NBN Updates Streaming Rules for Sky Muster Plus, Here’s How It Works

NBN Updates Streaming Rules for Sky Muster Plus, Here’s How It Works
Image: NBN Co
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NBN Co has changed the way its Sky Muster Plus satellite service is billed, allowing users to access VPNs and streaming during certain times without it counting towards their monthly data usage.

In a statement released Monday morning, the company responsible for the National Broadband Network said as of last Friday (July 1, 2022), people connected to an NBN Sky Muster Plus satellite service can access Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and video streaming for 16 hours a day (between the hours of 12am and 4pm) without it counting toward their monthly data allowance.

This means only between the hours of 4pm and 12am, video streaming and VPN use will count towards a user’s monthly data allowance

Previously, all VPN and video streaming counted towards a monthly data allowance, regardless of the time of day.

All other activities like online shopping, emails internet banking, audio streaming, video calling and Wi-Fi calling, will continue to not count towards a user’s monthly data allowance for the full 24 hours a day.

What is Sky Muster?

Satellite NBN, or Sky Muster, is similar to Fixed Wireless in that it’s for rural areas that can’t connect to the NBN in any other way. However, it takes it a step further as it’s able to service remote areas that don’t have stable 4G access.

A satellite ground station sends the connection to a satellite, which sends it back down to a rooftop satellite on the premises.

NBN Sky Muster Plus

Both NBN Sky Muster and Plus provide access to fast broadband services. The key difference between the two at a wholesale level is what online activity counts towards your monthly data allowance. ‘Plus’ allows data-free access to some basic online activities, including email, phone and computer updates, some text-based social media and messenger services and text-based web browsing. And, from today’s announcement, 16-hours of free streaming and VPN use.

“The introduction of more daytime use of VPN and video streaming data on the NBN Sky Muster Plus satellite service is a game changer. It will mean people have more flexibility to work from home, access sites such as YouTube that support remote learning or enjoy their favourite TV shows,” said NBN Co’s regional and remote chief development officer, Gavin Williams.

Existing (and new) NBN Sky Muster customers can upgrade to a NBN Sky Muster Plus satellite service by calling their internet service provider. For existing NBN Sky Muster Plus users, the changes will automatically be applied.

NBN Sky Muster plans

The first NBN Sky Muster satellite was launched in 2015. The NBN Sky Muster Plus satellite service launched in 2019.

The Australian government is providing $480 million towards the NBN Fixed Wireless and Satellite Upgrade Program.