routers
It is recommended to select one of the newest routers with a fast CPU and larger RAM / Flash Memory. Atheros AR71XX based Routers have a proven track record with Gargoyle.

You must download and install the specific Gargoyle file for the router you have / bought.
https://www.gargoyle-router.com/download.php
Select the file which ends in … squashfs-factory.bin. This is the correct .bin file to flash your factory firmware router.

For a V1, get this file: V1 FILE   – clicking on file will automatically download it

For a V2, get this file: V2 FILE – clicking on file will automatically download it

Each of these files are about 8mb in size, and should only take, at most, about 5-20 minutes to download, unless your internet is really, really slow.

  1. Save this file onto your computer.
  2. Physically unplug your computer from the internet, or disconnect the wireless.
  3. Connect the router to the power, and to your computer with the supplied network cable:cable
  4. Open up the webpage that controls the router, which should be at either of these addresses: Address 1  or Address 2 – try each of them.
  5. Next, on the menu on the left side of the screen, click System Tools, then Firmware Upgrade. Then click browse, and choose the file you downloaded earlier. Then click Upgrade. (If you get the error message “please choose a file to upgrade”, then rename the firmware file to something shorter (i.e. “gargoyle.bin”) and upload it again)
  6. Wait about 5 minutes then you should be able to open the website http://192.168.1.1/
    If after 5 minutes 192.168.1.1 won’t open, restart both the Gargoyle router and your computer and try again. To restart Gargoyle, just pull the power cable out, then plug it back in. If this doesn’t work, you are going to need to get help from someone experienced with computer networking. Or you can try repeating everything you did earlier.
  7. The Gargoyle website provides a detailed procedure for the initial configuration of your new Gargoyle router. See http://www.gargoyle-router.com/wiki/doku.php?id=getting_started.
    The following steps take you briefly through this procedure.
    1. Log into 192.168.1.1 via your browser. It will ask for a password. The password is password, so type it in and login.
    2. Once logged in, you should see a screen that looks similar to this:
      GargoyleRouterHomePageScreenshot
    3. Click the Connection button on the left side menu.
    4. In the Internet/WAN section, you need to choose DHCP (wired) if Gargoyle is to be connected to your modem via a network cable. This is the default setting and will work with all nbn™ NTU or modem connections scenarios. Choose DHCP (wireless) if it is to be connected by WIFI.
    5. You must turn on and secure the WIFI. Use WPA2 PSK security, set the Access Point SSID (the WIFI name) and the Wireless Channel. Default is Ch 11 is fine. The remainder of the default settings should not need attention at this time.

Plugging it into your computer network

Once that is done, you can connect Gargoyle to your internet modem (either by LAN cable or wirelessly), and connect your computers and other devices, either by cable or WIFI, to Gargoyle, instead of the original modem.

If it is all done right, you should be able to connect to the internet; in which case you are almost done.

NOTE: No devices should be connected directly to your old modem, as they will be bypassing Gargoyle’s quotas. You may need to turn the WIFI off on your old modem, or change the password, to keep kids (and big kids) from bypassing Gargoyle. If there is no connection, re-check everything you have done. Maybe get someone else to have a look, as it is easy to get frustrated and confused, and overlook simple things. Failing that, you may have to get a computer tech to look at it. But, in the meantime, you should be able to go back to your old setup.

Setting up quotasGargoyleSideMenu

But before you do that, you may wish to use Gargoyles bandwidth monitoring feature to determine just which computers on your network are using data and when. See https://www.gargoyle-router.com/wiki/doku.php?id=bandwidth_usage

Now you just need to setup your quotas.

Open the gargoyle router page at http://192.168.1.1 and login. Then, click Firewall in the left side menu, then click Quotas.

Once again there is a good Gargoyle website explanation for setting quotas. See http://www.gargoyle-router.com/wiki/doku.php?id=quotas

The Quota page has a variety of options. Have a play around and set it up as you want. Then click Save Changes. Sometimes you may have to restart the Gargoyle for it to take effect. To do this, navigate to System then Reboot or pull out the power cord, count to 10, then plug it back in.

To monitor the quotas, click Status on the left side menu and then click Quota Usage. This page will show you in real time, how much each device has used.

That’s about it. I hope this helps out some of you.

