NBN Co will provide a new satellite broadband service to up to 9000 premises in remote areas of mainland Australia to reach customers not covered by the over-subscribed Interim Satellite Service (ISS).
The new NBN Co Satellite Support Scheme (NSS) will not be provided by the government-funded company. Instead, NBN Co has appointed IPStar to act as a wholesaler for regional internet providers. IPStar also provides satellites for the ISS.
The NSS is expected to provide wholesale speeds of 4 megabit/s downloads and 1MBps uploads, which translates into a service guarantee of a minimum download speed of 2.6Mbps for 20.4 hours a day, NBN Co aid.
The NSS is available for users who cannot access a commercial broadband service. However there will be strict eligibility criteria to ensure those with access to sufficient services do not crowd out the satellite.
Remote users will not be eligible if they are able to access a separate commercial service that offers peak data speeds of at least 512Kbps downstream and 128Kbps upstream, with 3 gigabyte per month data caps, costing less than $2500 a month.
Premises eligible for the NSS must be within line of sight of the IPstar satellite, and have never had a service via the Australian Broadband Guarantee or the ISS.
The Coalition government stopped taking orders on the ISS last December when the service reached its maximum capacity of 48,000 users, and said in March this year it would spend a further $18.4 million to increase capacity to all users on the satellite service.
Reachnet has published pricing for its NSS NBN plans that start at 7 gigabyte of data-only for $40 a month and no contract; going to $85 a month for 40GB and voice over IP calling on a 12 month contract.