NBN goes sky high with satellite services
THE Skymuster satellite has been providing better internet services to those living in rural areas, helping to promote their businesses, and improve their social lives and education.
The Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR) group has been lobbying for better internet connections since 2014.
Co-founder of BIRRR, Kylie Stretton, runs a livestock agency with her husband from their small farm near Charters Towers, where they also raise beef cattle and pastured eggs.
"I think we need to remind people that by 2020 all Australians will be able to access some sort of an NBN connection, whether that's a fixed wireless, a satellite, or a fibre connection," Ms Stretton said.
"Our more rural and remote people will be mapped for Skymuster. If they are and that's their NBN connection, they are able to get that now. They can hook up to that straight away if they want to.
"BIRRR, along with other lobby groups, have worked really hard, and NBN themselves have worked really hard, and the reliability of the Skymuster satellite is a lot better than what it used to be."
In October 2017, most service providers passed on big data increases through Skymuster, which has improved people's ability to run their businesses, access movies, improve their social life and education.
Kristy Sparrow runs a cattle grazing business north of Alpha in Central Queensland. She also does a lot of work in the community and is a co-founder of BIRRR.
"Skymuster is the best internet connection we have ever had. It gives us fives times more data, is more reliable, faster, and cheaper than our previous 3G connection.
"We can now download movies, use cloud programs for our business and research innovative farming practices online.
"It has allowed local community groups within our area to use applications such as Dropbox and Xero, which previously would not have been possible."
NBN has also released an education port via Skymuster. This means students who are enrolled in distance education or who are being home-schooled can access the education port and receive an extra data allowance per child.
"It's not for people who live out of town and their kids go to school and come home and there's not enough internet for their homework. We haven't got around that yet," Ms Stretton said.
"We're also hoping to get something for tertiary students who are using Skymuster as external students. But with the data increases from last year, it's gone a long way to alleviate those problems.
"They've been doing a lot of great things but they've still got a long way to go."
More information on Skymuster head to www.birrraus.com.