NBN shifts 40k premises off satellite to offer more data

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NBN shifts 40k premises off satellite to offer more data

Wants to avoid congestion issues on long-term satellite.

NBN will move 40,000 premises around Australia off its long-term satellite service and onto fixed wireless and fixed line services to free up capacity for other satellite users.

In late October it was revealed NBN planned to set caps for users on the LTSS after experiencing capacity issues on its interim satellite services.

This new fair-use policy would see a standard plan of 75GB introduced, with 100GB and 150GB premium options, to mitigate against congestion.

Customer data usage would also be restricted during peak periods, with caps of either 15GB, 20GB or 25GB of download for the period, dependent on tier. Quotas would similarly apply for uploads.

Customers who exceed the data cap will face having their speeds shaped down to as little as 256kbps for download and upload.

In late September NBN revealed it would start using network monitoring tools to stop individuals sucking up high amounts of bandwidth on the LTSS.

It today officially launched the wholesale plans for the satellite, which will go live in the second quarter of next year.

It revealed that to be able to offer the extra capacity on the long-term satellite - the interim satellite service had a 50GB four-week usage threshold to combat ongoing congestion - it had moved 40,000 premises off satellite and onto other fixed technologies.

NBN declined to detail which regions were affected by the change in strategy, saying only that it would typically involve premises in "coastal areas on the fringe of capital cities".

"We’ll update on the specifics of those areas for people in our construction updates," a spokesperson said.

NBN head of fixed wireless and satellite Gavin Williams said that by adding around 240 extra fixed wireless towers, the network builder could optimise load on the satellite and improve capacity.

"What we determined here is we can support coverage of premises in the higher demand beams with that combination of satellite beam optimisation and fixed wireless and fixed line growth, so we can utilise all the availability of that second satellite," Williams said.

The first of two long-term satellites launched in October from French Guiana, and will go live to users next April.

Around 400,000 premises will be served by satellite technology, and will be able to access speeds of up to 25/5Mbps, NBN said.

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