Compare satellite NBN broadband plans

If you're in a regional area and can't get NBN cabling to your property, satellite broadband options may be available. The NBN's satellite rollout has increased connection speeds for many remote Australians.


Watch out for data usage being restricted to certain times of the day (on- and off-peak).

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Alex Kidman is a multi-award-winning consumer technology journalist and the Tech & Telco Editor at finder.com.au. He's been writing about consumer technology topics for more than two decades.

Info last updated 30 August, 2018.

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30 August 2018

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Broadband Offer

iiNet NBN Satellite 150GB 25/5 Mbps 1 Month

$44.99

Monthly

Min. Total Cost of $144.94

Provider Logo
150GB

Data

5 - 25 Mbps

Download Speed


How does satellite broadband work?

Many people outside of Australia’s metropolitan areas are unable to access fixed-line broadband services offered to those in more populated areas. Satellite broadband is a wireless alternative that those Australians can use to access the Internet.

To access satellite broadband, a home or business has a dish or antennae installed that sends and receives data to and from an orbiting satellite. This data is then transmitted back down from the satellite to a ground tracking station, granting the home or business access to the Internet.

How fast is satellite broadband?

Data usage tool
It can be hard to know which NBN plan to choose. We've designed a simple data usage tool designed to estimate how much data you'll need on average each month.

For many years, the speeds offered on residential satellite connections have been substantially lower than metropolitan broadband services. More recently, nbn co, the company building the National Broadband Network, launched its own satellite (known as Sky Muster) which is now online.

In 2011, nbn co began offering a temporary satellite solution for regional customers with its Interim Satellite Service (ISS) and NBN Satellite Support Scheme (NSS). nbn co claims its ISS and the NSS connected 48,000 homes in Australia between July 2011 and December 2015. However, nbn co has since ceased ISS and NSS installations in favour of the new “Sky Muster” long term NBN satellite technology.

Before ISS and NSS, there was the Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG). The ABG was an initiative designed to help homes and businesses connect to the internet regardless of geographical restrictions, with a specific focus on non-metro customers without access to traditional broadband services.

Under the ABG, regional customers could expect minimum speeds of up to 512Kbps download and 128Kbps upload. Then in 2011, ISS and NSS promised customers speeds of up to 6Mbps down and 1Mbps up and 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up, respectively.

Now that the NBN long term satellite system (Sky Muster) has become available, users can purchase nbn25 connections with maximum theoretical speeds of 25Mbps down and 5Mbps up. As always, these speeds are dependent on factors such as equipment quality, your location, and chosen NBN speed tier.

Where is satellite broadband available?

Satellite NBN is only available to those who are not covered by the NBN's various fixed-line technologies. Anyone in Australia not eligible for fixed line NBN will be able to access satellite NBN. There are some geographical requirements (like having no overhanging obstructions) that must be met before proceeding with installation, but your provider will discuss any issues at the time of installation.

How can I compare satellite broadband plans?

The Sky Muster Satellite nbn service is available at two speed tiers and at different price points, based on included data.

Speed

Satellite nbn is currently only available with Basic (nbn12) and Standard (nbn25) NBN connections. As with fixed-line NBN, higher speed packs come at a higher price. In many cases, plans come with a Basic connection by default, but can be upgraded to a Standard connection for an additional $5 per month.

Cost

Pricing will vary across different providers, depending on speed and data inclusions. But most plans will cost anywhere between $34.95 and $199.95. Satellite plans break up data allowances into peak and off-peak times, with the cheaper plans all skewed towards having significantly lower peak-time data allowances.

Who provides satellite broadband in Australia?

You can get SkyMuster satellite plans from providers like iinet, SkyMesh, activ8me, Ant Communications, BorderNET, Clear Networks, Harbour ISP, IPStar and reachnet.

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