Imagine squandering a month’s worth of data on an iPhone or IPad update? This is a problem many regional users have encountered and one, which the NBN this week moved to fix.
Speaking from remote Queensland on Sunday, NBN CEO Stephen Rue, introduced Sky Muster Plus, an upgrade to the existing broadband solution for many Australians outside town limits.
The upgrade includes the exemption of browsing, email and software updates from monthly data allowances.
“This enhancement represents a game-changer for internet connectivity in the bush,” National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson said.
The NFF is part of a ‘bush coalition’ representing the unique needs and challenges of country people when it comes to connectivity.
“The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition advocates to Government, the NBN and telecos to bring to their attention the solutions needed to improve the internet experience of those outside urban boundaries.
“The exemptions of essential internet uses from data usage limits is the direct result of this advocacy and the success of the RRRCC in putting regional communications firmly on the Federal political agenda,” Ms Simson said.
Set to be available next year, Sky Muster Plus will provide faster speeds by providing access to a wholesale 25 megabytes per second product. The new plans will not count the use of monthly data allowance towards essential internet services – like internet banking and email.
Isolated Parents and Childrens’ Association, President Wendy Hick hosted the NBN CEO at her family’s property near Camooweal, for the announcement.
“I was able to demonstrate first hand not only the challenges we face with connectivity but also the opportunities, should our connectivity be improved.
“Connectivity offers even the most remote student the opportunity to keep pace with the outside world and experience meaningful educational opportunities.”
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Chief Executive Officer Teresa Corbin also praised the NBN’s recognition of the ongoing collective efforts of the RRRCC.
“Last year we welcomed NBN’s increased data allowance on Sky Muster. However, the RRRCC has been calling for data use to reflect the reality of internet use in remote areas: internet services should allow both residents and businesses to have contemporary internet accessibility.
“We are delighted that the NBN has listened and worked closely with the RRRCC to develop a practical solution in Sky Muster Plus.”
“We now look forward to hearing the outcomes of the Regional Telecommunications Review, which we hope will offer further enhancement to the services available to rural, regional and remote consumers.”