How to change YouTube Quality to reduce your data usage

Method 1

This needs to be done for each YouTube video you watch.

  • Load the video you want to watch in YouTube.
  • Click the gear icon on the video
  • The following will appear
    Choose the Quality option
  • The following will appear
    Choose one of the options (you may need to experiment in the beginning)
  • Click play on your video.

Method 2

  • You need to have a YouTube account – sign into it, or create an account
  • Then go to the Settings of your YouTube account
  • Choose the Playback and Performance option
  • Change the AV1 Settings
  • Your changes are automatically saved.

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.

How to use iDevice Screen Time

With the Apple Screen Time feature, you can access real-time reports about how much time you spend on your iDevice and set limits for what you want to manage. With Content & Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time, you can block or limit specific apps and features on yours and your child’s device, as well as restricting the settings on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch for explicit content, purchases and downloads, and privacy. iDevices need to have iOS 12 installed.

Turning On Screen Time

               How to turn on screen time

On your device, go to Settings > Screen Time.

Tap Turn On Screen Time.

Tap Continue.

Select This is My [device] or This is My Child’s [device].

How to use screen time features

Once Screen Time is turned on, on each device you can get a report about how you use your device, apps, and websites, any time you want.

If it’s your child’s device, you can set up Screen Time and create settings on their device or you can use Family Sharing to configure your child’s device from your own device. After you set up your child’s device, you can also use Family Sharing to view reports and adjust settings any time, right from your own device.

With Screen Time you can also create a dedicated passcode to secure settings, so only you can extend time or make changes. Make sure to choose a passcode that’s different from the passcode you use to unlock your device. To change or turn off the passcode on your child’s device, tap Settings > Screen Time > [your child’s name]. Then tap Change Screen Time Passcode or Turn Off Screen Time Passcode, and authenticate the change with Face ID, Touch ID, or your device passcode.

49769259_10157842412412316_2298006489194823680_n

54256987_1667612606718513_37104982679355392_n

 

View your report and set limits

Screen Time gives you a detailed report about how your device is used, apps you’ve opened, and websites you’ve visited, any time that you want to see it. Just go to Settings > Screen Time, select the device and tap the blue line under the time to show the graph.  You can see daily or weekly stats on screen time usage.  You can also set limits for your most used apps, and see how many times a device was picked up or received a notification. If you turned on Share Across Devices, you can view overall usage across devices that are signed in with your Apple ID and password. The report feature also allows you to see when the phone is being used, how long is being spent on each app/site and how many pick ups and notifications the device gets.

53932197_655968281472976_8828656828591112192_n

 

Downtime

When you schedule Downtime in Settings, only phone calls and apps that you choose to allow are available. Downtime applies to all of your Screen Time-enabled devices, and you get a reminder five minutes before it starts. You can set a specific downtime for each device and also select certain apps that are excluded from the downtime (such as messages, calls, maps etc).  Phone, Messages, FaceTime, and Maps are Always Allowed by default, but you can remove them if you want.

49728033_10157842412512316_8915766208532316160_n49274290_10157842412677316_1682103372880019456_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

App Limits
You can set daily limits for app categories with App Limits. For example, you might want to set a limit on social media during exam block or while you are at work. Limits refresh every day at midnight, and you can delete them any time. Your child can also request ‘extra time’ if they go above the set limit on an app. Select the device you want to add a limit too and click on Add Limit, select the app and a time you want the device limited to.

54362923_594323507740226_4477930806865559552_n49348605_10157842412612316_6377799269444747264_n

 

Content & Privacy Restrictions
You decide the type of content that appears on your device. Block inappropriate content, purchases, and downloads, and set your privacy settings with Content & Privacy Restrictions. You can block explicit movies & music, multiplayer games and certain web content, if you scroll down you can even block specific websites.

49461726_10157842412722316_2895484294594035712_n55575990_2241816189414594_4839275467859034112_n

 

Do Not Disturb

54214903_413746005863792_5659492145539579904_n

Just above Screen Time in settings is a feature called Do Not Disturb.  This has a fabulous feature that limits notifications while you are driving. You can set this up to text contacts with a message saying you are driving and will call when you reach your destination.

Use Screen Time with your family

With Family Sharing, you can share music, movies, apps, and more with family — and it also works with Screen Time. You can view reports and adjust settings for children in your family any time, right from your device. If you’re already in a family group, go to Settings > Screen Time, and tap your child’s name. If you need to create an Apple ID for your child, go to Settings > [your name] > Family Sharing > Screen Time.

Or if you’re new to Family Sharing, tap Set up Screen Time for Family and follow the instructions to add a child and set up your family. You can add family members any time from Family Sharing settings. To use Screen Time with Family Sharing, you need to be the family organizer or parent/guardian in your family group, on iOS 12. Your child must be under age 18, in your family group with their own Apple ID, and on iOS 12.