I am sorry I can’t give more specific instructions. Dependant on your equipment and users there are many variations for how it could be configured.

Here is an interesting read on a similar project using Gargoyle on a satellite service in the USA: http://raisedbyturtles.org/limiting-daily-bandwidth-on-home-router

Prepared by Nick Marlow from Mitiamo IT for BIRRR 4/11/2015 – Updated 6/06/2016.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your own IT consultant regarding this and other latest programs and equipment.

What is unmetering and how does it work?

What does Unmetering mean ?

Some Providers are offering what is referred to un-metered data, this means that any data you use will not be counted against your actual data allowance. While no unmetered access is offered on satellite connections, some ISPs like SkyMesh, iiNet, Optus and Telstra (Bigpond) offer certain services that are not counted as part of your data allowance.

These are some common questions and answers:

What ISPs offer Unmetered services?

  • Skymesh (for NBN Fixed Wireless and NBN Fibre – Netflix content delivered over Australian peering links will not be counted against your data allowance. You have to be an Australian Netflix subscriber)
  • iiNet ( See here for details)
  • Internode (See here for details)
  • Telstra/Bigpond (See here for details)

Freezone

The Freezone offers a range of video and radio content for iiNet, Westnet, Netspace, Internode and Adam Internet customers to enjoy without taking a hit to their monthly quota. Everything from movies, music, sports and gaming content is available along with several live streamed events throughout the year.

Netflix

Skymesh, iiNet and Internode offer unmetered access to Netflix in Australia on Fixed Line NBN and Fixed Wireless NBN. In the Case of iiNet and Internode this is also offered on standard ADSL bundles (Not Naked DSL connections).  Netflix works on a per month subscription payment.

Presto

Telstra offers unmetered access to Presto and a variety of services,  detailed in the link above, on Bigpond Wireless Broadband, Telstra Home Broadband (including NBN FTTX and ADSL).  Presto works on a per month subscription payment.

presto
Presto unmetering shown in yellow on a Bigpond Usage Chart

Bigpond Movies

Bigpond Movies is unmetered for Bigpond customers, movies need to be purchased (rented) individually , however downloads are free.

Some movies are also free on Thanks Thursdays

NB: Whenever you see the BigPond Unmetered icon (green dot), download as much as you like and it won’t count towards your monthly usage limit.  Please note that the Green Dot may not be on all pages,

Education Sites Telstra/Bigpond

Telstra/Bigpond also offer unmetered access to some distance education sites and Portals:

A letter written to ICPA Federal (Isolated Parent’s Childrens’ Association) from Telstra Country Wide re unmetering education websites used by distance education students.

Telstra is committed to listen, learn and respond as positively as possible to issues raised by the ICPA. In this day and age, the internet is a vital source for students and in a country the size of Australia, there are geographical, capacity and commercial realities why it’s not possible to provide the full range of broadband services in some regional and remote locations. What we can do is help families better manage their broadband allowances. From 1 September 2015, Telstra will be un-metering a number of key Education websites for all BigPond and Telstra Mobile Broadband users.

This is on top of the 21 sites that are already unmetered. This was in response to a motion made at last year’s conference and following a visit by Andrew Coull and the Telstra Country Wide team to the Alpha region in Queensland where ICPA members and local families talked about what was most important to them.

To address one of the challenges regional and remote communities face in order to provide children with the best possible tools and support to further their education, Telstra is adding value to their broadband allowance through the un-metering of educational websites. These sites were identified with the ICPA and relevant Departments of Education. We may change sites from unmetered to metered at any time. Of course, as these are new unmetered sites, we don’t expect to make changes anytime soon.

Unmetering Terms & Conditions
On and from 1 September  2015 unless otherwise advised, a number of key education websites will be unmetered.
Some of the key sites include:
Queensland Department of Education and Training (e.g. det.qld.gov.au, education.qld.gov.au)*
WA Department of Education and Training (e.g. http://det.wa.edu.au/*)
SA Department for Education & Child Development (www.centra.sa.edu.au)
Creative Generation (www.creativegeneration.deta.qld.gov.au)
Scootle Community (https://www.scootle.edu.au)
Moodle (http://Moodle.openaccess.edu.au)
When accessing these sites, Telstra Mobile Broadband users, as well as BigPond Broadband Members on ADSL, Cable or Mobile Broadband plans (excluding hourly plans), can access downloads, video streams and editorial content without affecting their monthly usage limit. Note that the un-metering does not apply to Telstra Satellite users.

