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Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) Federal Conference: Key Takeaways

ICPA logo - Isolated Children's Parents' Association Access to Education

Last week, SkyMesh attended the ICPA (Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association) Federal Conference in Adelaide.

Over the course of two days, ICPA delegates from all over Australia discussed key issues of concern including Distance Ed, Boarding, travel, government subsidies/ grants, mental health and access to communications.

We listened to the discussions and spoke to a number of parents, Industry Representatives and ICPA delegates.

Key takeaways

Plenty was discussed over the course of the two days. Here are the recurring themes, observations and key takeaways:

  • Some parents remained unclear about the differences between standard Sky Muster and Sky Muster Education services
  • Ambiguity around Sky Muster Education Port availability and eligibility persists among end-users
  • Service providers can do much more to provide clarity around service availability
  • The amazing lengths regional parents will go to in order to ensure their children receive the best education.

How are Sky Muster Education Services different?

There are a few subtle differences between Sky Muster and Sky Muster Educational plans.

  • nbn co provides a second, separate Sky Muster connection with a 50GB peak data allowance per eligible distance education student – up to a maximum of 150GB per School Room/premises.
  • Educational services are exempt from the standard nbn Fair Use Policy (which is a good thing) and can be run in conjunction with a standard residential Sky Muster service
  • Both services can be run on the same physical Sky Muster Satellite dish and nbn Satellite Modem, however, a second wireless router is required to operate the service (which we can supply or you’re welcome to source your own privately).

What is the eligibility criteria for a Sky Muster Education Service?

Since Education is handled at the State Government level in Australia, eligibility for Sky Muster Education Port services can often be ‘case to case’ and it’s difficult to obtain confirmed information online.

Additionally, other factors apply; including if the student is enrolled in a State Distance Ed Institution or Private; or if the Education Department in that state already has an agreement with a Service Provider for Distance Ed services.

To help keep this simple, here’s clarity around eligibility for Sky Muster Education Ports.


Enrolled InPolicy
QLD Distance Education Program Eligible
NSW Distance Education Program Generally, not eligible – NSW Ed are supplying services
NSW distance education*
VIC Distance Education Program Not eligible – VIC Ed supply services
VIC distance education contact*
TAS Distance Education Program Eligible
NT Distance Education Program Generally, not eligible – NT Ed are supplying services – please contact us if unable to obtain a service
NT distance education contact*
SA Distance Education Program Eligible
WA Distance Education Program Generally, not eligible – WA ed are supplying services where appropriate
WA distance education contact*
Home Education Eligible – Must be registered with State Education Department and also currently receive the AIC allowance

* Example distance education contact information provided. Other institutions exist.

SkyMesh Educational Plans

Here are our current educational plans:


Plan Anytime dataSpeedMonthly Fee
NBN - SA - ONE STUDENT50GB12/1 Mbps$44.95
NBN - SA - TWO -STUDENT100GB12/1 Mbps$54.95
NBN - SA - THREE -STUDENT150GB12/1 Mbps$74.95
NBN - SB - ONE -STUDENT50GB25/5 Mbps$49.95
NBN - SB - TWO -STUDENT100GB25/5 Mbps$59.95
NBN - SB - THREE -STUDENT150GB25/5 Mbps$79.95

How to order

If you reside in QLD, TAS, SA, or Home Education you can order via SkyMesh using your children’s student numbers when ready. If you live in a different state, please check your states policy using the above table and contact the relevant department.

What to do if you are experiencing difficulties ordering via your states educational department

As a Service Provider with a core focus on providing services to Rural, Remote & Isolated areas, we are always on hand to assist where possible.

If you are experiencing issues ordering a service, please contact us so we can submit an Education Port application on your behalf. We can then work with nbn to reach to the best possible outcome for yourself and your children.

In summary

Attending this years conference was great, we met some lovely people and it helped us refocus on what’s required in order to support regional families looking to give their children the best possible start in life.

“Sustain our Future, Invest in our Children” was the theme of this year’s ICPA Federal conference; truly a sentiment we can all stand behind.

Mitch eyles
Written by Mitch eyles

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