Sky Muster standard vs Sky Muster Plus

nbn™ Sky Muster™ has two different plan types – standard plans, and Plus plans.  With nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus plans, only streaming video and Virtual Private Network (VPN) data is counted (“metered”) in usage totals; everything else is unlimited (“unmetered”).

nbn estimates that 70% of the data you use will be unmetered on a Sky Muster Plus plan. This means you won’t need a plan with the same data allowance as a normal plan. Not all nbn™ Sky Muster™ providers offer Plus plans.

This page provides detail on the differences between the two plan types, so you can make an informed decision on whether to move from your standard nbn™ Sky Muster™ plan to an nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus plan.

What is metering?

Skymuster Satellite

  • “Metered” content counts toward your included monthly data quota.
  • “Unmetered” content does not count against your monthly included data. You can use your internet connection freely for unmetered activities, without being slowed down.
  • “Shaped” data is what happens when you’ve used all your metered data for the month. If you are shaped, your connection will be slowed down to very basic speeds.

nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus only charges you for “metered” data.

On standard nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite plans, all activities (peak and off-peak) are metered, and use your plan’s data allowance. If you run out of data, you may be shaped – slowed down – unless you can top up your plan with a “data block”. Not all providers offer data blocks.

On nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus plans, you use the monthly metered data allowance for video streaming and virtual private network (VPN) traffic only. Everything else is unmetered and does not count towards your plan’s data allowance.

Unmetered data never slows down, even when you use all your metered allowance.

Metered data, however, will be shaped if you use up your monthly allocation.

See the table below for an idea of what data is metered, unmetered, or shaped, under a Sky Muster™ Plus plan.

Based on the average user, nbn estimates that approximately 70% of data usage will be unmetered on a plus plan. However, this can vary depending on how your household or business uses the internet.

This list is not comprehensive and is subject to change. Accurate as of 1 February 2021.

What’s metered, and what’s not?

nbn updates its examples of metered and unmetered data regularly on its website.

This list is not comprehensive and is subject to change. Accurate as at 1 April 2020.

Platform What is unmetered?
Data that DOESN’T count toward your monthly data usage
What is metered?
Data that DOES count toward your monthly data usage
Social Media Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and video streaming on these platforms Tik Tok
Video Conferencing Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, Messenger, GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, Microsoft Teams, Google Duo, Viber, Google Hangouts, Line, Tango, MyVMR & other applications that support collaboration
Cloud Programs * Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, cloud accounting programs, Canva, icloud etc
Emails Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, Hotmail, Outlook Express etc
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) None All traffic using a VPN is metered
Video Streaming Embedded video streaming on social media sites that support social connectedness. Netflix, Stan, You Tube, Foxtel, Itunes Movie downloads, BigPond Movies, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, PlayOn, SBS Online, Google Play video, ABC iView, Video embedded on news/magazine sites etc
Gaming * Software Updates, console updates (xbox, playstation, switch etc), most online gaming platforms e.g. minecraft, Google Stadia
Voice Wi-Fi Calling, VOiP, Messenger voice calls, Skype voice
Audio Streaming Spotify, iTunes music, Audible, Amazon Music, Google Play music
Software/Application Updates * App updates, phone & computer updates, software downloads e.g. Microsoft office
Education Reading Eggs, Mathletics, Blackboard, Moodle, Study Ladder, Turnitin, ClickView etc YouTube
Web browsing All other web traffic, not listed is unmetered e.g. retail sites, weather, netbanking
Apps All app downloads & updates from Google Play or Apple Store

*Peer to peer traffic, uploads and downloads to cloud storage platforms (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive), computer and smartphone operating systems updates, software updates, gaming updates and activity related to applications which nbn cannot identify may be shaped between 4pm –11 pm to wholesale speeds of 256 Kbps.

About Virtual Private Networks – VPNs

It is possible for people to steal the data transmitted over your internet connection, stealing details such as credit card details and personal information.

That’s why shopping website addresses start with “https” (the “s” stands for “secure”), and have the lock on them. . The website sets up a temporary very secure connection between you and that website, so you can safely transfer financial and personal information.

A Virtual Private Network sets up a very secure “encrypted” connection for your entire internet connection. Regardless of what you’re connecting to, people can’t see – and therefore steal – your data.

This very secure network can slow down your internet experience, because every piece of data over the connection is firstly encrypted, checked, and sent to the other side, where it has to be unencrypted. VPN connections can be tricky over a satellite internet service, due to the high latency – the delay – of the service.

VPNs are very common when connecting into a workplace. It means you can access the company’s private information, software, and other services, so you can work as if you were sitting in front of a computer in the office – but instead you’re on the move, or at home.

However, anyone can get and use a VPN to secure your internet connection at any time. Some are free, some will cost money.

It also means nbn can’t see what sort of data you’re transferring, so it doesn’t know if it should be metered or unmetered content.

This means that, all VPN data is metered.

Benefits and restrictions

Benefits Restrictions
Unmetered data doesn’t count towards your “metered” plan. It is effectively “unlimited”.

nbn estimate that, on average, 70% of usage will be unmetered on Sky Muster™ Plus.

Sky Muster™ Plus plans cost more than normal plans, due to the added benefits of potential speed bursts and unlimited unmetered data.
Sky Muster™ Plus plans have the ability to speed burst (subject to network availability). During the 2019 trial, speed test results averaged 43Mbps download and 12Mbps upload and sometimes exceeded 50Mbps.

The official speed plan offered on Sky Muster™ Plus is 25/5Mbps.

Sky Muster™ Plus is not currently available for education port plans.

