NBN Satellite Service - Providers

After checking our address on the NBNco site for years we have discovered we have now been earmarked for Satellite NBN only. Quite a shock as we are 2km from the Bruce Hwy, 6km from a town with NBN wireless. I thought this was only for rural and remote (outback) properties. Now I have to choose from a group of providers, none of which I have heard of before, plans are similar and reputations etc are hard to find. These are the providers:

  • SkyMesh 1300 879 626
  • Activ8me 13 22 88
  • Ant Communications 1300 268 266
  • BorderNET 1300 730 302
  • Clear Networks 1300 855 215
  • Harbour ISP 1300 366 169
  • IPSTAR 1300 477 827
  • reachnet 1300 798 007

Telstra is no longer offering satellite

Does anyone have experience with these? What about internet phone systems? Most providers warn that weather and outages will render our phone unusable. I have heard rumours that 400,000 addresses have recently been allocated to Satellite and that even with the new SkyMuster satellite the “Fair Use” policy (that restricts the amount of data use in a month regardless of the amount purchased) will still be in force. We are low users given our present ADSL speed of 0.001MB/s so can’t see ourselves streaming TV, but looking forward to internet banking without constant drop outs or having to go to the library at $4/hr. Our copper wire is in poor condition - our phone service is also patchy with static and fade out.

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How frustrating, @zackarii! I grew up in a country town with terrible internet access and many of my relatives still live in regional areas and have similar issues with internet access. It’s a tough issue.

I haven’t heard of those providers (but I’m a city slicker these days) - but I did see that a couple of other Choice members chatting about internet access on a thread a few weeks ago. @doug1
@matt.lockley @markvn11 - do you have any experience with NBN Satellite providers?

I have a lot of agreement with this post My download speed is between 5-6 Mbs Upload 0.6 Mb/s We have solved the telephone probelm by buying mobiles. Our NBN is not on the radar…Satellite would be a help to people like us who will wait for years to have a reasonable speed.

Anyone thinking of satellite internet should read a few of the SkyMuster & SkyMesh threads on whirlpool.net.au before they decide.

I’d recommend waiting several months yet as NBN is having big problems. Maybe as late as Christmas.

Because of these excessive problems the phones are overloaded & it’s taking a day or 2 before call backs. So if you can’t get thru that’s why. It’s worth remembering that the RSPs are resellers & they’ve turned into a complaints department for NBN.

I was lucky, my installation went well on 21st May.

My modem made an excessive high pitched noise but this was changed within a few weeks.

NBN wanted us to keep the modems on permanently. This of course is ridiculous for a lot of people the satellite was built to service.
They’ve fixed that now.

However, lots of people are having problems with installers not turning up, not completing the job, telling people to call their RSP (ISP) to get activated when it’s automatic.

Internet connections failing. Outages. Problems with router settings.

As for providers, I’d only ever heard of Activ8me & SkyMesh 5 months ago.

I chose SkyMesh because of their customer service, which is highly unusual. Paul Rees the owner of SkyMesh has a high presence on the Whirlpool SkyMesh threads & NBN/SkyMuster threads. Even at midnight. Another rep Aaron us there answering queries as well. Also a lot of tech knowledgeable people offering advice. It’s Australian owned with their base in Brisbane, so you’re talking to someone who understands your circumstances.

I don’t know much about the other companies. I think Aussie Broadband is Australian owned, but their call centre is overseas.

Hope these following links can help.

Here’s the current page on the SkyMuster thread
https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2532430&p=44&#r868

This is the SkyMuster thread
https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2509692&p=31&#r611

This is the SkyMesh customer thread
https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2537522&p=36

There’s a few more incidentals I could comment on, but this is enough for my introductory post.

I have been on Satellite Broadband with SkyMesh since 2009, with an upgrade to NBNCo in 2013 then a further upgrade to SkyMuster only last week.

We have found both the prices and service to be excellent and have never had any issues. We only lose access in the most severe of cloud cover and that might be only once or twice a year which is only momentary and restores quickly.

I would recommend SkyMesh, although I have nothing to compare them with as we have never felt the need to change.

Hope this helps & Good Luck.

I didn’t think you had to pay at Libraries. My Library gives you 3hrs every day for no charge, as does all the Libraries around here (Mornington Peninsula)
Check with your council.

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Councils can charge what they like. I am a rate payer in two shires - one gives me free WiFi access for 2 days either on my device or their old computers, the other charges $2 per 30 min block - so not available before 9am or over the lunch hour or after 4pm. They also charge to access services like Lynda, Ancestry etc.

