NBN Co announces data boost as nation hunkers down for coronavirus

NBN Co has unveiled new measures to support increasing capacity and data demand for nbn satellite services in regional and remote Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Customers on standard nbn Sky Muster services will have their data download limits increased significantly, while for customers on Sky Muster Plus services, nbn will implement an increased range of applications that will not count towards monthly data quotas.

Both standard Sky Muster and Sky Muster Plus services provide access to fast and accessible broadband across regional and remote Australia. With standard Sky Muster plans, all data is metered and customers have a set amount of data each month. Currently, Sky Muster Plus plans provide unmetered data for a select range of essential online activities.

nbn is offering these new measures to support retail service providers (RSPs) in passing on these benefits to their customers.

Effective from March 31 for a limited period of up to three months, nbn will increase the download data limits that apply to RSPs for the standard Sky Muster service, providing an additional 45GB for each standard service at no additional cost to those RSPs.

This additional 45GB will allow RSPs, in some cases, to effectively double the average monthly download limits on retail plans offered to many of their customers.

Available from April 1 on an ongoing basis, enhancements for Sky Muster Plus plans will include an expansion of unmetered content. Once these enhancements take effect,all traffic on Sky Muster Plus plans will be unmetered, except for video streaming and traffic via a VPN, both of which will continue to be metered.

Unmetered activities currently include web browsing, email and operating system updates. However, as part of these further enhancements, common social media applications such as Skype and Facetime will also be unmetered. These are just a few examples of where customers can now have additional peace of mind that staying in touch with family, friends and colleagues will not count as part of their monthly data allowance.

"Over the coming days and weeks, we are expecting a higher number of people in regional and remote communities across Australia to work from home and more children to be remotely school," NBN Co chief development officer, Rural and Regional, Gavin Williams, said.

"In preparation for this greater demand for data and based on feedback from internet retailers and customers, we have decided to take this action to provide additional support for that expected increase in day-time usage expected to increase due to increased activity on the network.

"Our enhanced nbn Sky Muster Plus plans will help Australians be more in touch with loved ones, work remotely, use internet banking, and access important health and education services."

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