Joint with Stephen Jones MP, Shadow Minister for Regional Commmunications.
After pushing for improvements in data allowance for Australians living in regional and rural parts of the country, Labor welcomes NBN Co’s long-awaited announcement regarding Sky Muster today.
This new NBN satellite product is also the result of strong advocacy by regional groups like the Regional, Rural & Remote Communications Coalition that have been working for years to draw government attention to the frustrations of broadband users.
The new ‘Sky Muster Plus’ offering from NBNCo will allow users in rural and regional Australia to access essential services such as email and internet banking without having the usage count against their monthly allowance.
Previously, small businesses and households operating in regional and remote areas who have to use the Sky Muster system have had their data use rationed.
Today’s announcement goes some way towards addressing the limitations of the "Fair Use" policy, that restricted usage of customers who had no other option but to access internet through satellite.
While today’s announcement is welcomed, it is regrettable that more focus is not given to improving regional broadband by the Morrison Government. More needs to be done to assist small businesses which cannot afford interruptions to service.