MEDIA RELEASE - Distance education will receive a broadband boost
studying in regional and remote Australia will soon have access to dedicated
broadband capacity – outside of their home broadband quota - and faster
download speeds on the nbn ‘Sky Muster’ satellite, Minister for Communications
Mitch Fifield announced today.
into space in October this year, the ‘Sky Muster’ satellite will help bridge
the digital divide for school children learning remotely and will also provide
high-capacity broadband service to more than 250,000 homes and businesses when
it begins transmitting in the first half of 2016.
studying via distance education in regional and remote areas of Australia have
been struggling with inadequate broadband services, putting them at a
disadvantage compared to their metropolitan counterparts,” Minister Fifield
of the Coalition Government’s goals for the nbn satellite broadband service is
to vastly improve access to distance education for young Australians, and as a
result, their education will be given an extra boost by increased download
capacity in addition to their home broadband quota.
children studying in regional and remote Australia access to additional
high-speed broadband for educational purposes allows them greater opportunities
to expand their knowledge and explore their creativity.
will transform educational access for the most isolated students and ensure the
Coalition Government’s $2 billion investment in satellite broadband is put to
its greatest possible use,” Minister Fifield said.
intends to propose a 50GB data allowance per student per month to a maximum of
three students per location, with eligibility to be confirmed with relevant
year, the Government set nbn the task of developing a dedicated port for
education and other ‘public interest’ uses such as e-health that could deliver
content separately and not eat into monthly data allowances. The Coalition
Government also established a Distance Education Working Group
consisting of the Federal Department of Communications and Department of
Education, executives from nbn’s Satellite team and State and Territory
each State and Territory Government provides distance education services and
funding according to their own policy commitments, pricing and subsidy
arrangements for users will be a matter for States and Territories.
group was tasked with developing an nbn Long-Term Satellite Service (LTSS)
strategy allowing users access to distance education services on the LTSS
without impacting their home broadband quota.
current Interim Satellite Service (ISS) established by the former Labor
Government seriously under provisioned the ISS. Falling well short of the
intended delivery speeds to 250,000 households, the service only had capacity
to serve a fifth of that – 48,000 households – leaving frustrated customers
plagued by connectivity issues, dropouts and slow speeds, making access to
distance education services virtually impossible.
contrast, the high-capacity Sky Muster satellite is expected to cover more than
250,000 homes and businesses. The education port will be available at
commercial launch and nbn continues to advance plans for other innovations such
as multicasting and distributed caching.
Government has also directed nbn to develop similar products to assist remote
health delivery and support other vital community services.