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.

Using PtP to relay nbn Fixed Wireless from a Farm Shed

This is our long story about over coming hills to get a nbn Fixed Wireless Connection!

We live on a farm between Ariah Park and Temora NSW. We are 9km from NBN tower in Ariah Park but have hills in between. My brother in law lives 1km from us which put him at 14km from a tower near Temora and us at 15km away. He was able to get NBN without an issue so we applied to get it. We had a technician come out and say we had strong signal from our roof so he set it all up. He said the green light would come on in a couple of hours and we would be set to go. It didn’t come on so we rang Telstra (our provider) who then rescheduled another visit by the same technician Of course we had to wait another week or two. The same technician came out and couldn’t work it out, said he would look into it and get back to us. We never heard back from him. We rang Telstra to get someone else out. They put us onto Skybridge (nbn installer company), we requested the same technician who put my brother in laws in.

So 2/3 weeks later he came out and he didn’t have any luck either. He said it is because we are past 14km from that tower (beyond nbn limits for Fixed Wireless). He said physically it was possible but NBN have gotten really strict with having to be within 14km from the tower. Another dead end. Telstra kept telling us we needed to go on satellite but we didn’t feel we would be any better off as we had friends who had a lot of trouble with it. Also because you still pay a high price for not a lot of data. We had upped our phone data and used hot spotting and shared data so we could get 45gb all up, which was never enough but much more than we used to get before we joined all our data together. Our kids were desperate for netflix like their cousins over the road!

We had a friend who knew a local technician who had bounced a signal off her in-laws, we got in contact with BIRRR and they told us to look into this. We knew it wouldn’t be ideal because we would have to share data with them (they have 6 kids) and it may slow down when we are all on it, this would have made us feel bad, as theirs is great now and we didn’t want to mess with their connection.

We contacted Michael, the local technician. He asked if we had a shed with power on our property that was within 14km from the tower. We had a tiny shed that had a pump in it and therefore power. It has to be waterproof and you need to put a cupboard in it to keep dust off. We needed to get the lot number from the rates- we rang the local council to get the lot number- they got on google earth and worked it out. Once we did this we could get an nbn location ID number (LOC ID) which Telstra needed to apply for NBN for us. This took a couple of weeks. It was then approved so Telstra scheduled a technician to come out a couple of weeks later.

We got our local guy Michael to come out the day before to make sure he would be able to bounce the signal from the small shed to our house (3km away). Of course, it wasn’t that simple as there were quite a few trees in the way.

Nina6Nina1Nina2
Michael suggested we put an antenna on our big machinery shed (100m from our house) to pick up the signal from the nbn NTD (in the small shed) then throw it to our house. So the plan was for NBN technician to come out the day after then Michael back the day after that to set up the booster. Again, that didn’t work out as the NBN technician needed a pole to put on the shed to get some more height, he didn’t have one with him (apparently they are supposed to) so once again we had to reschedule for a couple of weeks….so frustrating. We rang Michael to tell him what happened, he thought that was terrible as he should have had a pole with him so he rang Skybridge and asked if he can just do the install himself. Skybridge said that was fine. So Michael came the next day, installed the modem into a cupboard in the tiny shed, put a booster on our large machinery shed to throw the signal to the antenna he put on our house roof. This took two days and cost us over $3000.

We are really glad we didn’t take the easier option and go with satellite. We now get 1000gb for $80/month, the boys can get internet in the machinery shed, we have really fast internet and the kids can watch Netflix, so despite the hassles we had to go through for 5 months, it was worth it!!

Nina3Nina4   Nina5

Disclaimer: This document is meant as an informative document based on my own research and experience. Any views, opinions, information etc. provided is not necessarily the same as that provided by NBN Co, BIRRR, or any other organisation referred to here.  Prepared for BIRRR by Nina & Damien Gaynor.

BIRRR in the BIG SMOKE – a fortnight of action (MEDIA RELEASE: November 2, 2016)

PDF of RELEASE: BIRRR in the BIG SMOKE – a fortnight of action (November 2, 2016)

BIRRR IN THE BIG SMOKE

A chance to take the Data Drought battle to the major decision makers over the past fortnight saw BIRRR representatives head to Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane last week, taking in awards events, roundtable discussions, national forums and meetings with ministerial staff.

Admin team members for lobby group ‘Better Internet for Rural Regional and Remote Australia’, Kristy Sparrow and Kylie Stretton, represented rural internet users across the country as they addressed the NFF National Congress and shared concerns with Ministerial advisors at Parliament House.  Fellow admins Julie Stott attended the ACCAN roundtable in Sydney, while Amanda Salisbury joined Kristy for nbn video hookup from Brisbane.

Kristy took to the stage in a panel discussion on ‘Telecommunications in the Bush’, before a large crowd at the NFF annual congress alongside Iñaki Berroeta (Vodafone), Bill Morrow (CEO, NBN Co) and Senator Fiona Nash (Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Local Government & Territories Minister for Regional Communications).

She introduced the BIRRR group to those gathered, explaining its history, purpose and actions.

“BIRRR is a community of volunteers that help guide Tripe R people through the bush telecommunications ‘jungle’.  We have contributed over 8000 volunteer hours and filled a large gap that no one else seems to want to tackle. We work alongside all interested parties to highlight issues and to offer solutions where possible,” Kristy told the NFF Congress crowd.

Kristy told individual stories of BIRRR members battling to gain decent connection to run businesses, educate their children and stay connected in an increasingly digital world.  She also shared some interim results from a survey currently being run by BIRRR.

Ongoing issues with the long-term internet satellite, SkyMuster, described by nbn as a  ‘game changer’, were also addressed.  One strong survey result shows that 42% of respondents using SkyMuster have no other form of internet.

“We hope Sky Muster will become more reliable and that the so-called ‘teething problems’ that have plagued the last few months can be sorted quickly,” Kristy said.

“It is imperative that sky muster becomes much more reliable, and meets the needs of RRR users – the outages and issues over the past few months have devastated some rural businesses and jeopardised children’s education.”

“Bush people are required, and expected to have, connectivity.  There must be greater investment in ensuring bush communities have the tools to meet business needs.”

BIRRR received confirmation last week that nbn co have:

  • changed its call centre policy and protocols 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.

The announcement of this change of policy in the nbn customer call centre, just prior to the NFF Congress, was met with cautious approval.

“We are looking forward to nbn providing more direct and responsive communication to end users – we will continue to work with industry groups and government to ensure nbn understands the significance of the data drought and the urgent need to address bush connectivity,” Kristy said.

