Satellite NBN Guide – Do You Need it and How to Get it?

Updated 15th August 2019

If you’re living or working in a remote part of Australian, in a rural town or on farmland – or on nearby lands like Norfolk and Christmas Islands – getting access to reliable broadband at a decent speed has been next to impossible. If you’re that far off the beaten track that you don’t even have fixed-line telephone service to connect via ADSL then you need to look to the stars for your internet.

Australian Satellite NBN Guide

The NBN was created to give all Australians access to a decent broadband connection, and a key element of that was satellite internet. Two separate satellites were launched in 2015 and 2016 with the sole purpose of delivering the NBN across Australia to anyone who needs it. Primarily for those in remote or rural areas of Australia. We are a massive country after all.

It may seem like an incredibly ambitious concept – the sheer cost of putting two satellites into orbit certainly didn’t make it cheap. But the original idea of the NBN – to bring fast broadband access to all Australians, no matter how remote – needed this satellite coverage to make sure nobody missed out just because of where they live.

The two satellites share a name thought up by school students that will benefit from them the most – “Sky Muster”.

What is Satellite Broadband?

The idea of connecting to a satellite for your broadband might seem weird – but technology has come a long way in recent years, and satellites are more capable than ever before. Foxtel’s satellite is sending pristine 4K video back to Earth 24 hours a day, a stream of data just like a broadband connection. There is one downside – because of the distance, satellite broadband operates with a fairly high built-in delay, known as “latency”. That means online activities that require near-real-time responses, such as online video games, aren’t ideal for this service. But for most stuff – everything from web browsing to streaming Netflix – satellite internet does the job incredibly well, even if you’re hundreds of kilometres from the nearest town.

How Do You Get Satellite NBN Connected?

Because the NBN’s satellite service is designed for regional and remote customers, you won’t find a huge amount of internet providers offering it as an option, since the majority of Australians tend to live in the major capital cities where connection options are aplenty. But one company that has spent a lot of effort on providing broadband and phone services to regional Australia is also the one that’s owned by the regional communities it serves – Southern Phone.

Get Great Value Broadband Plans with No Lock-In Contract!

Get connected today with Southern Phone broadband, offering a great range of NBN plans for all needs and budget. NBN plans start at only $50/mth and come with no lock-in contract.

Contact Southern Phone

To get set up with satellite NBN, all you need to do is get in touch with the Southern Phone team and have them check on whether it’s the best option for you. If you’re in a remote area, in most cases it will be – though many larger regional communities are served by fixed wireless connections instead, which runs from a dedicated land-based tower rather than satellite.

Get Installed

Once you apply for your connection, you’ll be given a date when an NBN technician will show up to install the necessary hardware. Even if you already have a satellite dish on your home or business, you’ll need a separate one for the NBN satellite service – it uses a newer, more advanced wavelength that existing satellite dishes cannot pick up.

The technician will install the dish either on the side or roof of your premises, and a special modem, known as an NTD inside. That’s the box you’ll connect to for your broadband.

The good news is, by the way, that there’s no charge for this rather expensive equipment. It remains the property of the NBN, but you won’t have to fork out the thousands of dollars it would otherwise have cost to buy it and have it installed.

What Satellite Plans Are Available?

With NBN satellite you get a choice between two speed tiers – NBN 12 and NBN 25. The lower speed is going to be perfectly fine for general internet usage – web browsing, email and so on. If you’re planning on streaming video or anything else media-related, though – or if multiple users will be on the connection – head straight for the faster NBN 25 speed. The price difference is minimal anyway. The top-end 300GB basic speed plan, for instance, is offered at $120/month while opting a speed boost will only increase your monthly plan fee to $125.

There are no unlimited-data plans on NBN satellite – that’s necessary to make sure it’s got enough capacity for all users. Instead, you can go for data limits ranging from 70GB to 300GB per month, with that limit split between peak (7 am to 1 am) and off-peak hours. So the 180GB plan, for example, will give you 60GB of peak data, and 120GB off-peak. With off-peak restricted to the small hours of the morning and a small six-hour window, most people will be best off picking a plan based on peak allowance, and in that respect, the lower-cost plans can represent great value.

