Successfully launched on October 1, 2015, the first Sky Muster satellite (NBN-1A) of the National Broadcast Network hopes to end the rural digital divide in Australia. It is another step to achieving the Australian Government’s aim of delivering world class connectivity and enabling its regional, remote, and rural communities to have access to fast satellite broadband services, such as the Sky Muster Plans.
Australia’s large land mass, low population density, and uneven population distribution are unique challenges facing the national broadband program. To address these, the Australian Government has invested significantly in satellite technology infrastructure as a key to providing fast and affordable broadband connection across the country.
“This satellite will deliver not only fast speeds and reliability, but also provide bigger monthly quotas for those people who live beyond the reach of a phone exchange.The satellite is going to offer 25Mbps which is much faster than ADSL2, and it doesn’t matter where you live, you can access that service … Unless you’re living in a steep canyon or cave, it’s anticipated that we will be able to service just about everyone out there in the satellite footprint.
-Joseph Dennis, NBN Co’s Senior Manager for Government Relations.
A promise for a better rural internet
The Sky Muster™ satellite can help homes and businesses in the bush areas to connect to the Internet more efficiently when it becomes online in April 2016. It is a key component of NBN’s multi-technology mix program, which envisions to connect eight million homes and business by 2020. It covers mainland Australia and it’s external territories. Retail service providers will offer usage packages of up to 150GB per month and speed options of 12Mbps download with 1Mbps upload, or 25Mbps download with a 5Mbps upload. The second satellite, NBN-1B, will be launched during the 2nd half of the year, while a third satellite is being planned for 2021.
Here are the possible economic benefits of the Sky Muster™ for Rural Australia:
- Improve communications of businesses and commerce – A fast and reliable internet connection can help boost your business’ success. It helps you to communicate effectively with staff, suppliers, and customers, and allows you to save data to the cloud so you can work from anywhere. Fast satellite internet also promotes better customer service experience, and enables you to provide free Wi-Fi for your customers and be more responsive on websites, forums, or social media channels.
- Empower farmers to harness technology in smart farming – Climate change continues to worsen yields. Using satellite Internet, farmers can have faster access to online data on smart farming technologies and harness digital resources to change the way they do agriculture, such as the ability to remotely monitor everything from soil moisture levels, stock movements, and farm security. They can also gain insights on how to set up water management procedures, remote sensing tools, and cloud-based data sharing platforms that lead to higher yields and lower farming costs.
- Improve regional skill competence through distance education over the Internet – There is a growing demand for an interactive satellite-based distance education system for rural Australians. With the current improvements in satellite communications technology, it is easier and cheaper for people at multiple locations to work and study collaboratively, learn from teachers in distant cities, and even offer medical care without being physically present. Areas that need special attention include linking of educational institutions along with the continuing education of students and professionals. The thrust is to improve the regional skill competence of people in remote areas and facilitating interaction between them and with other academics.
The NBN’s Sky Muster satellite brings better satellite internet connectivity to regional Australia. To get onboard Sky Muster, call Activ8me today 13 22 88 or visit: http://www.activ8me.net.au/internet/skymuster