During her meetings and at the Congress, Kristy also told Senator Nash, nbn co and provider reps that they needed to work toward establishing:

  • A funded extension and advisory service – a ‘technology hub’ to help guide people
  • Extending the fixed wireless footprint, especially to towns currently on ADSL, yet mapped for Sky Muster
  • Providers & nbn to establish RRR call centres.

“The bush needs urgent assistance in getting connected and having plans that meet their needs. For RRR regions to grow it is essential for businesses, families and communities to have access to, and be able to best utilise, digital technology. We need to ensure our towns and communities are not disadvantaged in the digital age due to our postcode and population.

“BIRRR appreciated the opportunity to have a discussion with nbn co’s CEO and reps, to be part of the ACCAN roundtable, to present at the NFF Congress, meet with Minister Nash’s office, nbn and Department of Communications.  We feel like we were heard in our meetings with each of these important industry groups.”

Kristy also recently won the Innovation and Leadership category at the Queensland Regional Achievement and Community Awards in Brisbane.

“It has been a hectic couple of weeks, but we feel like we are making some headway in addressing bush broadband issues,” Kristy said.

—————————–

Sky Muster customers seeking nbn support on outages and nbn-related issues can call 1800 687 626 or email info@nbnco.com.au.

The BIRRR group page can be found here, with website resource here.

14961410_10155525738332316_321302805_n

Kristy Sparrow with her Innovation and Leadership award at the Queensland Regional Achievement and Community Awards

14924146_10155525736002316_722888941_o

Minister for Regional Telecommuncations, Senator Fiona Nash with BIRRR’s Kristy Sparrow and nbn co’s Bill Morrow (at the NFF Congress in Canberra)

14936978_10155525735387316_671574257_n

BIRRR Chief Admin Kristy Sparrow addresses the NFF Congress during a panel discussion on ‘Telecommunications in the Bush’.

14647243_10154675213988417_2106782086_o

ACCAN roundtable group photo, including BIRRR’s Julie Stott (second from left, middle row).

14895603_10155525735137316_444437809_o

BIRRR admin reps Kylie Stretton and Kristy Sparrow toured nbn co headquarters while in Sydney, with Gavin Williams, nbn co’s Executive General Manager, New Developments, Wireless and Satellite.

How to use your off-peak data

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

SKYMUSTER hours (regardless of your provider) will be:

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

Wondering how to best utilise your off peak data?

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

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

OPERATING SYSTEM SOFTWARE:

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

How to Schedule Windows 10 PRO UPDATES

RECORDING PROGRAMS

Playon 

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

Playon Cloud

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

SCHEDULING ITUNES DOWNLOADS

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

DROPBOX SYNCING

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

MOBILE DEVICES SOFTWARE UPDATES

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

DOWNLOAD SCHEDULERS

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

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

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

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

SCHEDULE EMAILS

GMAIL SCHEDULER DOWNLOAD

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

MICROSOFT OUTLOOK SCHEDULER

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

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

Troubleshooting your Fixed Wireless Internet Connection

If you get slow speeds all the time, it’s likely the problem is at your home, so here are 10 STEPS to try before calling your RSP. (It’s a good idea to do methodical tests and make detailed notes while you’re trying to find the cause of speed problems. You might like to take screen shots of the speed test results you get.) Likewise, if you are experiencing drop outs and other (non speed related issues), there could be a problem with your equipment and you will need to escalate with your provider.

If you cannot complete one of the steps, then move to the next one.

  1. Conduct Speed Tests. Run regular speed tests , see the BIRRR guide. You should run the speed test at various times of the day and night, especially when you think your speed is slow. That will give us a good indication as to how your service is performing. Record your the speed test results, so you can forward them to your RSP. Please keep in mind that your speed will vary depending on a number of factors including congestion at peak times. Your RSP probably doesn’t guarantee to give you 100% of the peak speed of your service 100% of the time, so check your Customer Agreement and see what it says about expected speeds.
  2. Who else is using the connection? Check that no one else in your home is downloading or streaming Ask friends or family to take a break from using the service, shut down any downloads and close YouTube. The YouTube and Netflix auto-play feature is a big data thief.
  3. Check your current usage via your RSP’s website, to make sure you’re not speed limited (shaped) for exceeding your Data Allowance. This sounds simple, but RSPs get lots of calls from speed limited customers.
  4. Power cycle everything, including your modem, your router (if you have one) and your computer(s) – turn everything OFF and then turn back ON again, starting at the modem (W-NTD) and working up. A monthly reboot of everything often makes a performance difference. Do further speed tests and see if that made a difference.
  5. Use a different Browser. Download and install a fresh copy of a browser you haven’t used before. If you use Windows and Internet Explorer, try Chrome or Firefox. If you’re a Mac owner using Safari or Firefox. Sometimes browsers get clogged up with cookies and other stuff and that can affect your speed.
  6. Make Sure Your PC Is Healthy. Check for spyware, viruses, and malware. These programs are easily downloaded and installed, without your knowledge, while you’re surfing the Web. They can run undetected and have a significant impact on your Web surfing speed and overall system performance. There are plenty of free and subscription-based utilities available that will detect and eradicate these programs and prevent them being downloaded and installed in the first place. Windows users should Google how to set your computer into Safe Mode with Networking and also how to get out of Safe Mode. Reboot your Windows computer in Safe Mode with Networking and run further speed tests. This starts your computer with the bare basic software, so if you have anti-virus or some other program that’s slowing your computer, speed tests in Safe Mode will reveal that. If you notice an improvement, then you may have something wrong with your antivirus software (try disabling web shield in your antivirus software.to see if there is an improvement). Scan your computer for malware. (Anti Malwarebytes is a good program)
  7. By-Pass your WIFI connection. If you’re using the service via Wi-Fi, plug your computer directly into your router with a network cable and run some speed tests. If that solves the speed problem, your Wi-Fi signal may be poor. You may have a faulty or poorly configured router, or the Wi-Fi device drivers in your computer may need to be updated or re-configured. You should ask your local computer specialist (or a young relative) for help with device driver updates as it’s tricky if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
  8. Plug your computer directly into the modem (NBN Box) with a network cable, bypassing your router (if you have one) then reboot everything. It’s best to wait for the modem to be rebooted first then reboot your computer. Do some more speed tests, and that will tell you if your router is causing speed problems. (NB make sure you use the same port that has a cable in it already, only one port is activated by NBN – usually port 1)
    nbn Fixed wireless equipment diagram Uni D
  9. Try a different network cable, just in case that’s the problem. If you have a few of them in your home, try them all just in case you have a dud cable. Network cables lull you into a false sense of security by rarely being faulty, then when you least expect it, there they are!
  10. Try another computer (if you have one), plugged directly into the modem, in Safe Mode with Networking if it’s a Windows computer. More speed tests will tell you if you have a computer problem rather than a service problem.
    Alternatively connect your laptop (or other portable device) to a friend or neighbour’s service and see if you get the same problems.
  11. You can also try activating a second port on your service with a different provider, such as Aussie Broadband, to see if your service improves. Aussie Broadband will offer a no contract 30 day trial to enable you to see if your old provider has the congestion issue, or if the issue is with nbn.  You can read more about nbn Fixed Wireless Congestion here.
  12. If you are still having issues once you have completed the steps above, the BIRRR team can escalate for you (with nbn and your RSP – providing we have a contact with them), by filling in this form.

