Labor welcomes today’s successful launch of Labor’s Sky Muster II NBN satellite.

It’s the second of Labor’s purpose-built NBN satellites opposed by Malcom Turnbull, but which he now welcomes as a “game changer” to bridge the digital divide between metropolitan Australia and rural and remote Australia.


Some of Mr Turnbull’s classic hits of duplicity include:


“Satellite Deal - More Wasteful NBN Spending - There is enough capacity on private satellites already in orbit or scheduled for launch for the NBN to deliver broadband to the 200,000 or so premises in remote Australia without building its own”.

Media release, 8 February 2012


“Now the satellite industry, which is a large one, has told us and told anyone else who cares to listen, that there is more than enough capacity on existing satellites. That’s existing satellites available for lease and satellites that are scheduled to be launched already to provide broadband services to the several hundred thousand customers in rural and remote Australia that these satellites of the NBN are going to service”.

Doorstop, 8 February 2012


And in a classic display of all his assumptions being proven wrong in his second-rate NBN, the satellite provider which Mr Turnbull spruiked as being ripe for leasing capacity from actually went bankrupt:


“There are Australian companies, there’s one Australian company in particular NewSat…they’re presumably pretty capable at what they’re doing. Anyway, they’ve been brushed, they don’t get a look in here. There’s no need for the NBN to own this infrastructure itself...”

Doorstop, 8 February 2012


As if that wasn’t bad enough, there are now more reports of Mr Turnbull stuffing up the installation process for Labor’s NBN satellite services.  In addition the backlog of tens of thousands of rural and remote customers waiting for installations, there are more cases coming to light of Sky Muster services being “riddled with problems” including poor connections, drop outs, a highly restrictive fair use policy, and customers unable to use their allocated data because it is only available when they are asleep.


Retail providers of satellite services are hamstrung and consumers don’t know where to turn.  I have had rural and remote small business owners tell me they are considering moving because they believe the new service being delivered is so unreliable.


Unlike Mr Turnbull, Labor looked to the future needs of Australians living outside our capital cities when it provisioned these NBN satellites.  It’s just a pity that now he’s a convert, Mr Turnbull is stuffing up the service like he’s doing with the rest of the NBN.