Please note that unmetering won’t apply if you’re accessing the internet using International Roaming. Additionally, some elements of an unmetered site may be metered if they are sourced from other websites that are metered, including things such as advertisements, YouTube videos, Google maps or social media services. Every time you visit or refresh a page you will incur the download of that content.

Kind regards
Libby Dalton
Executive Officer | Telstra Country Wide

Note: BIRRR have been working with Telstra Country Wide to ensure elearn and iconnect are included on the unmetering list for QLD distance education students. As of 4th term 2015 these sites were unmetered however changes have been made in early 2016, if QLD families find themselves ‘shaped’ whilst these sites are being worked through please contact BIRRR ~ birrraus@gmail.com  For further information contact the department of education in your state.

UPDATED February 2016

  • These sites were identified in consultation with the ICPA and a number of Departments of Education.  We will continue to monitor and refine the websites included and make changes from unmetered to metered as appropriate.

The sites below are in addition to those already unmetered as listed on Telstra.com (https://www.telstra.com.au/support/category/broadband/manage/bigpond-unmetered-sites).

SITE IP ADDRESS UNMETERED
elearn.eq.edu.au 203.104.8.81, 203.104.12.58
iconnect.eq.edu.au 203.104.8.82, 203.104.12.82, 203.104.12.58, 203.104.12.59, 203.104.12.60, 203.104.12.61
learningplace.eq.edu.au 203.104.8.83, 203.104.12.80, 203.104.12.90, 203.104.12.91, 203.104.8.80
iconnect-06.eq.edu.au 203.104.8.58, 203.104.12.58
iconnect-07.eq.edu.au 203.104.8.59, 203.104.12.59
iconnect-08.eq.edu.au 203.104.8.60, 203.104.12.60
staff.learningplace.eq.edu.au 203.104.8.90, 203.104.12.91
students.learningplace.eq.edu.au 203.104.8.91, 203.104.12.91
iconnect-09.eq.edu.au 203.104.8.61, 203.104.12.61
www.centra.sa.edu.au 203.122.254.35
www.centra.sa.edu.au 203.122.255.228
www.centra.sa.edu.au 203.122.254.36
www.centra.sa.edu.au 203.122.254.45
http://Moodle.openaccess.edu.au 221.121.151.143
https://www.scootle.edu.au 182.255.102.66
http://det.wa.edu.au/* 203.14.52.90
hrmisdev.det.wa.edu.au 203.14.52.104
itu.det.wa.edu.au
jobs.det.wa.edu.au
portlets.det.wa.edu.au
schoolsplus.det.wa.edu.au
scripts.det.wa.edu.au
swandeo.det.wa.edu.au
womeninleadership.det.wa.edu.au
http://education.wa.edu.au/*
biggerpicture.education.wa.edu.au
http://webcollaboration.det.wa.edu.au/*
http://portal.det.wa.edu.au/* 203.14.53.48
http://carnarvonsota.wa.edu.au/ * 129.94.183.231

 

So How does the Unmetering work?

It’s very simple, assume you have a Telstra Bigpond wireless plan with 4GB of data. You browse to Presto.com.au and start watching a whole heap of movies to the amount of 10GB, and then you browse to say youtube.com and use 3GB of data on Videos.

Telstra will calculate your actual usage to be:

  • 3000mb (3gb) of 4gb used (while viewing YouTube) +
  • 10gb of unmetered content (while viewing Presto) for a total of
  • 13gb used but only billed for 3gb, leaving with 1gb of metered data for the rest of the month.

Once you use that 1gb of data, then your service will be slowed down (shaped) to 64kbps which is as fast as dial-up. Unmetered content will also unfortunately be shaped.

Remember with bigpond you are free to change plans once a month to reflect your usage habits. However the highest plan currently available is 25GB.

Why Not satellite services as well?

Unfortunately, the cost of providing a satellite service to a consumer or business, added in the limited amount of backhaul (backhaul is like a very heavy freight train, the more locomotives at the front the more wagons it can pull) available, means it is not affordable to provide this service.