More information about your nbn™ Wireless Connection Box

FW Indicator lightd

You can also check out Whistle Out’s Guide to how to fix a slow nbn connection here.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your ISP regarding your own connection and speed issues.  Thanks to SkyMesh for their assistance in compiling this document. This page was updated on 15th July 2018.

Sky Muster Routers

BIRRR recommends that customers use the router offered by their provider; as this ensures ongoing support for both the service and your local network.

Now is an ideal time and opportunity to discuss your evolving network needs with both your RSP and/ or trusted technical advisor.

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

Your RSP will assist with any troubleshooting of the new Sky Muster connection. This support will work best if you are using the router models that they provide.

Common Questions:

Will my old router work on SKY MUSTER?

Your existing WIFI router may be fine for Sky Muster; as long as it has a WAN port that provides Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Note: 99% of ADSL routers are unsuitable for any nbn service.

If your existing WIFI router is less than 5-6 years old, 300n WIFI (minimum), has a WAN port (blue) and a 1-4 10/100Mbps LAN ports (yellow); it should work on your Sky Muster service. It may look something like this:

SM8
A typical 300n 10/100 4 LAN port router

 

Even older 802.11g routers which first arrived in 2003, will work, although they may be slower.

Should I upgrade my current router?

It may be worthwhile upgrading your current router if it is old. Current routers can offer more features that may better serve your network requirements. (Discuss this with your RSP in conjunction with your trusted technical advisor). However, a new model router is unlikely to speed up your connection, unless your existing router is too old, faulty or poorly configured.

New model routers also offer improved WIFI and may support both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WIFI bands. It is worth noting that 2.4Ghz generally provides better and wider coverage in a large home. If you ‘do a lot’ with your home network e.g it is connected to many devices, includes a media server and/or fast hard drives, printer(s), scanners etc; a newer router will speed up WIFI connections and data transfers within the network.

Newer routers may offer faster LAN ports (1,000Mbps) and USB ports(s) that may support a USB printer and or a hard drive. These devices may then be accessed by anyone on the network. Refer to the router manufacturer website for specifications for further information.

Any new router from your RSP or shop, will be supplied with a suitable Ethernet cable to connect the nbn NTD to your WIFI router.

Do I have to get a router?

If you want to connect more than one computer to your Sky Muster installation you will need WiFi and therefore you will need a router.

If you would prefer to LAN connect your devices (rather than WIFI), you can install a switch to accommodate the extra LAN ports. Your technical advisor can provide further information.

Is there a router that can help me manage my data usage?

It may be useful to install Gargoyle on your router. Gargoyle is a free router firmware that can be installed on certain routers. Gargoyle provides tools to both measure and conserve your precious monthly Sky Muster plan quota. It may sound complicated, but if you can perform a firmware upgrade on a router, you can install and run Gargoyle.

What router should I get?

Some providers configure their supplied routers before sending to the customer.  This means they are ‘Plug and Play’ and use the DHCP protocol.  Other Sky Muster providers use PPPOE protocol which means you will need to set up your router.  You would need to have a username and password with PPPOE, while the configuration of DHCP is automatic.

DHCP = Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol

PPPOE = Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet

Sky Muster™ RSP Router offers – August 2018

The following router information is provided by best endeavour.
Please confirm details with your RSP

SkyMuster Routers25May

  1. VoIP (Voice calls over the Internet) may be provided by the addition of an RSP provided Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA). This is additional equipment, or a VoIP Compatible Router.
  2. NOTE: Some providers offer free or discounted routers, if customers sign up to a 12 or 24 month contract.
  3. Please refer to the Router Manufacturer for further specifics and information on the Router Capabilities.

300n (or 802.11n) are base model single WIFI band 2.4Ghz routers.

AC (or 802.11ac) provide faster WIFI speeds. The higher the ‘AC No.‘ the faster the router. It will likely have more user features.

Links to RSP router offerings and Manufacturer websites

D-Link

NETGEAR

TP-LINK

 

Typical Router Setup

S-NTD Router cable connections

NOTE:  The LAN cable (yellow here, can be other colours)  generally goes from UNI-D 1 on your Sky Muster Modem (NTD)  to the WAN input on the router (usually the yellow socket).

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your own connection issues. Updated 29/8/18

 

BIRRR survey SAYS…

2017

Link to survey – 2017 Regional Internet Access Survey Results

2016

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

survey image

LINK TO MEDIA RELEASE: ‘GETTING LEFT BEHIND’

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

2016 Regional Internet Access Survey Results

BIRRR ‘SURVEY SAYS’ MEDIA RELEASE

 

 

 

BIRRR nbn™ Fixed Wireless Success Stories

Much of our volunteer time at BIRRR Headquarters is taken up troubleshooting people who live ‘just outside’ nbn™ fixed wireless ‘purple’ coverage areas.  Here are some of the stories from people we have helped to get fixed wireless.

image001
Sample of BIRRR Success Story, who lived outside ‘purple coverage area’

Amanda :  Huge difference to us. No drama streaming Netflix, Xbox Live etc etc during school holidays. Now back at school have SKYPEd with tutors able to read children’s work sheets from video, easily downloaded lesson material during actual lesson! Husband can work easily from home. Haven’t come close to monthly limit. Not too mention cost – have no idea what we were spending on internet with recharges for mobile broadband. Kids can log into school portals no problems. Can do research for assignments from home. I can access bank first go. The list is endless.