If you’re planning on streaming HD video, though, be aware that once you go over your limit, you won’t get billed extra, but your connection will be slowed for the rest of the month to 128Kbps – that’s a glacially slow 0.1 Mbps!

What are the Standard NBN Options?

Since NBN continues to widen its reach throughout Australia, some of the country’s best broadband plans are worth noting. Providers like Mate, Barefoot, Aussie Broadband, Tangerine, Southern Phone offer unlimited NBN plans without breaking the bank. Barefoot and Mate both have unlimited NBN selections (starting from $59/month) to offer backed by their no lock-in contract and $0 setup fees appeal.

Southern Phone, apart from providing Satellite NBN, also stores competitive unlimited NBN plans from $60/month with no lock-in contract. Tangerine and Sumo’s offerings consist of unlimited plans with no minimum term at around the same price range. You can take advantage of some deals to get monthly discounts as well.

For hefty inclusions, you can count on Telstra to give you exactly that. Their NBN plans start from $70/month for 100GB and $90/month for unlimited data with no lock-in contract. Their unlimited data + streaming is also a solid option — it includes the new Telstra TV, the Smart Modem Gen 2, and $125 Telstra TV Box Office credit at $99/month on a 24-month contract.

NBN Broadband Plans

Unlimited Internet Plan
  • 10,000 Telstra Plus Bonus Points
  • First month free. New customers only
  • $99 connection fee waived when you buy online
  • Up to 40Mbps Standard Plus Evening
  • Unlimited Data
  • NBN 50™ Fixed Line
Min Cost - $2,259 if you stay connected for 24 mths (incl $99 connection fee)

nbn™ Unlimited Broadband Turbo
  • Up to 40Mbps Standard Plus Evening
  • Unlimited Data
  • NBN 50™ Fixed Line
Min Cost - $70

Unlimited Premium Month to Month
  • $5/mth discount for first 12 months. Ends 15.12.2019
  • Up to 80Mbps Premium Evening
  • Unlimited Data
  • NBN 100™ Fixed Line
$94.95 for first 12 months, $99.95 thereafter
Min Cost - $94.95 over 1 month

NBN Sky Muster - 200GB Sonic
  • Up to 20Mbps Standard Evening
  • 200GB Data
  • NBN 25™ Fixed Line
Min Cost - $54.95 per month

NBN Standard Plus Month to Month
  • $80 Free Mobile Credit
  • $0 Standard Activation
  • $60 Wi-Fi modem
  • Up to 40Mbps Standard Plus Evening
  • Unlimited Data
  • NBN 50™ Fixed Line
Min Cost - $130

Is Satellite Worth It Compared to Other NBN Options?

In general, if you have access to any other form of NBN, it’s likely to be faster than satellite and possibly cheaper as well. But then, NBN satellite isn’t meant to be a choice – rather, it’s a service that’s there for people that otherwise wouldn’t have access to broadband at all. And while it’s possible of some use in less remote areas – for those with heavily congested fixed wireless services, for example, or no other NBN options on the horizon – for most people, other methods of accessing the NBN will be preferable.

For those living in the far-flung corners of this vast continent, though, the NBN’s Sky Muster satellite service brings real, reliable broadband to you no matter where you are – and at an affordable price.


Related Offers

10,000 Telstra Plus Bonus Points
on the Premium Speed + Unlimited Data plan with Unlimited Data and a modem included.
No contract
40GB of off-peak data
on the nbn™ Sky Muster Satellite Basic Speed Plan (Small) plan with 70GB Data
No contract
$80 Free Mobile Credit
on the ADSL 100GB 12 Month Contract plan with 100GB Data and a modem included.
12mth contract
$80 Free Mobile Credit
on the NBN Standard Plus 12 Month Contract plan with Unlimited Data and a modem included.
12mth contract
RISK FREE 14 day trial
on the NBN UNLIMITED Plan - STANDARD SPEED plan with Unlimited Data
No contract
120GB of off-peak data
on the nbn™ Sky Muster Satellite Basic Speed Plan (Large) plan with 180GB Data
No contract
$5/mth discount for first 12 months. Ends 15.12.2019
on the Unlimited Premium Month to Month plan with Unlimited Data
No contract
Get a $200 e-Gift Card. Enter promo code XMASTREAT
on the Unlimited Premium 12 Months BYO plan with Unlimited Data
12mth contract