Retailers for NBN Co’s Sky Muster satellite service will soon provide weekly “relief” blocks of extra data and are lobbying NBN Co for deeper concessions.
SkyMesh will offer customers “on normal Sky Muster plans” a 10GB “relief data block” every Monday for the next three months, starting March 23.
The company also said it will upgrade “our network by around 40 percent to help avoid congestion”, indicating it is likely to use the full extent of an NBN concession announced this week offering an up to 40 percent bandwidth boost above a retailer’s February usage.
Activ8me also announced it will give users 5GB of extra data a week for free, also starting March 23, with the offer running over four weeks.
CEO Martin Camilleri said he is also pressing NBN Co “to relax certain elements of their fair use policy for Sky Muster satellite services.”
The fair use policy limits the amount of peak data that an internet provider can offer over a rolling four week period.
“You may be aware of the fair use policy, which is the guidelines NBN Co stipulate all ISPs [internet service providers] abide by in order to offer NBN services,” Camilleri wrote.
“They dictate many of the limiting features currently in place on Sky Muster services, including the fixed ceiling on the maximum data allowances we can offer and the requirement of a peak/off-peak split to Sky Muster plans.
“Whilst I can’t guarantee these talks will come to anything substantial, I’m quietly hopeful they will be willing to ‘come to the table’ so to speak, to assist us in our efforts to support [users].
“I only hope our efforts can in some way lessen, even if only by the smallest of degrees, the additional strains during this difficult and trying time for all.”
Quota across internet networks
Quota isn't a problem in most of the NBN fixed-line footprint where unlimited plans are prevalent, although even retailers there have moved to temporarily relax quota limits on the cheapest plans they offer.
However, data quota on cellular services is considerably more constrained, and all three mobile operators are offering temporary data boosts to help users whose primary internet is mobile broadband.
Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are also coming on-board, with Amaysim - which operates on the Optus network - saying today its customers would get bonus data.
"From today all customers on the $10 mobile plan will receive 10GB of additional data, $20 mobile plan customers will receive 20GB of additional data, and $30 mobile plan customers will receive 30GB of additional data," Amaysim said in a statement.
"The additional mobile data will take effect immediately, for use until 15 April 2020."
Update, 2.55pm: Activ8me said it had secured concessions from NBN Co, which means an additional 10GB of data a week for Sky Muster users for three months. This is in addition to the 5GB bonus provided by Activ8me, which will now also extend across three months.