 

On Sky Muster™ Plus, if you run out of metered data, only the metered data will be slowed or shaped.

Your unmetered data is not slowed or shaped; you will be able to access all unmetered sites at normal speed, such as social media, email, weather, and banking.

Some limitations on unmetered content include:

●        No excessive automated downloads.

●        No routine emails larger than 20Mb

●        Only 20 devices per calendar month can receive software updates.

●        Software updates MAY in the future be speed restricted between 6pm and 11pm, but will still be unmetered.

If your metered allowance is exceeded, you will be slowed to 512/256Kbps (during peak hours) and 2048/512Kbps (during off-peak hours) for metered data only.

Note: standard Sky Muster™ plan shaping speeds are 128/128 Kbps.

Data blocks are available with some providers on Sky Muster™ Plus plans.
Plan changes may be possible, depending on your service provider. Where available, they will take effect at the beginning of your billing cycle.

You may be able to swap plans between Sky Muster™ Plus and standard Sky Muster™ plans; again, however, this is dependent on your individual provider.

No more than 30Gb in excess of peak metered data and no more than 30Gb in excess of off-peak metered data allowance per month.

 

You can not upgrade your plus plan mid billing cycle.

  • nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus is OPTIONAL – you do not have to upgrade.
  • Standard nbn™ Sky Muster™ plans are still available from providers (see the BIRRR Standard Plan comparison).
  • nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus is available on the 25/5Mbps speed tier, but does have the ability to “burst” at higher speeds, subject to network availability.
  • If you are currently on a standard nbn™ Sky Muster™ plan, you will need to place a new order for an nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus plan to make the switch, it is not automatic. Most providers require you to make a phone call to change to plus.
  • You may have several hours of downtime, where the internet isn’t available at all, while your new plan is being applied.
  • Plus plans currently reset on the 1st of each month.
  • You may have the ability to top-up your metered data if you run out; check with your service provider as not all providers offer metered data blocks.
  • The nbn™ Fair Use Policies apply to Sky Muster™ Plus connections, to ensure the satellite capacity is balanced between all satellite customers.

If you already have a nbn™ Sky Muster™ connection, you don’t need any additional or new equipment.

What’s the price difference?

BIRRR Sky Muster Plus Price Comparison. Last updated 01/08/20
COMPANY PEAK Gb
7.00am-1.00am
OFF-PEAK Gb
1.00am-7.00am
TOTAL Gb Cost $/GB
metered data
Minimum contract length (months)
Activ8 25 25 50 $59.95  $    1.20 1
50 50 100 $69.95  $    0.70 1
75 75 150 $99.95  $    0.67 1
100 100 200 $134.95  $    0.67 1
125 125 250 $169.95  $    0.68 1
150 150 300 $199.95  $    0.67 1
ANT 25 25 50 $59.95  $    1.20 1
50 50 100 $69.95  $    0.70 1
100 100 200 $109.95  $    0.55 1
150 150 300 $159.95  $    0.53 1
Clear
Broadband
25 25 50 $59.00  $    1.18 1
50 50 100 $74.00  $    0.74 1
100 100 200 $134.00  $    0.67 1
150 150 300 $189.00  $    0.63 1
HarbourISP 25 25 50 $60.00  $    1.20 1
50 50 100 $70.00  $    0.70 1
100 100 200 $125.00  $    0.63 1
150 150 300 $190.00  $    0.63 1
IPSTAR* 25 25 50 $50.00  $    1.00 24
50 50 100 $65.00  $    0.65 24
75 75 150 $95.00  $    0.63 24
100 100 200 $120.00  $    0.60 24
150 150 300 $175.00  $    0.58 24
Reachnet* 50 50 100 $65.00  $    0.65 12
100 100 200 $130.00  $    0.65 12
150 150 300 $185.00  $    0.62 12
SkyMesh 25 25 50 $69.95  $    1.40 1
50 50 100 $74.95  $    0.75 1
70 70 140 $99.95  $    0.71 1
100 100 200 $139.95  $    0.70 1
125 125 250 $174.95  $    0.70 1
150 150 300 $199.95  $    0.67 1
Southern
Phone
25 25 50 $55.00  $    1.10 1
50 50 100 $70.00  $    0.70 1
100 100 200 $130.00  $    0.65 1
150 150 300 $190.00  $    0.63 1
Yellow indicates good value plans with metered data cost of under 70 cents/GB & not contracted. Some providers will plan match a competitor’s price, if asked.
Customers should review the RSP’s Critical Information Summaries or CIS.
The CIS was mandated by the ACCC to make it easy for customers to compare ISPs’ offerings. Don’t make a decision on price alone.
*IPSTAR & REACHNET also have non-contracted prices for Plus plans.
Please contact these providers directly to get a non-contract plan

Who offers nbn™ Sky Muster™?

There are 11 service providers that supply nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite services. As at January 2021, 8 providers have nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus plans.

  Link to Sky Muster plans Link to Sky Muster Plus plans
Activ8Me Sky Muster plans Sky Muster Plus plans
ANT Communications
Sky Muster plans Sky Muster Plus plans
Bordernet Sky Muster plans Does not have plus plans
Clear Networks Sky Muster plans Sky Muster Plus plans
Harbour IT Sky Muster plans Sky Muster Plus plans
iiNet Sky Muster plans Does not have plus plans
IPSTAR Sky Muster plans Sky Muster Plus plans
Reachnet Sky Muster plans Sky Muster Plus plans
SkyMesh Sky Muster plans Sky Muster Plus plans
Southern Phone Does not have normal plans Sky Muster Plus plans
Westnet Sky Muster plans Does not have plus plans