I have registered with Skymesh, after looking at everything I could, and considering that plans only lock you in for 30 days, I can change to another provider if it does not work out. I understand that the wait for connection will be long as we are outside the priority groups. Will come back with a timeframe when known. At this stage it may be months.

I’ve booked in with ANT for NBN satellite, and was advised it would take 6 weeks before the dish could be installed, that was 6 weeks ago today, but I haven’t heard from them re booking a time to do the installation as yet.
It’s a month by month service, so if it isn’t an improvement on the rubbish Optus wireless broadband we have now, we’ll try someone else. I’ll post about my experiences.

We ditched our noisy (and useless for internet) landline years ago, and rely on mobiles now, although reception is very patchy here 30km out of Tamworth. We have plenty of call dropouts, late delivery of SMSs and “no service” periods, so it isn’t what I’d call a great service with Optus, but it is an improvement over what we suffered through with Telstra.

To see what existing customers think, see ProductReview. While individual reviews can be misleading, I find the star-ratings and graphs pretty reliable (provided there’s a critical mass of reviews - say a couple of dozen).

For what it’s worth, I’m with Skymesh. I recommend them over others that I’ve tried. Good service and they don’t try to sell you what they can’t deliver.

Oops didn’t realise I’d already posted.

It is now 10 weeks since I applied for the NBN satellite connection, with a promised 6 week wait… today I received an email from ‘Hills Installation Team’ telling me my NBN installation is scheduled for 27th October, another 2 months of waiting!
I’ve emailed them asking if an earlier date is possible, this dodgy Optus wireless “broadband” seems to be deteriorating even more, it is often taking minutes for pages with lots of images to load, which is very frustrating.

For an insight into what others are going through, see the Better Internet for Rural, Regional & Remote Australia Facebook group. It’s quite sad.

We are now on the SkyMuster NBN satellite service. Timeline - Signed up with Skymesh 17July, 19 days later Skymesh confirmed we were “eligible”, 4 days later NBN installers Skybridge rang with a time & date in 16 days time, day before they re-confirmed. The Installer arrived when they said they would and finished that day. Service was live an hour later. Unfortunately for others they had cancelled several installs before us due to rain. After a hiccup where I couldn’t remember my password (help request by email took 11 days for a response) and going away for days, we have finally used the satellite. Ookla Speed Test confirms that we are receiving the download speed advertised, but the upload is a little slower.

As a consumer there were a few things - the booklet that the NBN provides with their equipment isn’t very helpful. Page 11 describes the indicator lights - there are 9 states - but under the column ‘Action’ there are only ? (question marks). For example “Pulsing White” - Attempted network entry - Action ? We’ve had the rainbow - white, orange and blue. The service drops out and won’t reconnect and sometimes goes orange (sleep mode) in the middle of surfing. A bit frightening as our phone will be going over to this soon.

The Skymesh site’s FAQ has not been updated to cover the new SkyMuster satellite (only information on the interim services), there is no “password reset” option, but it does give you seemingly unlimited password attempts. We signed up for the lowest speed which is 280 times faster than our landline ADSL and looked at sites we couldn’t get before, like realestate.com.au and viewed a Youtube video. The user base MySkymesh is the best I have seen for showing data usage - by hour, by day, month and graphically to show the % of data used in both categories and the % of time elapsed. The downside is that half the data is for use between 2am and 7am, as the satellite serves only Australia, so can’t even up the demand with the other side of the world. We are also subject to the Govt “Fair Use” policy which restricts the amount of data we are allowed to use.

Well today was the big day- I’m now on NBN satellite :slight_smile: Just in time to cancel the Optus wireless “broadband”, which rolls over to a new month tomorrow. The installer arrived only about half an hour later than advised by phone earlier in the day, not too bad I guess, considering many other people’s experiences and how far out of town we are. I’d prepared things a bit with a wall outlet ready to go and draw wire in the wall, and jumped up into the roof cavity myself to feed the cable down, and up to the dish, to save a bit of time.
My new wireless router didn’t turn up from ANT, so I’m using an old one from the box of computer stuff, which appears to be working just fine.

Testing on speedtest.net, download speed has been as advertised, 20-25Mbps, upload has been 1-4Mbps, but ping is a pretty dreadful 638ms (consistent over 3 tests), and is no doubt related to the satellite being so far away.

I tried to watch a youtube video, but there were a lot of pauses for buffering, and blurry images for the first 30 sec (just as it was with Optus!), but it improved to be clear and smooth after that, for the remaining 30 sec I watched.

We have some rain and storms forecast over the next few days, so I’ll discover how badly rain affects the signal pretty soon.

This topic has been dormant for 5 years and superseded by

that remains active and current in 2022 for ongoing discussion.

This topic is thus closed.

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