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Sky Muster has lift-off

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On the first day of October 2015, one of the most advanced communication satellites the world has ever seen was blasted into orbit, 36,000 kms from Earth. The 6 and a half tonne satellite, named Sky Muster, was sent into space to provide superfast broadband speeds to 400,000 Australians living in rural areas.

The satellite’s launch is just another part of the Government’s plan to rollout the National Broadband Network, connecting 8 million homes and businesses. To make sure no Australian’s are left behind, Sky Muster will service the regional areas which are not able to receive a fibre NBN connection.

People in regional and remote Australia, particularly students, still rely on the internet as much as the rest of us. Unfortunately, they’ve had the disadvantage of slow and unreliable connections in the past. Drop outs and slow connection speeds have just been considered part of living in the outback. Now Sky Muster brings hope for the members of these communities.

Sky Muster is expected to deliver download speeds of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 5Mbps which is considered high speed broadband. These speeds should be sufficient for the needs of rural Australia.

NBN™ ran a competition called Shoot for the Stars which allowed 5-12 year old Aussie kids submit their best drawing to represent how the NBN will improve Australia. Hundreds of children entered in hopes of winning the prize: having their artwork displayed on the rocket which would launch the satellite, and the opportunity to name the satellite.

6-year-old student Bailey Brooks from the rural Lilla Creek station won the competition with her drawing of her house with a satellite dish on top: because the NBN will help students like her in remote areas access the internet for school work. With the help of her classmates, Bailey came up with the name Sky Muster for the satellite to describe the way it will “round up” Australians and connect them together.

Some of the remote areas which will benefit from the Sky Muster’s beams include: Cape York in Queensland, Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, Bourke in New South Wales and Tasmania’s Macquarie Island way down south. Overall it covers an impressive range of 7.69 million square kilometres.

The satellite’s launch has been an important first step in bridging the connectivity divide between urban and rural Australia. It aims to have approximately 200,000 homes and businesses serviced with better broadband by mid-2016.

Want to know when the NBN will arrive in your area? Join the NBN waitlist for all NBN updates, or if you’ve already joined, check out iiNet’s coverage map to see if the NBN is available at your address.

Image Credit:

NBN™

16 comments

  1. Myles says:

    That’s great and all… still sitting here on a copper line with adsl1…

    will iinet be offering any sort of nbn satellite product?

  2. JW says:

    I am 75 k’s from Gympie & 64 k’s from Kingaroy. Parts of Murgon have got this wonderful nbn. We are 15 k’s up the road and we wont get it till about 2018, and that is only FTTN, not the full book. Lets give the government a rocket up where they need it. The system is just not good enough…Cheers JW
    PS Typical pollies

  3. Janice says:

    I think your iinet is very dissapointing i have been with internet dropping of as soon as i try doing anything. Have no internet at the moment have to use mobile phone.

    • Brianna Burgess says:

      Sorry to hear Janice!
      We’d recommend completing some troubleshooting to determine the cause of the drops outs you’re experiencing. We have online troubleshooting available at our iiHelp site (https://iihelp.iinet.net.au), simply enter a keyword (E.g. Drop outs) or follow the categories to reach the applicable guide.
      Alternatively, you can give our Support (13 22 58) team a buzz for assistance.

      – Brianna

  4. Rob Gray says:

    I am disapointed with the NBN playing policeman and only favouring citys and towns todate even though I have 5 bars of signel to the nearest tower in the town of Simpson just 15 kilometers down the road Im just 5 kilometres off the edge of there coverage plan even though Im on top of the next hill 5 kilometres away with a 20 meter higher elervation nbn told Im off the coverage map thats it no nbn to that I say dam you nbn I may never see nbn in my life time unles i move into a city or town sombody gave you too much power

  5. Rosemary says:

    8 klms from nanango, qld and cant even get ADSL, absolute disgrace

  6. Bruce says:

    Why rural voters still vote for the Nats is a mystery to me. The one thing that rural people need is really good internet connectivity. This will go a long way towards easing the isolation and lack of services that country people suffer from.
    My opinion, for what it is worth, is that voters should follow the lead of some of their compatriots on the north coast of NSW and vote in Greens. In this way they will protect themselves from mining companies taking their fertile land and life-giving water.

  7. MattT says:

    I see that NBN will not be available for another two years in my location in Adelaide.

    With 6 people in the house, we need the speed now and have no option but to leave iiNet (TPG).

    This makes me sad as a long term Internode customer but it’s not the same since TPG took the reins.

  8. Tanya says:

    Im not even rural, still cannot get anything other than mobile broadband. This wait is beyond a joke. Not applicable for satellite as Im not rural. Go figure.

  9. AP says:

    I’ll also be waiting until 2017 and even then, it’ll only be fixed wireless. In the meantime, I have to continue to have third world internet speeds from iinet at 125KB/second on ADSL1 (and that’s on a good day!). You don’t even want to know how bad the upload speeds are!

  10. Derek says:

    “Drop outs and slow connection speeds have just been considered part of living in the outback”

    HILARIOUS… Stop whinging bush people… its the same in the cities too.

  11. Tom says:

    15 kms out of Portland Victoria and not scheduled for NBN still! Still an old copper phone line with the tick tick tick if the neighbor’s electric fence. Costly internet at $100 per month for a crappy 15gB. NB?…What’s that?

  12. Janet says:

    I have had satellite internet for 5 years and over the last few months despite a reduction in use it seems that my data usage is going up. I am hoping that the launch of this satellite will bring those of us in rural and more remote areas access to speeds and increases in downloads that our town cousins have and at the reduced costs that they enjoy as $150 a month for 5 GB of data at peak time – before 11pm and after 7pm is ludicrous in this day and age.

  13. Cara Graham says:

    Hello,
    I live in northern NSW less than an hour from the Gold Coast. We use Satellite and it is so slow. We have 10GB for $60 a month. I have three teenagers doing Y12,11,and 10 next year, they have to spend at least three afternoons at the library already. I have disconnected the WIFI so they cannot use laptops or phones or else we would not even be able to open emails!
    The service we receive is a joke. Annoyingly we have Telstra cables running through the length of our property to service other uses in our street who do get ADSL! Telstra have an answer for every question as to how they cannot or wont provide ADSL to everyone in our street. We cannot access Skymuster, we cannot access NBN, will have to wait until? our location is not even on the list.

  14. Steve says:

    Hi Guys

    When were you planning to tell us you aren’t on the sky muster Satellite and we will all need to change ISPs??

    Steve

    • Amy Pearce says:

      The satellite has not gone live yet, Steve.
      No ISP can connect to it, and NBN have a cease sale on NBN Satellite until both new satellites are up and running.

      Sorry for any confusion.

      – Amy

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