Disclaimer: BIRRR are not specialists in this area, this is just one tool you can use to manage yours and your child’s device.  BIRRR encourages you to read widely on this topic if you have primary or secondary age children and reminds parents that many social media platforms require children to be at least 13 years of age. 

Thanks to Apple Support for instructions on Screen Time Features

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.

nbn Fixed Wireless – Non Standard Installations

Fixed Wireless: NON-STANDARD INSTALLATIONS

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 5.16.48 PM37179767_10157413213882316_8064792977987338240_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following are some notes regarding nbn Fixed Wireless non – standard installations.

Please remember that each non-standard install is assessed on a case-by-case basis by nbn, nbn are currently reviewing their non standard install protocols. Current protocols can be found here under Non Standard Install Processes. Some of the non-standard installs pictured on the BIRRR website may no longer be approved by nbn.

In the event that the ‘standard installation’ procedure fails, the next steps are:

  1. Check that the installer has tried to get a strong enough signal on all areas of the roof of the main residence or the premises/ shelter where you wish the nbn equipment to be installed.
  2. Ask if the installer has checked in all directions, in the case that there may be other local nbn sites. If the answer is no, please request this or discuss it with the installer.
  3. Ask the installer if there is any other location on your property where the signal may be strong enough to connect.
  4. Ask if the installer has tried a 3 metre mount to get a stronger signal at the locations. If the installer does not have a 3 metre mount, please request that they return and try again with a 3 metre mount. You may need to make a new appointment with your service provider for this as well. Note: A 3m mount can only be installed on tin rooves with a pitch of <30°
  5. Indicate whether you are prepared to take other steps (at your own expense) to get a service. Make sure you have approval from nbn before carrying out any work for a non standard installation. For example:
    • Build a shelter specifically to house the equipment and then relay the data to your main location / homestead. Note: A wireless relay of the data will be required, if the total cable length from Outdoor Unit (ODU) to Indoor Unit (IDU) run is greater than 100m. See note below regarding Wireless Relays. nbn currently mandate a 240v supply for the fixed wireless NTD. The nbn wireless NTD consumes 25 watts. nbn are looking into other power supply options for rural users.
    • Dig a trench to take cable from one building where signal is sufficient, back to the main location on your property. It must be trenched and the cable run through White Communications Conduit. The maximum cable run between the outdoor unit and the indoor unit that nbn provides is 70m (Category 5 cable) or 100m (Category 6 cable).
    • Install a tower / pole to install the equipment on.                                                     Note: The installer needs to accurately identify the location with photos, latitude/longitude etc, plus height of ODU to achieve a suitable signal.
    • Use a cherry picker or similar equipment to provide access to the location where the installation might be achieved.

6. Ask if the installer has any advice for how to get a sufficiently strong signal anywhere on your property

7. Ask if the installer knows whether your neighbours have an installed service and, if so, what the difference is between your location and theirs.

8. Specifically ask the installer not to log the job as a Service Qualification failure, but to log it as a non-standard installation if they are not able to complete a non-standard installation appointment on the day.

9. If all efforts on the day still do not work, you will need to call your service provider to arrange a new non-standard appointment. It is important that you are clear with the service provider that you need an appointment for a non-standard installation.

10.  In the event that all installation attempts fail, you may be able to access a neighbour’s nbn service. If applicable, you may wish to approach your neighbours and ask if they are willing to allow you to order a second service, at your expense to their location. nbn Fixed Wireless supports up to four (4) separate services to one set of installed equipment. If that is OK with you and your neighbour, you may then be able to relay the service to your own residence via a wireless link. There is commercially available equipment that operates wirelessly and may be able to relay the nbn service to your location, provided your neighbours are willing. nbn does not provide this equipment and is not able to guarantee the results.

11. It is also possible to get a second NTD installed at another location / property in the case that this is needed (for example if the four data ports on the installed equipment are being used or your neighbour would prefer not to have your equipment located in the same place as theirs). This can be done by asking your service provider to get a second location ID assigned to a location / premises so that the nbn equipment can be installed

12. Installers are sub-contractors to nbn and may be of varied experience. The majority of the installers are seasoned professional contractors and take this role very seriously. If you believe that you are not getting a professional experience or that the installer does not present themselves in an acceptable way, please let your service provider know so that nbn can track and improve installer behaviour and the installation experience. nbn manage the performance of the installers and are always keen to hear when there are issues so they can help to identify and improve poor experiences and poor behaviour. nbn instructions are to always do everything installers can to help an end user get the Fixed Wireless service, if possible.