Emma:  It’s been awesome to have faster internet, I don’t have to avoid using several devices at a time. Emails with attachments send so quickly and uploading files (I am studying online so do a fair bit of both). I’ve had an issue with the nbn™ speed being much slower the last week or so than what it initially was but it’s still at least twice as fast as what we had before even when it’s running ‘slow’. We have a higher data allowance for a better price due to not being restricted to Telstra. Our allowance wasn’t low before, but it’s now more than double what we had before and for a lower price. No longer having to pay home phone line rental just to have internet as well (changed over to voip). I went so crazy downloading last month – we watched full series of at least 3 different tv shows (probably about 15 seasons between all the shows watched), I downloaded xbox games, a heap of stuff on the computer and a lot of browsing and watching videos with everyone home for a few weeks. I didn’t even get to half our allowance!

Yolande:  Financially we are saving $30 a month just on our Internet bill (plus actually getting decent service for our money) not to mention not using additional data on our phones. kids have only just gone back to school but no doubt having internet for whole month instead of running out after 1-2 weeks will help them with their school work. Suppose you could say has also helped family relationships as no fights over who used all the data lol. Must say hardly most important issue given people struggling to run businesses etc but it was nice to have decent internet over school hols so kids could watch movies etc things they could never do on mobile broadband so b i suppose there has been a social benefit as well. It is just nice to feel like part of the modern world again cant you thank you enough for your help.

Kain: Much better. Higher speeds, less latency, cheaper, bigger data allowances. Much more stable connection than the mobile broadband. Average speed now is 22 down 4 up. Video streaming is actually possible now, and the data lasts the whole month. You can read more about Kain’s story here.

Barb:  Yes thank you Kristy. I’m finding nbn™ fixed wireless with SkyMesh way better than the crap local provider service I’d had to battle with previously – the crap service where speeds varied down to dialup , data would be used without being used and their solution to any problem was to blame the customer.

Margie: Cost saving I would say is the biggest positive in  wireless NBN. We have house phone and internet in one. Speeds, data allowance, clear phone line 100% plus advantage of NBN. ( South Burnett – north Nanango)

Chris:  A Great Leap Forward. Haven’t saved any money yet (Telstra won’t let us out of our contract) but having a good data allowance from Aussie Broadband is wonderful. We can run our business, communicate with our friends, and have much lower stress levels about going over our data limit. When the grandkids come to stay they are happy too. Thank you BIRRR !! (We are in South Gippsland, Vic).  You can read more about Chris’ Story here.

Lisa:  Kristy your help has made a huge difference to us. After being told countless times we couldn’t get nbn™ your request for a desktop study changed everything!! We had wireless broadband with Telstra. We were hooked up to nbn™ 2 weeks ago! Speed is about the same and this one drops out much more but the cost saving is enormous, over $1500 a month! We were trying to run our farm business, our business in Sydney all on 25gb. We had to keep adding data packages which meant we were spending at least $1800 every month. Plus I do the marketing for a charity in town and I have to manage their website and social media. The whole thing was a nightmare!  Not saving money yet as had to pay out Telstra but we will soon. Can’t thank you enough.

Narelle:  Huge difference to us. Tv reception is shocking so we are now able to stream, Netflix and iview got quite a workout during the holidays. I’m returning to study to complete a Masters through Distance Ed, could not have done this without fixed wireless, cost would have been crazy.  A lot of Ag research done on line now, great for our business My daughter is able to do Reading Eggs at home now as well as at school. They are about to start maths seeds, which is a similar programme, we can do this at home as well without me worrying about the cost of data. We actually feel like it has had a big impact on our life, much more than we originally thought it would have. Large data allowance for a fraction of what we were paying and a lot more stable service. Very few drop outs compared to mobile internet. Thanks to Kristy and BIRRR!  We live in the Wimmera in Victoria.

Ku:  It’s been life changing. My son can easily access his school work through CDSE. We have better access for my research and work as well as managing our business. Amazing. All for significantly less cost. Thanks Kristy!! Near Rockhampton.

Helen:  Huge positive difference! 5 x the data for the same cost, good speeds and reliable/stable connectivity mean that our entire family benefit but especially our farm business. We are so amazed at the difference and hugely grateful and appreciative of the service we now have. It was a long, frustrating road to get there, and it would not have happened at all without Kristy and BIRRR 😀

Julie:  It has made a HUGE difference to our lives I can now down load emails and and my children can access it for homework!! It works out cheaper because I get 300+% more down load we are even getting to enjoy movies I can’t thank you enough Kristy for what you did for us !!
Linda:  Wow it is unbelievable the difference your assistance has made Kristy. We have been connected for just over 2 months with every services we could get. NLIS transfers and BAS lodgements take minutes. Netflix Stan Presto Foxtel iq3 not having to worry about being shaped is amazing. Kids have no issues with studies or online gaming. The cost savings are huge. Now just need to have Telstra allow users to share the some of their data limit with remote users.

Beck:  Kristy helped us get NBN, when we’d previously been told we couldn’t get enough reception. Between Mark Moore and Kristy, we were able to get it sorted and without their help, it just would not have happened! Previously we were on NGW and mobile broadband. $300+ per month minimum. My son had been doing BSDE in semester 1 2015 and poor reception and increasing frustration trying to connect and lodge assignments certainly added to the decision to change to local state school (which has luckily worked out!). Aside from this, the actual business of running a farm was so difficult – emails may or may not send or load, forms couldn’t be downloaded, the spinning “loading” internet wheel would drive us mad! And forget trying to download/watch a movie, music, videos etc, it just wasn’t worth it. Things are now so much improved – internet banking works without cutting out, emails flying in and out (and load!), we can watch YouTube and video links easily and even complete surveys! And the added advantage of being able to watch shows via Presto, iview etc has been great, especially with 3 generations in the one house with very different viewing habits lol. Additionally we have nearly halved our phone bill monthly which is a massive benefit. Sorry for such a long reply but it was too hard to summarise the benefits and to express what a change BIRRRA and Mark, and particularly Kristy have made! We are approx. 45km from Kingaroy.

 

image001
Example of BIRRR Success Story – outside of ‘purple zone’ and now connected to fixed wireless.

Jenni:   Yes definitely. cheaper and much more data, also think its faster. Great result, worth all the phone calls and hassles I had. Thanks so much to BIRRR helpers.