 

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your ISP regarding unmetering.  As the #datadrought mainly impacts mobile broadband and satellite customers we have focussed on unmetering for these technologies.  Your provider may have other sites that are unmetered.  Thanks to BIRRR members  Julie Stott & Kye Rosendale for assistance in compiling this document.  

 

 

 

Telstra Essential Contacts

If you need to contact Telstra please ring the correct department, it will result in quicker problem solving.  get to know your plan, look on your bill are you a Bigpond or Telstra customer, business or residential.  Bigpond plans are NOT business plans.

Telstra Country Wide have a dedicated website for rural, regional & remote users.

If you have tried to lodge a fault and have a ticket/fault number and limited success in actioning your concerns please fill in the BIRRR form and we can try to escalate your issue with your provider.

TELSTRA FAULTS

Phone: 132999 (for all faults other than RRADIO & NGWL faults).  This number has also been successful for some BIRRR members in reporting a mobile broadband fault –

1800 116 736

Landline Phone                                                                                                                                Report your landline outage using this form.

Radio Phones & NGWL Services
1800 772 346 (1800 R RADIO) or  1800 696 495 (1800 MYNGWL), for customers using radio and satellite services to report service difficulties or faults. There is also a dedicated email address (rradio@team.telstra.com) for online fault reporting.  Please do not let anyone convince you to change the plan on your NGWL device – these devices CAN ONLY be BIGPOND (shaped) plans and by involving billing / business consultants who are often not aware of how this service operates it can cause huge issues with your account.

Satellite
1800 210 027 opt 3 for Telstra Satellite
Telstra are currently not one of the Interim Satellite Providers, if Satellite is the ONLY option available to you for internet services please investigate options for another provider, as the Telstra Satellite plans are extremely expensive and NOT subsidised. 1GB starts at $69.00, 20GB $599.00

Mobile Broadband
BIGPOND: 137663 (remember this is NOT a Business Account)
TELSTRA:  1800 676 442 (Residential)
Account enquiries, Business account holders only should try the Telstra Business Centre.

Telstra Business Centres 
Solutions Specialists at Telstra Business Centres are experts at maximising business data & costs, and are highly recommended to sort out data sharing and mobile plans for businesses. Find your closest business centre here.

Mobile Assurance Team
Mobile Assurance provides support to Pre-Paid, Consumer, Telstra Business and Telstra Enterprise & Government customers. They operate 24/7, and assist customers who are experiencing mobile and wireless service difficulties and faults.
Consumer customers:  132200
Business customers:  132000

Antennas
1800 305 307 For antenna installation and technical support call (select option 4).

Telstra Country Wide Area Managers
These should be your last point of call, only contact after you have actioned with the above numbers and can not get a resolution.

Click here for their current details, or call 1800 067 829.

Footnote:
All information compiled from BIRRR discussions with Telstra and Telstra website and is current as at 27/1/2018

TELSTRA Contacts DOCUMENT prepared by Kristy Sparrow for BIRRR 

NBN Sky Muster Satellite – the Facts

img_4434

Every residence in Australia will be able to access some form of NBN – either FIXED, FIXED WIRELESS or SATELLITE (also referred to as LTSS and Sky Muster) by 2020.  Sky Muster (Satellite) services became available in April 2016, interim nbn satellite services (ISS) have now ceased.

You can see what type of nbn you are mapped for here: NBN Rollout MAP

NBN Sky Muster Explained

There is lots of misinformation and myths surrounding the nbn rollout, you can read about some of them here:   Myths About NBN Sky Muster 

REMEMBER:

  • Every Australian residence will be eligible for a nbn connection – even if you live really remotely.
  • If you are currently using another form of internet such as mobile broadband, you are still eligible for nbn.
  • Each residence is mapped for nbn, even if you have several houses on your property.
  • If you are receiving an nbn Fixed Wireless or Satellite service, please keep your traditional landline, you do NOT have to switch your voice service, regardless of what you may be told by your existing provider.
  • Sky Muster performs very differently to the old interim satellite. The interim satellite (ISS) had approximately 48,000 subscribers – larger-than-planned-for data plans were sold and the satellite became oversubscribed resulting in the FAIR USE POLICY and reduced data and speeds for users.  The LTSS has 30 x the capacity of the ISS.
  • HOW TO CONNECT

nbn Sky Muster Satellite connections are available now.

