Albanese Government launches unmetered data trial for regional NBN satellite customers
Up to 10,000 regional Australians on NBN Sky Muster Plus will receive unmetered monthly data allowances and faster speeds as part of a new trial to boost internet quality in the bush.
The trial will test the capacity and reliability of satellite technology to deliver faster download speeds of up to 100 Mbps for regional customers.
Faster satellite services without data allowances will help expand opportunity for households and small businesses in regional and remote Australia.
The trial is set to begin in March and run until May 2023. If successful, the product will be made available to all customers across the satellite footprint. This work supports the Albanese Government’s election commitment to examine ways to boost monthly satellite speeds and allowances for regional and remote communities.
The trial has been enabled by a $480 million grant from the Albanese Government to upgrade the NBN fixed wireless services. The upgrade will allow 120,000 premises to move from the satellite footprint to fixed wireless, freeing up capacity on the Sky Muster satellite service.
The October Budget also invested an additional $2.4 billion to expand full-fibre broadband access for an additional 1.5 million families and small businesses – 660,000 of which will be in regional areas. The Government recently announced the first tranche of towns and suburbs eligible for upgrades, with the remaining upgrade footprint to be released in early 2024.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
"This trial is exciting news for Australians living in regional and remote communities served by NBN Sky Muster Plus.
“This is the first time Sky Muster Plus customers will be able to access unmetered monthly data allowances, and if the trial is successful, could significantly boost broadband speeds in the bush.
“The Albanese Government is committed to narrowing the digital divide between our major cities and regional communities. Faster, more reliable speeds are critical to unlocking the digital economy, supporting remote work and education, and improving access to tele-health across the country.
“From upgrades to Sky Muster Plus, fixed wireless and the fixed-line network, our Government is determined to give Australians access to the 21st century communications infrastructure they need and deserve”.