Patricia:  We had been requesting a test for nearly 2 years just for the testing, when I phoned I always tried to explain the position etc but the last answers were we failed the computer test, I phoned at least every month, the staff were always lovely and patient, but I could not get past the computer test. 2 weeks ago I private messaged you regarding our position within 2 hours of my message you PMed me and the local contractor phoned me, I was amazed how quick you got things moving. The contractor came 2 days later and tested the reception and BINGO he picked up 3 signals, one being -82% which is very good indeed……The plan we have gone with includes 500 gb data telephone calls to local, national and mobiles…….$119.00 p/m incredible…we were paying $100.00 for 15 gb mobile broadband and $45 p/m for home line for only local and national calls……I am a Web Designer, my husband is an entertainer, the documents we have to send and receive are large. Having this will be a huge difference.We will be looking forward to Netflix and other wonderful services. Another is I have started free workshops at Nanango for digital devices this will help me downloads tutorials etc for the students….This would not of been achieved without the assistance of Better Internet For Rural, Regional And Remote Australia (BIRRR) and especially Kristy.
Michael:  We have only been connected for a couple of days but the process was almost seamless and the using the Fixed Wireless is far superior to anything else we have used. With our usage, and once the old services are cancelled we will save in the vicinity of $140.00/month. Thanks again to the BIRRR team especially Kristy 🙂

Alan:  Thanks to Kristy and BIRRR, my family now has nbnfixed wireless. Cannot thank you more then enough.. Originally outside the ‘purple’ area with my only option looking forward was sky muster but ended up with a signal strength of 87db two foot off my roof peak. BIRRR opened doors to the nbn™ that my phone calls couldn’t. 🙂

Colin: Thanks to these ladies of BIRRR (Kristy & Julie)  I just had one of my customers connected Yesterday to Fixed Wireless nbn™ that had been failed before as not in the coverage area. He is now connected & loving the speed around 19Mbps.

nbn™ even blogged about our success stories – you can read about it here

BIRRR Success stories taken from the BIRRR Facebook Group 24/4/16

 

What is the nbn Sky Muster Educational Port ?

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 preschoolprimary 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

10418540_10153470487062316_4889024704295236924_n

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):

  1. Need your Student ID to access the port.
  2. You MUST apply for Sky Muster with a provider FIRST.
  3. 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)

These providers DO NOT Offer Educational Port services: Bordernet, iinet, Westnet, Southern Phone, Loaded Net

NSW

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.

WA

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.

IMG_0002 (1)

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

SM3

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.

See more details in our Preparing for Sky Muster document and the nbn Education Services End User Guide

How did the Education Port come about ?

Late in 2015 the Federal Government set nbn the task of developing a dedicated port for education for use with the new nbn Sky Muster Satellite.

nbn worked with State and Territory education departments to develop an Educational Port’  which is delivered over a dedicated port at the remote user’s home via Sky Muster. This port was designed specifically for distance education and home schoolers, however future uses could include health and emergency services. You can read more about the announcement here.

What is the Distance Education Working Group?

In 2015 the Government established a Distance Education Working Group consisting of the Federal Department of Communications and Department of Education, executives from nbn Satellite team, Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA),  and State and Territory Education Departments. The Distance Education Working Group was formed after a BIRRR discussion with Paul Fletcher who was then the Parliamentary Secretary to the Communications Minister of the time (Malcolm Turnbull). The group meets regularly to discuss how to best meet the needs of remote students. You can read more about the need for such a group here.

 

education 2

* 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.

Preparing For nbn™ Sky Muster™

Are you ready for Sky MusterTM 

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

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


SATELLITE DISHES

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

Most Sky Muster dishes are more compact than earlier satellite installations and more like a large Foxtel dish.  Customers don’t have much control over dish installation – nbn will allocate (at the time of order) which dish your premises will get, determined for your location – although you can suggest to installer WHERE generally on the roof might suit your office setup most.

SM2
Example of Sky Muster Satellite Dish

There are three sizes of dish; 80cm, 120cm and 180cm; and two transmitters’ (TRIA’s); a 3W and a 6W. That makes six possible combinations. Well over 90% of premises will get the 80cm/3W combination.

The three dishes have different mounting capabilities. The 80cm can go on a wall, on a tin roof or on the gutter of a tile roof. The 120cm can go on a wall or on a tin roof. The 180cm is a pretty special size that won’t be used much, but it’s a non-penetrating ground mount.


NTD (nbn connection box) INSTALLATION

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

This schematic of a typical Sky MusterTM installation shows the NTD and a WIFI router. The installer is responsible for installing the dish on your roof and the nbn (NTD) box in your house.  They are NOT responsible for connecting your router and home network.

SM1


RETHINKING YOUR HOME NETWORK

Q: Who you will deal with?  A: your chosen ISP (provider) and nbn installer

The Sky MusterTM installation may be an opportunity to rethink how your existing home network is configured and where the key equipments are located.

  • Is your current modem in the best location?
  • Is it handy to your WIFi router?
  • Where is your printer?
  • Is the WIFI router in the best location to provide coverage throughout your home?

BASIC FACTS to keep in mind:

– The provisional maximum cable distance from the Sky MusterTM satellite dish to the Network Termination Device (NTD) is 50m.

– The nbn™ standard practice is to wall mount the Sky MusterTM NTD to keep it out of the way of damage, tripping hazard etc.

– The NTD must be adjacent to a power socket.

– A special blue coloured, single coaxial cable from the dish will terminate at a wall plate.

– The Sky MusterTM NTD consumes around 40W continuous and is quite warm/ hot to the touch.

NB More details are available in the nbn™ Sky Muster User Guide

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 9.16.16 AM


 

ROUTERS

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

See the BIRRR document on Sky Muster Routers

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


 

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

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

See the BIRRR document on Voice Services over Sky Muster.

You should keep your existing landline as this service will continue to be maintained for Sky Muster customers as part of the Universal Service Obligation. You may find that keeping the landline for incoming calls only and using VoIP for outgoing calls may be a useful cost benefit compromise. Two phone services for less than the price of one.


 

SKY MUSTER ‘EDUCATIONAL’ NTD PORT.

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

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

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

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

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

 


*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider, regarding your Sky Muster connection and equipment needed. Updated 29/8/18

Jacob’s Story – Sharing Internet Connections with Neighbours

Sharing Internet Connections with a Wireless Bridge
by    Jacob Johnson

This document shows three different examples of how an enterprising BIRRR member has helped himself and others share internet connections via a WIFI link.

