Increased uptake of NBN Co's new Sky Muster satellite service could take the pressure off the congested mobile broadband network in regional areas.
Speaking at the Sky Muster Plus product launch, held in Dubbo this week, Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said while the satellite service was extremely important to regional rural areas it was still underutilised.
"There is still capacity, there is still a lot of people eligible for the NBN satellite service that haven't taken it up," he said.
Mr Coulton said he encouraged people in eligible areas to connect to the satellite service, particularly as it would reduce pressure on the mobile phone broadband network.
"You will find that if you are using the satellite to transmit data to your household services, your phone network will have much more capacity," he said.
A lot of people are sourcing data products through the phone network which is impacting on that capacity- Mark Coulton
"A lot of people are sourcing data products through the phone network which is impacting on that capacity."
Mr Coulton said he used Sky Muster at his own home and felt the new Sky Muster Plus product would be very relevant to people from his electorate.
"From people on remote stations doing school of the air to acquiring medical advice and services, this new product will certainly give greater advantages and greater peace of mind that those services that people find essential will be available," he said.
Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher said competition from non-NBN solutions, such as mobile broadband, was a good thing for customers.
"Competition is a very good thing, so it is a very good thing that Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone are continuing to expand their mobile networks and continuing to offer people choices in relation to mobile broadband as well as mobile voice," he said.
NBN Co CEO Steven Rue said even under a significant increase in the uptake of Sky Muster NBN there would be no increase in congestion across the satellite network.
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