Australians everywhere will now have access to satellite internet offered for businesses by NBN Co at nearly half the price, as the company has emerging competition from Elon Musk’s Starlink.
On Thursday afternoon, the government and NBN No announce the expansion of NBN Business Satellite Service’s coverage to include all of Australia and some nearby islands. Simultaneously, the wholesale price of these services is set to significantly drop.
“In addition to the expanded coverage, NBN Co will reduce the wholesale price by approximately 40 per cent for the Business Satellite Service Access Bandwidth Service Level 3 dedicated product,” Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher said.
“This will give businesses cheaper access to wholesale speeds of up to 50/13 Megabits per second, and also provide the option of unlimited data to provide the core connectivity required for critical business applications.”
Prior to this, NBN Business Satellite Service was available to many but not all areas that couldn’t access the other types of NBN services. Gizmodo has contacted NBN to find out how much this is changing with the new announcement.
After launching this business version of the Sky Muster satellite services in 2019, this move makes the NBN’s satellite internet offering accessible to more people while also making it more affordable.
This decision comes not long after a new competitor in satellite internet was revealed in Australia. Just last month, Elon Musk’s hyped Starlink service was announced as coming to Australia in mid-to-late 2021.
Skylink promises to be faster than its competition in Australia (with reported speeds of over 100Mbps) and doesn’t have a data cap. It is currently pricier, although if you compare unlimited plans like-for-life, it ends up being a wash.
But the decision to cut prices — only for business users so far — means that NBN Co is throwing down the gauntlet. Can our humble little Australian national broadband provider compete with the technology visionary and memelord Elon Musk? Only time will tell.