I have a fixed wireless connection and share to my neighbour who had a failed install 300m away through some thick trees. I also set up the same system between another two neighbours in the same situation. My speeds are slightly affected but only because we are sharing a single connection.  We did this because it was cheaper that way.  My neighbours don’t download anything just watch Netflix occassionally. The nbn NTD can support up to 75mbit so it is not a problem if both properties are on the 25/5 plans but you may experience slightly slower speeds if both were on a 50/20 plan downloading full speed.

  1.  A 300m 2.4Ghz WIFI link – nbn FIXED WIRELESS
jj1
A newly installed nbn™ Fixed Wireless ODU with a Ubiquiti Nanostation attached to the Fixed Wireless mast.

MY HOUSE: This was originally a temporary mount for the Nanostation, but it appears to work perfectly with no interference; so it may stay! It is directed to the ‘clothes line’ Ubiquiti Nanostation shown below.

The picture above shows a newly installed nbn™ Fixed Wireless ODU and a Ubiquiti Nanostation attached to the Fixed Wireless mast. The Ubiquiti nanostation is used to transmit the Fixed Wireless connection over WIFI from this location

The Nanostation WIFI link connects to the ‘clothes line’ Ubiquiti Nanostation shown below.

jj4
The clothes line Ubiquiti is connected via Ubiquiti tough cable running through a conduit to home.

NEIGHBOUR 1:

The clothes line Ubiquiti is connected via Ubiquiti tough LAN cable via underground conduit, to the home. The home roof was not suitable for the WIFI link as it had too many trees in the signal path and the clothes line was a cheap pole on which to mount the Nanostation.

The 2.4Ghz link is ~ 300m and the wireless receive signal level is 63dbm. That is an excellent result.

 

2.  A 350m 2.4Ghz WIFI link – nbn FIXED WIRELESS

NEIGHBOURS 2 & 3:

The next two photos show a link which shares fixed wireless between two of my neighbours. It passes through a grove of trees, but the signal is perfect. The house roof ones aren’t solar powered, a cat5 cable runs down into the house, into the poe port of the Ubiquiti power injector.

jj2
The 2.4Ghz link distance is ~ 350m and the receive signal level is 65dbm.

jj3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An excellent result.

3.  A solar powered 3G Installation and 2.5Km 5Ghz WIFI link – MOBILE BROADBAND

This WIFI link delivers internet from a solar powered 3G modem and router installed on an elevated ridge. Internet is beamed down to a site that has no mobile reception via a WIFI link.

jj
The 5Ghz link is ~ 2.5km and the receive level is 60dbm.

Prepared for BIRRR by Jacob Johnson & John Kitchener

Chris’ Story nbn Standard Fixed Wireless

I came across the BIRRR group only recently (after the ABC LandLine segment ) and it was an absolute blast of moist fresh air across the barren land of data drought. The effort behind the website is its real strength. The fact that all you have real lives and family and many, many demands on your time and yet have made such am impact in many ways is an incredible testament to your talent and dedication.

What I like about BIRR is that:
· It brings people together to share their stories of data drought and the communication problems in modern rural, remote and regional Australia

· It does meticulous research, calling on experts, thoroughly researching the problems and liaising with professionals. The fact that BIRRR does not shout out a particular opinion or give solutions that have been just heard about in the local pub makes it a credible and reliable resource.

· It caters for the full range of RRR needs on the comms front – Phones, Mobiles, FW, Satellite, etc etc

· It’s willing and able to help individuals with individual problems (where do you all get the time and energy??)

· It places an emphasis on the needs of education in our RRR communities

· the webpage has a user-friendly design and is really easy to navigate. Articles and posts are dated and authorship / info sources attributed

· It has an important policy for fb and twitter posts that they are to be respectful, not rude and not (too) politically biased

Back in the early 20th C when the phone first came to central NSW my grandparents were doing mixed farming around the Forbes area. Their technological highpoint for communications was a party-line that ran through about 12 properties. Everyone shared the one line and had an individual combination of rings for them to know a call was for them. Haven’t we come a long way! Haven’t we got a long way still to go.?

My particular interest has been Fixed Wireless and if not for the contribution of BIRRR I would have given up and gone back to two tin cans with a string between. We failed our first signal test * but are now back on track with a new RSP (suggested by BIRRR) and, with luck, by the end of the year should be on the nbn. Great for us. But what of the so many others who are far worse off? All strength to BIRR and may it continue until we all have a decent and affordable means to communicate, help educate our kids, do business, and (dare I mention it?) be entertained!

12316360_10208340341166366_688406272876016558_n

UPDATE 3/12/15:  A thousand thank you’s to Kristy Sparrow and all the installers who visited our place, and the brilliant folks at Aussie Broadband and the BIRRR community. We’re now on the NBN FW in South Gippsland. It was a difficult journey but we got there. We can run our business, communicate with our friends, and have much lower stress levels about going over our data limit. When the grandkids come to stay they are happy too.

* Chris was able to get the correct signal strength when nbn changed the fixed wireless parameters from -96dbm to -99dBm

Prepared for BIRRR by Chris Downes

Using a WIFI Bridge to achieve a nbn™ Fixed Wireless connection

Using a WIFI Bridge to achieve a nbn™ Fixed Wireless connection

The following diagrams show typical methodologies for connecting a remote nbn™ fixed wireless installation via a WIFI link.
The link is best constructed using semi-commercial specialist WIFI routers such as those made by Ubiquiti or MicroTik; or similar. This equipment is inexpensive and relatively straightforward to configure. You may also be able to purchase the equipment pre-configured, depending on the application. City Technology is a good place to compare Ubiquiti product pricing.
For links around 2 to 3Kms, an equipment cost of around $100 per site is likely. Installation and cabling is additional. Reliable links of up to 20Km may be economically realised.  If the WIFI link is well designed and constructed it will provide speeds in excess of 100Mbps; which is more than fast enough for a 50/20Mbps nbn wireless connection.
OPTION 1:  This arrangement shows an nbn™ fixed wireless service installed in a shed or location where no internet is required at that location (eg Premise 1 in the diagram below). The nbn™ service is extended via a WIFI bridge to the home (eg Premise 2 in the Diagram below) and a WIFI router is added to extend LAN services and broadcast WIFI around the home. The WIFI link acts exactly like a long, long length of LAN cable. For more in depth details read the stories on our  Stories & Testimonials Page

 

wfb
This arrangement is typical for a remote nbn™ installation in an area on your property, where signal is good.

