The satellite alternative for Australians wanting to connect to the National Broadband Network (NBN) now has a second satellite in orbit.
The Sky Muster II, satellite is the second of its kind sent into orbit to service the country’s rural and regional areas not covered by a fixed broadband network, Sky Muster services were originally launched on 29 May, 2016.
The second satellite was in initially slated for use as a dormant backup service but late last year the company responsible for building Australia’s national broadband network, nbn, decided to repurpose the satellite to one which shares the load with the original Sky Muster.
In doing so the company said it was able to double the capacity available and "opened the door to greater data allowances than the original design allowed for."
nbn chief customer officer, John Simon, made the announcement saying it marked a significant milestone for nbn and rounds out the deployment phase of our satellite program.
“In 2015, we made the decision to re-purpose the now operational Sky Muster II, which had previously been intended to provide redundancy capacity only - that is, not to provide live services, not initially at least,” he said.
“By bringing on board active services from the start and actively sharing the load between both Sky Muster satellites, we’ve been able to double the capacity available to Australians connecting to a retail service via the nbn satellites. This allowed us to bump up the data allowances in the Fair Use Policy, above what the original design allowed for.”
The Sky Muster project has had its fair share of issues with launch delays and software problems hampering the project, but nbn warned that the satellite coverage rollout would not be a simple process.
"This is an enormous project and we are doing our best to deliver the nbn Sky Muster service as fast as we can, but reaching all corners of the country will take some time,” nbn satellite architect, Julia Dickinson, said in July 2016.
Simon addressed these issues, saying that 147 network fixes and optimisation changes had been made since September 2016 to address the Sky Muster network implementation issues.
“This has seen the weekly incident rate fall by 91 per cent (as of April this year) from September last year, delivering stability and operating performance consistent with a quality network,” he added.
“We have also overhauled the installation process which is now a strength. This has all resulted in positive feedback from our retail partners and a steady increase in our overall end user satisfaction measures since December last year.”