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NBN to give out unmetered data for 'essential' online activities

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NBN Co has announced that customers with satellite connections could receive unmetered data for "essential" online activities.

The wholesaler on Monday launched its new satellite product Sky Muster Plus to retailers, with the big attraction that the following would not count against monthly data limits:

  • "Static" web browsing (including online banking)

  • "Static" social media

  • Email

  • Computer and smartphone system updates

Everything else, including video and audio streaming, will still eat up the customer's monthly data allowance.

Australians on satellite, as the most expensive method of delivering the NBN, has always faced higher costs for their internet plans, all with monthly data limits.

Customers in more built-up areas that don't have to rely on satellite have access to unlimited data plans.

Trials of the Sky Muster Plus product showed one-third of all the data used last month was unmetered, according to NBN chief executive Stephen Rue.

"This not only frees up more data for metered activities such as video streaming or accessing cloud storage but will also provide comfort to customers who can continue to access essential internet services such as online banking any time," he said.

"We know this is particularly important for small businesses, which are critical to local communities."

Isolated Children's Parents' Association's Queensland vice president, Louise Martin, saw during the trial the effect of unmetered data on rural families and businesses.

"We often have five teenagers at home over the holidays which means we use more data than usual. It’s comforting to know I can continue running our business without any interruptions, even if we use up our metered data."

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