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



  • 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.

VoIP on Sky Muster™

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

You can use a quality phone service delivered through a Sky Muster 12/1 or 25/5 Internet service. This phone service can augment or replace a traditional landline service; provided over a copper pair or other medium.

Your RSP may configure each nbn™ Sky Muster™ service with a dedicated 150Kbps channel exclusively for voice services. The nbn™ Interim Satellite Service provided a 60 kbps channel. The increased VoIP channel bandwidth of Sky Muster™ provides much improved VoIP voice quality and clarity.  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 and

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 $1.50.

Note: 1 GB = 1,000MB. Typical 12/1 plans provide 30GB of peak time data per month for ~ $45.00.

Therefore, 1.6GB costs 1.6 x $1.50 = $2.40 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:


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-deploy 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.


The diagram shows a Netcomm Wireless NF5 router as used by 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.

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 bit of ingenuity.
  2. Rain fade, for which there is no solution.
  3. Provider or back haul transmission failures.

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 provides an overview of VoIP on Sky Muster™.

*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 and illustrated for BIRRR by John Kitchener 2/6/2016

Finding SkyMuster

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

  1. Go to
  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 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


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:

DAP Download Scheduler (Speedbit)

Free Download Manager – for Windows & Mac

Ninja Internet Download Managersupports YouTube and Vimeo

Firefox Download Scheduler – add on for Firefox

Internet Download Manager – windows compatible only

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.



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


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.


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


MAC Users


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.



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 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 RSP router offer; as this ensures ongoing support for both the service and your local network. Also note that your existing NBN ISS WIFI router will be fine for Sky Muster; or any existing WIFI router with a WAN port that provides DHCP. Note: 99% of ADSL routers are unsuitable for any nbn™ service.

At the time of publication, insufficient ‘router offer’ details are available from a number Sky Muster™ RSP’s.

Sky Muster™ RSP Router offers – May 2016

The following router information is provided by best endeavour and in order of Sky Muster™ Plan announcement.
Please confirm details with your RSP

SkyMuster Routers25May

  1. The NetComm NF5 has inbuilt VoIP capability. Simply add your analogue phone.
  2. VoIP may be provided by the addition of an RSP provided Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA). This is additional equipment.
  3. Routers may be discounted, if customers enter 12 or 24 month contracts.
  4. Advance Replacement Warranty – If the RSP support determines that the router is faulty whilst still under warranty, the RSP will forward a replacement pre-configured router, and prepaid equipment return satchel.
  5. 300n (or 802.11n) are base model single WIFI band 2.4Ghz routers.
  6. 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

SkyMesh             D-Link DIR-850L, NetComm NF5, Netcomm NF13ACV  
Harbour ISP        Netgear WNR2020, Netgear D6000, Netgear Nighthawk AC3200
Activ8me             TP-Link TL-WR841N
Ant                         TP-Link TL-WR841N

Typical Router Setup

S-NTD Router cable connections

NOTE:  The LAN cable (yellow here, can be other colours)  goes from UNI-D 1 (most probably) 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.

Kindly prepared and illustrated for BIRRR by John Kitchener 6/5/2016

BIRRR survey SAYS…


Link to survey – 2017 Regional Internet Access Survey Results


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

survey image


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





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

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