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Rural And Regional Communities To Get NBN Data Boost

As the demand for internet capacity and data increases in the wake of coronavirus, the NBN is offering retail service providers new measures to help support rural and regional Australians.

From March 31, NBN will allow retail service providers (RSP) to increase the data download limit for Sky Muster customers by 45GB at no extra cost for three months.

“For an RSP’s standard NBN Sky Muster services, NBN is increasing average wholesale download limits to 90GB of data on average depending on the services that the RSP has ordered from NBN,” it said in a statement on Monday.

Travis Johnson

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From April 1, an increased range of applications that do not count towards monthly data limits will also be added for customers on Sky Muster Plus services.

Social media apps Skype and FaceTime will now join a list of unmetered activities on Sky Muster Plus, which already includes web browsing, email and operating system updates. Video streaming and traffic via a VPN will still be metered.

The measures come after NBN’s recent announcement of a capacity boost across the NBN for three months to help with the greater data demand due to the coronavirus.

Gavin Williams, NBN Co. Chief Development Officer, said the provider expects a higher number of people in regional and remote communities across Australia to work from home and more children to be remotely school.

“We have decided to take this action to provide additional support for that expected increase in daytime usage, expected to increase due to increased activity on the network,” he said.

“NBN will continue to closely monitor data usage together with internet retailers, and will seek to implement any additional measures required where available including monitoring of the peak times, to support customers during these uncertain times.”

NBN is increasing data for rural and regional Australia as more people log on for school or work from home. Image: Getty

The move has been welcomed by Kristy Sparrow, founder of Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR).

“We encourage retailers to pass the data allowance on in full to their customers,” she said.

“BIRRR urges all users to review their current plan and ensure that it meets their needs at this time, both for data, speed and customer service.”