NBN Sky Muster satellite

Just lie back, open your wallet, and think of Elon Musk?

If nothing else his system will set a cost bar (assuming it is reliable and meets high speed needs). One that more earth bound alternatives can be compared against.


Sadly, painting them black made little difference, I think next step was to add sun shades.
Another 60 or so went up a few days ago, and another lot to go up in 2 days, well over 2000 of them up there now, destroying many astronomical images! They are millions of times brighter than the usual targets of large telescopes. I’ve seen images with many dozens of streaks across them, ruining images that astronomers may have taken months of planning to get.

However, I understand the plan is to have something like 60000 of them up there eventually, plus a couple of other companies are planning similar massive satellite deployments for internet.

I saw a pricing plan of $US140/month… ouch!


Excuse some cynicism. And grumbles.
Perhaps as part of E. Musk’s master plan us earthlings are being encouraged to move into space?

There’s clearly a lack of regulation of what gets put up there. Is there a human right to an environmentally pure night sky?

We can’t all go around mindlessly building mobile phone towers, despite what some say. However the zone of gravitational influence of the earth above each nation is free for the taking. Air space has been agreed. Orbital space is there for who ever has the dollars. Or so it would seem?

As far as reliable internet in remote locations, it appears a solution that has not been well thought out, beyond the opportunity to enrich one person, at great expense to the environment. IE Musk never asked for my permission to screw around with the night sky, so who did he ask, and who said they could?

On a lighter side that might be simpler to respond to. Will the changes in heavenly appearance decrease the accuracy of my weekly horoscope?


Not if the gravitational influence of each and every satellite is taken into account! You should demand that for your next reading :wink:


Not cheap, but if needs must. Performance will no doubt degrade as demand increases.


The fantastic episode of Landline on ABC TV today had an article regarding a person dramatically improving internet services in remote areas of NW Qld.

The son of a grazier studied electronics at uni and returned to the family property and he set up their own internet with a 46km microwave link to Richmond, and then also connected other properties.

His business now services many properties as well as the Richmond and Cloncurry Councils and he has received a large Federal Government grant to expand the business.

Well worth watching on ABC iView if you missed it.

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Not a surprise. It’s how Telstra and it’s predecessors including the PMG delivered telephone to rural and remote locations. The one difference was the lack of data capability.

As the NBN rollout commenced Telstra had multiple microwave networks in regional areas with data capability. Not as capable as fibre, but high bandwidth. It’s neither new or technically difficult. Even the NBN uses microwaves to link its Fixed Wireless towers. With typically 400 or more customers on a common link the service struggles.

Using the same base technology in a more focussed network, and with fewer customers sharing capacity, it can only be better. Before the NBN came to our part of the Sunshine Coast there was at least one alternate internet service provider offering dedicated microwave links for home services.

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Most by small providers are not Microwave but Wireless eg Ubiquiti, Extreme, Juniper and Aruba. Easy to create Wireless Networks including Wireless WAANs for a number of properties in an area. Some now into gigabit plus speeds.

The following design map may help those who are caught by NBN Co inabilities to provide a decent service in their area.


In the search box on the top right corner of the site type in your area eg Tamworth and you can scroll out to increase the area displayed. Put your points where you want hardware, select hardware and increase and decrease tower heights to get best coverage and design away to your heart’s content.


Years later Skymuster remains musty and a fail.

Next step? Outsourcing it to Starlink seems the only [practcal] alternative. However our ‘leaders’ have routinely surprised us with half steps, quarter steps, and unimaginably badly advised steps so our sat users might have a few more chapters of pain before anything useful occurs.


Supposedly Musk’s product StarLink has signed up 120,000 Aussie customers.

There are no stats to know how many were customers who have left the NBN Satellite and Fixed Wireless services. There will be other Aussie customers for StarLink who had not taken up any of the NBN options and were waiting for the better alternative.

The NBN now has just 94,000 customers on its 2 satellites. It’s moved 24,000 Sat customers to FW. How long will they stay there. Possibly only those on a tight budget and with lesser demands than the average internet connected home.

