A Sky Muster Education Port is a dedicated port in the nbn modem (NTD) , specifically designed for distance education and home school students. The port enables each eligible student to access a set amount of data for education.
Who can access the port & how do I apply?
Each state department of education will decide on eligibility requirements for the nbn Sky Muster Educational Port. At this stage the port is designed specifically for those students in preschool, primary and secondary school who are either home schooled or who are enrolled in approved distance education schools and are mapped to receive nbn Sky Muster. Tertiary students and students educated at state schools should ask their local federal MP to advocate for inclusion for an education port. BIRRR will continue to advocate for this, along with the Federal ICPA
What is the cost?
As each State and Territory Government provides distance education services and funding according to their own policy commitments; pricing and subsidy arrangements for users will be a matter for States and Territories. Prices will be set by individual ISP’s (providers) in consultation with nbn and the state/territory government.
Which provider will I have to contact?
This will be entirely dependant on which state you live or school in. You may have a different provider to the provider you use for your home connection.
QUEENSLAND & SA
If you are a QLD or SA distance education family you will (updated 29/8/18):
- Need your Student ID to access the port.
- You MUST apply for Sky Muster with a provider FIRST.
- Tell your provider that you also require an educational port.
The education port will NOT be provided FREE of charge. The port will be provisioned on your NTD (the NBN modem), and you will pay the cost to your provider. You will still be able to receive the broadband internet subsidy for distance education which can be used to pay for the education port.
If you are a QLD Home School Family you will need your Student ID number and can order an education port direct with your chosen provider. Please note, it can take several weeks to be approved.
Service Providers offering Education Port Plans (as at 31/08/18)
- SkyMesh has Education Port Plans here
- Activ8Me has Education Port Plans
- Harbour IT has Education Port plans here
- ANT has Education Port Plans here
- Clear Networks has Education Port Plans here (click on the EDUCATION Tab)
- Reachnet has Education Port Plans here
- IPSTAR has Education Port Plans – you can sign up here
These providers DO NOT Offer Educational Port services: Bordernet, iinet, Westnet, Southern Phone, Loaded Net
As yet details of how the educational port will work have not been announced. From discussions with nbn, BIRRR believes that the education port for NSW distance education (Primary & Secondary) students will be funded by the NSW Department of Education. They will most likely tender for the provision of the ports and then the Department will pay for the data allowance. The connection will work as per previous connections in that the Education Department will provide the port to the distance education family through a provider of the department’s choice. As NSW are already contracted to existing Optus Satellite it may be some time before NSW students are provided with a SkyMuster NBN connection.
In Western Australia (updated 29/8/18):
- Primary Students must be enrolled in a School of the Air (any one of 5 schools at Kalgoorlie, Meekatharra, Carnarvon, Port Hedland or Kimberley).
- Secondary Students must be enrolled in the School of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE) – these students must request access, as it is not automatically offered.
- Once enrolled, the school Principal will request an NBN broadband service through the Department’s Customer Service Centre.
- The service is ordered by the Department’s Information and Communications Division through the RSP (Clear Networks).
- The Sky Muster service is fully funded the Department.
- All Department funded services will be delivered through the Education port but lessons can be delivered through any internet service.
NT & TAS
As yet details of how the educational port will work have not been announced, Sky Muster is currently being trialled in distance education classrooms in the NT, however the NT is still operating under the STARS Satellite system. For further details contact the state/territory department of education in your area.
How much data can I get on the Education Port?
nbn have designed the port to provide 50GB of PEAK data PER STUDENT per MONTH, to a limit of 150GB per home school room.
This will be confirmed by the relevant education department in your state/territory. It will also be dependant on what types of ‘educational port plans’ each provider offers and what tenders are accepted by educational departments. Although nbn Fair Use Policies will be ‘relaxed’ for the educational port, it will be up to the providers to have the final say on the types of plans offered, this includes costs and data limits.
How do I apply for the Sky Muster Satellite?
Check out the BIRRR notes on applying for Sky Muster.
**NB You should check current contracts with your existing provider as you may be obligated to stay with them.
What equipment will I need ?
Please refer to the BIRRR Preparing for Sky Muster document.
Google Cloud Print (or similar) allows you to print to a central printer if you have more than one port operational on your Sky Muster connection.
What if I have a separate school room ?
If your school room is located close to your house or within your house, you will be able to access the education port on your home Sky Muster installation.
You have one port on the NBN S-NTD (the nbn modem) for your education port and use another port for your personal use – i.e. you will have TWO plans and may need TWO routers.
Alternatively your RSP may offer you a combined plan for private and educational use over the same port using the same router and plan. RSPs do have the ability to offer combined plans. You need to check with your RSP
However if your school room is located a considerable distance from the home connection this will require a separate ‘Location ID’ to be raised with NBN and it will be subject to nbn approval. This 2nd Sky Muster connection can have ONLY the education service activated. This will be determined on a case by case basis by nbn. If you have more than 1 habitable house on your property, each residence is entitled to a Sky Muster™ installation.
You can have a Sky Muster service that has only 1 port provisioned and this port can be JUST the educational port (this will be the case for school rooms located some distance from the home NTD) and will be determined by nbn on a case by case basis.
How did the Education Port come about ?
Late in 2015 the Federal Government set nbn the task of developing a dedicated port for education for use with the new nbn Sky Muster Satellite.
nbn worked with State and Territory education departments to develop an ‘Educational Port’ which is delivered over a dedicated port at the remote user’s home via Sky Muster. This port was designed specifically for distance education and home schoolers, however future uses could include health and emergency services. You can read more about the announcement here.
What is the Distance Education Working Group?
In 2015 the Government established a Distance Education Working Group consisting of the Federal Department of Communications and Department of Education, executives from nbn Satellite team, Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA), and State and Territory Education Departments. The Distance Education Working Group was formed after a BIRRR discussion with Paul Fletcher who was then the Parliamentary Secretary to the Communications Minister of the time (Malcolm Turnbull). The group meets regularly to discuss how to best meet the needs of remote students. You can read more about the need for such a group here.
* Prepared for BIRRR by Kristy Sparrow, images by BIRRR members & John Kitchener. The information supplied is correct to the best of our knowledge as of 29/8/18. For further details please check with your education department and provider.