WIRELESS RELAYS

A wireless gateway or bridge can span up to 50km with direct line of sight.  The gateways  can be set up before being sent out.  Then all the customer has to do is find a good location for antenna and run some cable to power point (240 volt power must be supplied) and turn the unit on. If it’s under 200 to 400 meters you only need one if its over 400 meters then it is recommended to use two, one as an access point and the other as a station.  Wireless Gateways are generally under $300 per unit.  A wireless relay can be supplied and installed by telecommunications specialists, or they or can be shipped out with full instructions so people with a bit a knowledge and handy man skill can do the install themselves.

You can read more about wireless relays here: Using a WIFI Bridge to achieve an nbn Fixed Wireless connection and learn about how to set one up with some of the stories on our Stories and Testimonials Page. 

Please note that some of these stories and connections would not be allowed under the new protocols for nbn non-standard fixed wireless installations. Each case will be reviewed by nbn and we encourage end users wishing to do a non standard installation to contact their chosen provider.

12109014_1192205484128902_6943964446156355563_n
Fixed Wireless Gateway

For more information on Wireless Relays Contact your nearest installer / technician from the BIRRR list here or from Telco Antennas

PLEASE NOTE: If the non-standard fixed wireless service has trouble after installation and needs repairs or fine tuning, installers must be SAFELY able to access the location. The means to achieve this must be borne by the customer.

Useful BIRRR Fact Sheets for Non Standard Installations:

BIRRR members stories on achieving nbn Fixed Wireless:

*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.  Thanks to nbn for assistance in compiling this document.  Information has been obtained from nbn, Skymesh, Whirlpool forums and BIRRR members. This page was updated on 15th July 2018.

Network Outages

The RSPs that have network status information are

  1. Aussiebroadband here
  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. Optus here
  6. SkyMesh also have a network status page that is usually up to date at https://www.skymesh.net.au/advisories/
  7. Telstra here
  8. Westnet here

Contact nbn – 1800 OUR NBN or via their FaceBook page or email: info@nbn.com.au to see if there are any widespread outages.

This is a user reported outages page that is good for alerting you to a widespread problem – click here

How to choose an nbn provider

Click HERE to access the PDF version of the BIRRR How To Chose an NBN Provider document.

Check your address on the nbn rollout map here.

For nbn Fixed Line and nbn Fixed Wireless technologies Whistle Out have information on plan comparisons and how to pick a provider.

Click here to see nbn Sky Muster Satellite plans and nbn Sky Muster Plus plans.

Further information on nbn Technology Types can be found here.

*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. Updated 18/03/20

Upload videos to Youtube during off peak hours

This is a Google Chrome Extension – you must be using the Google Chrome web browser, which is a free download from chrome.google.com
This allows you to schedule the uploading of videos to YouTube to occur during off peak hours.
This is completely different to the YouTube video scheduling feature, which does NOT schedule the uploading, only the publication time.
For details on installation and use, click https://chrome.google.com/…/ocpgggmabipnhemenjflgnflbcieplc…

Go to the page above.
Choose the green “Add to Chrome” button.
Double check it is enabled:
In a Chrome window, choose the 3 dots at right of URL box.
Choose More Tools.
Choose Extensions.
Should be ticked with the word Enabled. Close.

How to use:
Open Chrome tab to your YouTube upload page.
It will look slightly different to normal.
Where it normally has a fairly large grey arrow with “Select files to upload” (this will still show momentarily), in its place now is new text (see image):

To schedule:
Change the date/time in the box manually to your planned off-peak time.
Press Choose files. I would suggest that you have all the files you want to upload in a dedicated directory, go there, select all (mac: command A), press open.
Then press the schedule button.

***It says you must leave the browser and tab open. This means if you wish to keep using the browser you need to open this as a separate window that is kept open.

(This agrees with my recollection that when I have been uploading manually in the past, if I opened another tab to do other work, it cancelled the upload. This also suggests that you may not want the computer to go to sleep or the screen saver to come up, but I’m not sure of that.)

If you upload multiple files the first is uploading and the others say Upload Pending, then as one finishes the next starts to upload.

Remember: Once uploaded they are NOT published. You can come back at your leisure, go there and edit the description, title etc. And publish when ready. (and YouTube does have a publishing scheduler).

The above instructions were contributed by BIRRR member Deb Maxwell. While all efforts are taken to ensure BIRRR documents are correct at time of publishing, BIRRR cannot guarantee that the linked software is free of any fault or malicious software.

Excessive uploads gobbling your data allowance?

If your uploads are higher than your downloads, some things to check are

  • You need to isolate what device is uploading all the data. Turn off all devices and only turn one on for 2 hours and monitor your data usage. Keep doing that until you find the culprit.
  • Login into your account with your service provider and see if you can pinpoint when the uploads are happening. Your RSP will only have hourly data keep for the last 24 hours.
  • Do you have a Network Attached Storage device? If so, turn it off and see what happens. The software on them can phone home for updates.
  • Your router may have been ‘hacked’. Try bypassing the router and plugging your computer directly into the NTD and see what happens.
  • Your computer maybe ‘talking to friends’ in the background. Here is how you can turn that option off.