There’s no mention of any additional cost pressures this could create for the NBN Co’s bottom line. The customers most likely to have been lost to StarLink are premium users looking for reliability, higher speeds and greater data volumes. The potential is to further increase the cost of the charge on NBN fixed line customers who collectively subsidise the delivery of the NBN to the 0.5M customers on Satellite and Fixed Wireless. Poor value for all given the services delivered are significantly less capable.


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: NBN fixed wireless

Moved to further discussion specific to the performance of NBN Fixed Wireless services.

The advent of LEO systems like Starlink has rendered geosynchronous systems like Skymuster somewhat outdated.
Limited upload speeds and higher latency are bad points.

Given that the Skymuster satellites cost a billion dollars each to build and launch, it seems improbable that they would be replaced when they reach end of life in less than ten years time if there are few users still using the system as most have moved over to LEO systems.

Skymuster may be relatively cheap now, but if the users had to pay for the multi-billion replacement cost, it would be far more expensive than the LEO systems that by then would be well established and up to full capacity.

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I have recently moved from NBN satellite to StarLink. The thread I started has been closed, but here is my experience. It’s not all people wanting massive speed & data.

SkyMuster was going slower & slower. Replaced NBN router, WiFi modem several times with no improvement. Used to be on off-net ADSL (Telstra said our line wasn’t good enough for ADSL) with woeful speed. SkyMuster was an improvement as we could now see most websites. No mobile where we were. Then it degraded to being unable to get some photos on ABC News, audio only on Zoom, couldn’t run videos on courses I signed up for. The speed was much less than our Plan, we used about half our data each month.

Friends & neighbours went to StarLink and recommended it. We bought the hardware on a half price sale in December. The speed was amazing. The picture below is our desktop, the only device still connected to SkyMuster, on ethernet link, and StarLink with all our other devices.

StarLink set-up was easy, although we did hoist it on a very tall pole to get unobstructed coverage. StarLink is $139/month, however it is an overseas transaction which attracts a bank fee $4, compared with $50 for NBN Works out at $19.25/MB on SkyMuster Vs $0.75/MB on StarLink.

I tried to cancel my SkyMuster ISP. Their response was "New regulations have been added to the Telecommunications Act by The Australian Communications and Media Authority that identifies certain customer interactions as high-risk transactions. What you are requesting
to do is classed as a high-risk transaction and these new regulations require us to complete multi-factor authentication over the phone with a customer who is requesting certain changes. "
It took over a month to finally cancel my SkyMuster.

In the meantime NBN sent me 2 surveys on my SkyMuster experience. They propose using SkyMuster Plus for unlimited data and greater speed. I have asked repeatedly of my ISP if Plus will give me better speed, but they only say More Data. NBN have sent me info on their trial that shows some users of Plus are getting 75MB/s. StarLink speed might also degrade as user load increases and satellites age.


The universe is full of ‘Dark matter’.
Our NBN RSP’s are guided by the ACCC on how they represent the internet speeds available (realistic expectations) to their customers. The everyday consumer is required to channel all needs or complaints to the RSPs. Includes complaints about service speeds and faults. I know who I’d be more inclined to believe.

An aside:
For those living off the grid with their own water supply, the NBN satellite service (SkyMuster) is just like the water pipe coming from the dam or a tank on the hill. It can only supply water at a fixed rate. Likely a trickle at the house if there are lots of off-takes turned on along the way. The NBN Co is saying it is turning off some of the off-takes. IE transferring up to 20,000 satellite services to Fixed Wireless. Experience of long water pipes on farms is this may make little difference to how much gets to the end of the pipe.

The NBN Co is offering to open the house tap a little further (at a cost?) for those who would like to find out if it makes any difference. It seems a stretch to expect that it will make a worthwhile improvement to speeds at peak times. For some the uncapped data will appeal, time of night/day relevant.

Old news or late arriving looking to Jan 2021.

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