NBN Satellite Services Speeding Up

Following testing, NBN Co has increased the maximum download and upload speeds that will apply to customers who connect using its fixed wireless and satellite services. When those services roll out in 2015, they will have a maximum download speed of 25Mbps and upload speed of 5Mbps, up from the previously planned limits of 12Mbps down/1Mbps up.

Satellite picture from Shutterstock

Communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy announced the changes in an interview on ABC Radio this morning. Remember: satellite and fixed wireless will only be used in areas where it isn't economical to connect fibre, which is estimated to be around 7 per cent of the population.

NBN Co already offers an interim satellite service for remote consumers, for use ahead of the planned 2015 deployment of the full service. That only runs at 512Kbps/128Kbps, and typically only has a 3GB data allowance each month. Despite that, it has proven popular; right now, more people are connected to the temporary satellite service than to fibre connections, according to published NBN takeup figures. NBN Co is predicting that this will have changed by mid-year.

The enhanced speed means that the satellite and wireless service matches the cheapest speed available on the NBN fibre networks. So far, higher speed connections have (unsurprisingly) proven more popular in areas where fibre is available. (Check our NBN Planhacker for comprehensive details of all the plans available.)

AM transcript


    So satellite is going to be faster than the fixed wireless?

      The article says satellite AND fixed wireless speeds have increased.

    The disappointing thing is that NBN Co has decided that if you can get nextg in your area then you can't sign on even though their satellite service can be faster, cheaper and offer more data then nextg in some areas of Australia.

      Only under the Interim satellite plan but that will change.
      Details: http://nbnco.com.au/rollout/about-the-nbn/fibre-wireless-satellite.html

    just a quick correction, the current service (which i'm on) is around 6Mbps down and 1Mbps Up and I have a 20GB plan

    My experience is a bit out of date here. But the last time I was on a satellite service, about 7 years ago, it was completely useless for online gaming. The pings were just through the roof. It was fast to download and upload stuff when it got going, but hopeless for anything requiring decent pings.

    Has this changed in the last 7 years? I'm in one of the areas that is only getting satellite NBN, but I currently have decent ADSL.

      The satellites used are geo stationary satellites. They're 36,000km above the earth and its roughly a 600ms trip one way.

    Two words: Contention Ratio.

    Because satellite services are so expensive compared to terrestrial solution, they're (almost) always over subscribed. NBN co simply couldn't afford to have satellites with 25mbps sitting empty for every user. So users will be sharing bandwidth.

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