NBN Sky Muster satellite data allowances boosted

Angus Kidman 4 October 2017 NEWS

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Plans offering 300GB a month are now possible.

If you're a regional Australian, then nbn's Sky Muster satellite broadband service often seems a glass-half-full/glass-half-empty scenario. It's much more affordable than previous satellite offerings, with lower installation costs and monthly fees. But compared to what's on offer if you have a fixed line NBN service, it can seem less than generous.

On a fixed line connection, you can easily score an unlimited plan for $70 a month or less. On Sky Muster, there's no such thing as an unlimited plan. Most plans offer between 100GB and 150GB a month.

More annoyingly, Sky Muster maintains a peak/off-peak distinction, with limits on the amount of data you can access during the day. Off-peak periods generally run overnight, which makes them unhelpful if (for example) you want to stream some shows from Netflix after dinner. That's necessary to ensure service consistency, but still annoying.

So upgrades to the Sky Muster service this week tip us a little further in the glass-half-full direction. Retailers can now sell plans offering up to 300GB per month. According to nbn, around 240,000 Australians will be able to take advantage of these plans immediately.

That doesn't mean every provider will instantly start offering 300GB packages. You'll still pay a lot more than a fixed-line customer if you do want 200GB or more each month. The irritation of having a peak/off-peak data system also continues. But it's a step in the right direction.

It's also a reminder that shopping around is crucial if you want to get a good-value NBN deal. Check what's available at your address and compare plans. If you're lazy and just stick with your current provider, chances are good you'll overpay.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.

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