Windows 10: Check here to see how to set you WiFI connection to WiFi, disable peer-to-peer updating, prevent automatic App updates and Live Tile updates, Save data on web browsing. http://www.howtogeek.com/249254/how-to-stop-windows-10-from-using-so-much-data/ This tells you how you can moniter your data usage in Windows 10
https://www.cnet.com/au/how-to/monitor-your-data-usage-in-windows-10/

Apple: Most often BitTorrent, iCloud, Dropbox, or some other cloud-data application is involved in cases of mysterious bandwidth use by a Mac. If you use iCloud, uncheck at least iCloud Drive in its preference pane and see whether there’s any change. If you use third-party network backup or file-sync software, disable that. If you use a torrent client, remove it. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7314385?start=0&tstart=0

If you have tried all the above suggestions, and still can’t control the uploading of data you will need to contact your service provider and ask for help. They will be able to monitor in real time what is happening over your connection (best done when the uploading is actually happening)

Installers, Technicians and Equipment Suppliers Map

This page will provide information about businesses offering equipment supply and installation, as well as computer technicians and others who may be of interest throughout Regional, Rural and Remote Australia.

Note: BIRRR has gathered the information above from businesses, which we understand to be true and correct at time of publishing. This does not equate to any form of endorsement. Please thoroughly investigate your options before deciding on the best provider, equipment supplier and ensure the installer is accredited and has the appropriate industry licenses for you.


Click here to view our map of Installers, Technicians and Suppliers

technicians


We are currently gathering this information and will get it on here shortly. If you are a business offering products or services that may be of use to our members, please Fill out this form.

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

How to power cycle a device

If you have a computer in your home, you probably have at least one other device that works alongside it, such as a modem, wireless router, or printer. These devices have a tendency to stop working from time to time, and it’s not always immediately clear why.

Before assuming anything is actually broken, you should try to run a power cycle. To do this, you’ll want to turn the device off, and all devices connected to it, then turn it back on. This will force it to reset, which can fix a lot of basic problems. It is important to turn the devices on in order.

Here are the steps to power cycle a typical Sky Muster setup:

  • Turn off ALL devices. If you have a nbn Sky Muster connection unscrew the white cable from the SAT port (see blow photo) that goes from the wall into the nbn box (NTD).
  • Wait at least 5 minutes.
  • Turn the Devices on in order
    1. Screw in the white cable, then turn on the NBN box first (also known as the NTD or modem). Wait until all the lights are on and indicate an active connection (this may take a few minutes). Active connection for NBN Sky Muster is a blue light.
    2. Then turn on your router. Wait until all the lights are on the router indicate an active connection.
    3. Then turn on all your other devices.

S-NTD Router cable connections

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

Complaining to the TIO

Complaining to the Ombudsman WHEN the fault is not the providers; (as is 99% of the current Sky Muster problems) does absolutely nothing, zip and zero … except damage and create more work for a provider already up to their ears and battling with a re-recalcitrant wholesaler ie nbn.

  • You can only lodge a claim citing your provider.
  • You cannot lodge a claim against Hills, SkyBridge, Ericsson or nbn (Sky Muster faults).

Your service provider most likely gets whacked with an automatic fee (for details click here) and if you may find that they dump you as a customer. It will be one option offered by the TIO (and probably also mentioned in the RSP’s Terms & Conditions), then you only have yourself to blame.

If I was a provider … I’d dump you if it was not my fault and I had already explained that it wasn’t my fault and that it was out of my control.

Much better in the Sky Muster case, to lodge your problem very forcefully with a Government politician. Contact details for a government politician are here

Most certainly if your provider has not tried to help you AND you have given them every opportunity to resolve the problem; then go to the ombudsman with both barrels.

See how to make a complaint here, https://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint
You need to have made a complaint to your telecommunications service provider and it is unresolved, before you can complain to the TIO. You also need the relevant information when you lodge your complaint; for example, dates of important events and names of people you have spoken to.

The TIO will investigate landline, mobile and internet services, including:

  • contracts
  • connecting new services
  • transferring services
  • SIM unlocking fees
  • faults, dropouts and poor coverage
  • billing mistakes
  • billing and supply of mobile premium services
  • debt collection
  • services provided over the National Broadband Network (NBN)

Full details of all that the TIO will investigate are listed here

The TIO will not investigate (among others) the following:

  • ADSL internet not being available to you because there is no infrastructure
  • NBN services not being available to you because there is no infrastructure

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

Kindly prepared and illustrated for BIRRR by John Kitchener 12/7/2016

 

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.