Choose your Sky Muster provider here.

Read our Preparing for Sky Muster document.

  • ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA  

NBN satellite services are designed to provide internet services to homes and businesses that fall outside of the fixed line and fixed wireless areas in Australia and its external territories.   The new NBN satellite (LTSS/Skymuster) will reach around 240,000 homes and businesses residing in the most isolated parts of Australia, including the outback and remote offshore territories. Homes and businesses must be within the satellite footprint.

Approximately 400,000 Australians are eligible for the LTSS but NBN are expecting around 240,000 subscribers.

NBN have allowed for additional capacity in case of more subscribers than expected. A second satellite (launched in October 2016) offers future capacity cover. The Sky Muster Satellites have a life span of around 16 years.

  • DATA & PRICING  

Data Limits are up to individual RSP’s (service providers) in line with nbn fair use policy.  Internet service providers set the prices for the services available. NBN sets prices at the wholesale level and the uniform national wholesale price of $24 a month is the same for the basic 12Mbps service across fixed line/wireless/satellite.  However, satellite capacity is a finite resource, meaning that internet service providers need to manage the download limits available to customers via their pricing and terms of the plans they offer. Check out the BIRRR comparison of Sky Muster providers to see what data allowances you can access.

Sky Muster Satellite data allowances are split into Peak & Off Peak Times.

  • OFF PEAK Times*: 1am – 7am
  • PEAK Times*: 7am – 1am.
  • Hours apply to your local time zone.

*Governed by nbn™ – so will be the same with every provider.

An education port for eligible distance education and home school students is also available.  Details are listed here.

  • nbn SKY MUSTER FAIR USE POLICY                     

The nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite service Fair Use Policy is in place to help ensure fair access to the service – especially during peak usage times. This Fair Use Policy applies between nbn and the provider.

Your provider will likely have a separate Fair Use Policy which applies to your premises – as satellite capacity is a limited resource. Some providers may have less capacity, which may not be noticed during off-peak times. But during peak hours, when there is more traffic, congestion may occur if your provider does not have enough network capacity- this can lead to slower speeds and the occasional ‘buffering’. 

nbn™ Sky Muster Fair Use Policy

  • nbn co requires each customer to limit their Data Usage to no more than 150 GB in any four week period.
  • Furthermore, nbn co requires each customer to limit their Peak Hour Data Usage to no more than 75 GB in any four week period.
  • nbn co requires all RSPs to limit their average customer Peak Hour Data Usage to no more than 30 GB of downloads and no more than 5 GB of uploads in any four week period.
  • SPEED

Sky Muster has delivered significantly improved speeds and capacity to remote and regional areas compared to what was previously available on the Interim Satellite Service (ISS). A Fair Use Policy applies on the service to ensure that performance and quality of service standards are not degraded by high-volume users. Sky Muster offers peak wholesale download speeds of up to 25Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps. Consult with your provider as to what speed tier will best suit you.

Speeds actually achieved over the Sky Muster network, depend on the technology over which services are delivered to premises and some factors outside nbn control like equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how the end user’s service provider designs its network.

  • EQUIPMENT

Once you place an order for Sky Muster with your chosen provider, a nbn technician will make an appointment to install the  equipment needed (a roof or pole mounted dish and an internal modem).    A standard installation of the equipment is currently free. However, end users should ask their preferred provider if they have any other fees such as activation fees or fees for routers etc as each provider currently differs.  If you require wifi from your Sky Muster service you will need to have a compatible router, contact your provider to discuss your options.

SM1

  • VOICE

Homes and businesses with Sky Muster connections can use VoIP services, if this is supported by their retail service provider. However unlike the fibre offering, the satellite terminating box inside a premises doesn’t include a port to plug in a phone. You will need a router to plug in your VOIP compatible phone.

It is important to remember copper and traditional phone services (such as HCRC, Radio phones & NGWL) will still be maintained in areas to be served by fixed wireless and satellite, so customers have the option of retaining their existing phone service.  BIRRR recommends keeping your existing landline.

Footnote: All information compiled from BIRRR discussions with NBN contacts & NBN website, and is current as at 17/08/18

NBN SKY MUSTER FACTS DOCUMENT prepared by Kristy Sparrow for BIRRR updated 17/08/18