OPTION 2: The second arrangement shows an nbn™ fixed wireless service installed in Premise 1 with internet available. This internet service is extended via a WIFI bridge to another premise, Premise 2. Both premises share a single nbn™ wireless service. Depending on configuration of the routers the premises may or may not share the same network. You may also configure the router to ensure that one household doesn’t swamp the others access ie each household is restricted to half the capacity of the FW link.

 

wfb2
This configuration is most likely suitable for families living in separate homes on the same property, where the cost of the internet service is shared.

 

OPTION 3: This arrangement shows an nbn™ fixed wireless service installed in Premise 1 with internet available. A second nbn™ fixed wireless service is installed on the same nbn wireless NTU using the same or a different RSP (ISP/Provider). This second service is extended via a WIFI bridge to Premise 2. This second service is independent of the service at Premise 1 and is likely, separately billed.

wfb3
This arrangement is most likely if you negotiate to use your neighbour’s nbn™ connection.

 

There are two W-NTD versions. The V1 ODU has an antenna gain of 23dBi and a throughput capacity 60Mb/s. The V2 ODU has an antenna gain of 26dBi and a throughput capacity of 75Mb/s i.e. across one or all four ports.

An nbn™ fixed wireless service is available with speeds of 12/1, 25/5 and 50/20 (up to). This implies that if both customers were to activate a 50/20 service then there would be times when the service speed is restricted (by the 60-75Mbps total cap), if they are both heavy users.

Sharing between ports is graceful, as they are different vlans ie if you had port 1 and 2 activated with 50/20 plans, the throughput sharing would be 50:50.

OPTION 4: A fourth situation may exist where a single property has two residences, each with an independent fixed wireless standard installation.  nbn™ will install a fixed wireless service at each residence

There will be other variations of these four themes.

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 John Kitchener, BIRRR member for compiling this document. 

Kain’s nbn™ non-standard Fixed Wireless Install

Kain’s Story:nbn™ Fixed Wireless non-standard install

tower
My experience started about 8 months ago. After numerous articles in the paper, ads on TV and radio, the letterbox pamphlets and all the typical fanfare that happens with a new technology, the NBN was finally available in the area my family’s property is in! It would be a huge improvement on the slow ABG Satellite and expensive yet unreliable mobile broadband that we had at the time.

After comparing plans, we chose a provider and signed up. Surely if we could get mobile coverage we could get fixed wireless……. But it was not going to be that simple. When the installer came out to do a signal test, the result was not good, -106dBm. The cutoff was -96dBm. No install for us.  After calls to the RSP, NBN etc,the verdict was we’d have to wait for the satellite service. But, being as stubborn as I am, I started doing a bit of research to work out why we could not get it.  After researching the tower locations on the mynbn.info website and checking on Google maps, I worked out the signal was blocked by a granite ridge behind the house. What about a mast on the hill I thought? More calls to NBN and the result was bad luck, we were listed as unable to get NBN. They wouldn’t send a tech out for another signal test, even though I could literally see the NBN tower from the top of the hill. Very frustrating!

Kain
The tower, clearly visible from the top of the hill

Fast forward a few months, I was put in touch with the team from BIRRR who not only had some great resources and information available on the page, but also worked hard to get us re-listed as Service class 5 (NBN Fixed wireless available, no NTD Installed) so that we could book another install!

Not wanting another fail, I studied as much as I could on fixed wireless technology, installation requirements etc. These can be found on the BIRRR pages, NBN Website, Whirlpool forums, ACMA Website etc. But to summarise; here are a few requirements:

  • You MUST be located within 14KMs of an active NBN Fixed wireless tower. Line of sight is recommended, as the frequency used is affected by terrain. Solid terrain such as hills etc will degrade the signal heavily, as will thick bush land. A few gums etc. will affect it but not as badly. It is the water in the foliage which interferes.
  • For a pass, the signal has to be at least -96dBm. The lower the number, the better the signal eg. -70dBm is better than -80dBm. Since this time, the cutoff point has been increased to -99dBm.
  • The install has 2 main components, the ODU (Out Door Unit, a panel antenna and modem) and the NTD (Network Termination Device). The maximum cable run between the 2 units cannot be more than 80 metres. This is the cable run, not the distance “as the crow flies”. The ODU has to be mounted where it gets a strong signal from the tower. The NTD must be mounted within 1.5 metres of a 240v power supply in a weatherproof enclosure that does not get too hot or cold.
  • The cable joining the two components must be run through white telecommunications conduit with no sharp bends at a minimum depth of 30cms underground from the building housing the NTD to the mast/building where the ODU is located. It needs to have a string line run through from one end to the other to feed the cable through, and this is much easier to do as you are joining the conduit as opposed to trying to feed it through the whole length.
  • If a mast or tower needs to be erected, it is the responsibility of the owner to have it in place and meeting any local legal requirements. It must be sturdy. A 10 metre length of gal pipe tied to a star-picket is a no-go… I would recommend buying a proper radio tower if needed. These can be sourced from Hills, Nally towers etc.
  • The installer is not responsible for ensuring access to the mounting location, the property owner is. This means if it is to be mounted on a 14 metre mast, the owner has to provide a cherry picker on the day of the install. No installer will climb a 14 metre tower, especially a home-made one.
  • NBN responsibility stops at the NTD. If you need to get the internet from that location to another location or to multiple devices, this has to be arranged by the owner at their own expense.

There may be things I have missed… I recommend doing your research and double-check everything. There are a lot of resources available on the BIRRR page including a guide to fixed wireless installs, both standard and non-standard.

Now that I had all the info required, I could get everything ready for the install.

STEP 1: My first step was to put a building on a spot on the property where I could get a strong signal. After a bit of hunting around, I bought a cheap caravan for the purpose. My reasoning for this was that a caravan can be parked anywhere on your property without council approval providing nobody is living in it, whereas building a shed would need a development application approved. Check your local council regulations on this, as it may vary. I parked it as close to the top of the ridge as I could.

kain2

STEP 2: The second step was to put up a mast with line of sight to the tower. Since I had the van close to the ridge, the mast only needed to be above the height of any stray kangaroos etc. So I went with a 3 metre length of 1” galvanised pipe cemented 60cm into the ground, remembering the conduit end.

kain3

STEP 3:  Digging the trench proved to be difficult, as the 20 metres closest to the mast was full of bush rock. There must have been about 10 ton of rock that I pulled out with a 4×4 bit by bit. After the trench was done, I ran the conduit. This was proper NBN Conduit available at a local electrical wholesaler for about $1/metre in 4.5 metre lengths. To make it even simpler for the installer, I ran the cable as I was going. This meant purchasing it myself, but it was a time-saver and on the day of the install the tech was grateful it was done. The cable has to be outdoor gel-filled Cat5e ethernet cable. I purchased this from an electrical supply store in Sydney at 88c/metre.

