NBN Co clarifies larger Satellite downloads come from extra spending

NBN Co has clarified, in a response to questions raised by CommsDay ($$$) following my blog post, that the 2nd SkyMuster satellite was not originally intended as a “dormant backup” as per the original NBN Co press release.

Source : CommsDay 12 July 2017

Source : NBN Co

According to CommsDay the NBN Co spokesperson said :

“NBN had planned to adopt a one-to-one load balancing between the two satellites in terms of offering redundancy although the second satellite capability would have also provided some extra capacity in some of the more heavily utilised spot beams. However, in December 2015 we were able to modify our plans to invest around $300 million to extend the fixed wireless and fixed broadband networks, which enabled us to reduce the number of premises to be served in the more heavily populated Sky Muster spot beams.” (Emphasis added)

“This in turn allowed NBN to use our second satellite to primarily deliver additional capacity rather than redundancy and NBN was able to launch commercial Sky Muster services in April 2016 with a fair usage policy that enabled 30GB/month average peak downloads for end-users. With over a year of operations under our belt and some key optimisation processes in place NBN has now been able to further increase the overall capacity available on the Sky Muster platform which has in turn allowed us to increase average peak downloads for end users to 45GB/month,” the company explained.

UPDATE : You can now access the full CommsDay article which has been released on Twitter :

So, based on these statements from NBN Co, the recent increase in average peak downloads from 30GB/month to 45GB/month was primarily as a result of an extra investment of $300 million in the fixed wireless and fixed broadband networks. This has enabled some users to be moved from the satellite footprint to the fixed wireless or fixed broadband footprint.

This contrasts with the original reported comments of Bill Morrow in May 2016 where he said, “It doesn’t make much sense to have a $200-to- $300 million insurance policy up in the sky. So we have repurposed it for capacity.”

In short, the extra capacity is from NBN Co spending more ($300million) rather than the “repurposing” of an under-utilised resource (i.e. the 2nd satellite) costing at least $300 million.

All we need now is for NBN Co to make sure the politicians get this message as well and we don’t have a continuation of the following misleading comments :

Source : Press interview by Minister for Local Government and Territories, Fiona Nash on 10 July 2017 Courtesy : Seven Network