Conduit

STEP 4:  Due to the location, running a 240v power supply from the house to the van was not practical, so I installed a 250w solar panel and 330Ah battery bank with a sine-wave inverter for power. Being over the 90 metre limit for Ethernet to the house, I decided that a wireless bridge was the logical step. When setting these up, you have to be careful not to exceed the maximum power limit of 4 watts EIRP for broadcasting, or the ACMA can hit you with massive fines. If you are going this route, I would recommend getting it installed by a professional if you are not experienced with wireless networking.

kain4

Now that all the prep work had been done, I booked an install through SkyMesh (who I have to say are brilliant to deal with, it’s a good change waiting on the line for just a few minutes and talking to an Aussie) and on the 30th of December 2015, the tech showed up on time, did a quick signal test and the result was great… -60dBm! Well within the limits.

Within an hour it was all installed and after a bit of a wait, we were activated!

After all that work, there was a happy ending!

kain5 kain6

These speeds are about the average we receive now, and so far the setup has proved to be fairly reliable.

I would like to thank Kristy Sparrow and the team at BIRRR, Skymesh and NBN. For making this possible and turning an extremely frustrating situation around for a positive outcome.

Disclaimer: This document is meant as an informative document based on my own research and experience. Any views, opinions, information etc. provided is not necessarily the same as that provided by NBN Co, BIRRR, SkyMesh or any other organisation referred to here.  Prepared for BIRRR by Kain Fitzgerald.

 

How Do I Get nbn™ ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If your address does not map. Go to Step 2

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 3.14.47 PM

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

nbn Fixed Wireless – Standard Installations

WHAT IS FIXED WIRELESS?

nbn FW (Fixed Wireless) is a fixed wireless service – it is delivered by radio communications, via antennas that transmit a signal direct to a small outdoor antenna attached to the premises.  It is a different technology to mobile broadband / wireless internet.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 9.26.19 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 9.16.45 PM
nbn Fixed Wireless 

Fixed wireless (FW) does not provide mobile phone service, and can not be moved (hence the term ‘fixed’).

ARE YOU ELIGIBILE?

Check your address for FW eligibility here:  nbn : Check your Address

IMPORTANT PRE-INSTALLATION READING

  1. Preparing for a nbn Fixed Wireless Connection 
  2. nbn Fixed Wireless Explained
  3. nbn Fixed Wireless User Guide

GETTING FW ORGANISED

If you are able to obtain an nbn FW service at your address (if you are in the fixed wireless coverage area) you will need to contact a RSP (Retail Service Provider) also known as ISP (Internet Service Provider) to arrange for the equipment to be installed.  (nbn is an internet wholesaler and does not provide internet services directly to the public.)

A technician (nbn contractor) will be booked by the RSP to install the equipment. In the case of faulty equipment or connection problems you will need to contact your provider (not nbn).

BASIC FW INFO

nbn Fixed wireless installations require that two pieces of nbn-owned equipment are installed at your premises: the INDOOR unit and the OUTDOOR unit.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 6.03.42 PM
nbn fixed wireless equipment

Please remember, the indoor unit (the connection box) needs to be installed on a wall in a sheltered, dry area with access to power. The indoor unit will be connected to the outdoor antenna by a cable, which provides power to the antenna and also connects the data from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit. You are entirely within your rights to ask that the installation take place in a location that is not the main house / residence on your property, but you need to keep in mind where you will be using the computer as it will need to be close to that point.

The outdoor unit has to have direct line of sight to and be less than 14 km from the serving nbn wireless tower. Other factors, such as local vegetation / tree density/ mountains etc can also prevent a sufficiently strong signal being achieved. 14 km is an absolute maximum and may be less, depending on local factors.

POSITIONING CONSIDERATIONS
The best place for your indoor Network Termination Device is one that is:

  • Near your existing phone or network cabling or devices that you will use the most
  • Within 1.5 metres of a dedicated 240V power point (a mandatory requirement)
  • In a cool, dry, ventilated area
  • Away from busy areas where it may be knocked and damaged
  • Where it will be easy for you to check the indicator lights if there is a problem

Customers who wish to make use of a VoIP service over the nbn connection will have additional considerations (i.e. be close to existing phone cabling). BIRRR recommends that you maintain your exisiting phone service and NOT switch to a VOiP Based service.

In order to obtain nbn fixed wireless service you must be able to receive and transmit minimum levels of wireless signal between your property and a base station. Currently a signal test reading of -99dBm is needed.    A signal of -99dBm or stronger will result in an install of nbn equipment. The lower the number the stronger the signal ie -76dBm is better than -99dBm and anything over -99dBm will be signal failure.

You may need a mast to get an nbn fixed wireless signal. This is still a ‘standard’ nbn installation, however the installer may need to come back with the right sized mast.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All FW equipment is the property of nbn and should not be moved or adjusted.

CONNECTING YOUR FW EQUIPMENT

The next step once the nbn Fixed Wireless equipment is installed will involve connecting your Internet access equipment.  The antenna on the outside of a home will be connected by a cable running through the wall to the Network Termination Device (NTD) which will be located within the home. If you require WiFi from your nbn FW connection you will need to purchase a wireless router. BIRRR recommends purchasing a ‘plug and play’ router from your provider.

The ability to directly connect a computer to the NTD via an ethernet/LAN cable is very important (see below).

11215180_10207970317597783_3416076732512306138_nAn RSP may request that you by-pass any routers etc when testing, to ensure that any fault/problem is not with your equipment.  The ability to LAN cable connect a computer to the NTD is very important. This is how the installer commissions the service. The router enables you to connect other devices by LAN cable or WIFI to the internet.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.04.59 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.14.08 AM
nbn Network Termination Device Ports

 


In the event that the ‘standard installation’ procedure fails you can consider a ‘non-standard’ install. Please read the BIRRR Notes on nbn Fixed Wireless: NON-STANDARD INSTALLATIONS

*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 nbnSkymeshWhirlpool forums and BIRRR membersThis page was updated on 15th July 2018.

 

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