Sky Muster™ Plus Launch Date Announced: Order Now

Sky Muster™ Plus was announced by nbn co last year and is currently being trialled by fifty SkyMesh customers, to help iron out any issues before nbn co’s planned commercial launch on the 9th August 2019.

If you’re a SkyMesh customer who opted-in to receive updates about Sky Muster™ Plus, you would have received an email regarding the trial period.

If you’ve participated in the trial period, thanks for helping test the upcoming service.

Sky Muster™ Plus Recap

Before we share what we’ve learned from the trial so far, here’s a recap on how Sky Muster™ Plus differs from Sky Muster™:

  • As you are using the service, nbn co checks your downloads and uploads (network traffic) to see if they fit one of three, special categories and whether or not that traffic should be speed limited (shaped).
    • If some of your traffic does fit one of the categories, it is called Unmetered Content and will not be counted against your data allowance.  It will also remain unshaped, even if you go over your data allowance for the month.
    • Any of your traffic that doesn’t fit is called Metered Content and will be counted against your data allowance.  It will also be shaped if you have gone over your your data allowance for the month.
    • If you go over your Peak Data Allowance, Metered Content will be shaped to 512/256 kbps during Peak Hours until the end of the calendar month. Likewise, if you go over your Off-Peak Data Allowance, Metered Content will be shaped to 2048/512 kbps during Off-Peak Hours.
    • The three categories includes email, basic web content and updates for some operating systems. Not all of your traffic will fit one of the categories though. The category for basic web content, for example, only fits text and images, not video, peer to peer, file-sharing or cloud storage content. VPN or other inscrutable traffic will always be categorised as Metered Content by nbn co.
  • Under certain conditions on the nbn™ network, your service may be able to burst above the speed limits that apply to even the fastest Sky Muster™ service.
  • nbn co has developed a new Fair Use Policy for Sky Muster™ Plus and there are certain restrictions on the service including Unmetered Content. For example, a service must not go over its data allowance by more than 30 GB and must not be used to routinely transfer emails more than 20 MB in size. (The existing Sky Muster™ Fair Use Policy will not apply although it will continue to apply to standard Sky Muster™ services.)

Here is a summary of nbn co’s traffic categories and shaping policy:

NameTraffic CategoryTime of DayData AllowanceShaping PolicyFair Use Policy
Unmetered ContentBasic Web ContentAny timeN/AUnshapedNo excessive automated downloads
EmailAny timeN/AUnshapedNo routine emails larger than 20 MB
Operating System UpdatesAny timeN/AUnshaped*No updates to more than 20 devices per calendar month
Metered Content(Traffic that does not fit categories above)Peak Hours (7:00 am to 1:00 am
next day)
Peak Data AllowanceUnshaped then 512/256 kbps if data allowance exceededNo more than 30 GB in excess of data allowance per calendar month
Off-Peak Hours (1:00 am to 7:00 am)Off-Peak Data AllowanceUnshaped then 2048/512 kbps if data allowance exceededNo more than 30 GB in excess of data allowance per calendar month

*In the future, nbn co may change this to 256 kbps between 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm.

What have we learned from the trial?

Although our Sky Muster™ Plus test participants don’t form a representative sample of our whole customer base, here are the main takeaways from the trial so far:

  • Around one-quarter of traffic was categorised as Unmetered Content by nbn co (this makes the top two new Sky Muster™ Plus plans more attractive than comparable standard Sky Muster™ plans by having effectively larger data allowances)
  • Speed test results averaged 43 Mbps and sometimes exceeded 50 Mbps!

Although this does not indicate what data speeds you can achieve when the service is released, it does indicate that a significant increase over standard Sky Muster™ services has been possible.

Who is Sky Muster™ Plus most suited for?

Based on the plans available from nbn co and the learnings from the trial, we feel that the new service is best suited to the following types of users:

  • Existing Sky Muster™ users on plans with the largest data allowances
  • Households that wish to protect their metered data allowance for fun things like Netflix or Skype calls with the family
  • Students that don’t meet nbn co’s eligibility criteria for educational services
  • Families that want the reassurance of constant, unshaped access to essential Unmetered Content, even if they exceed their data allowance
  • Small, regional businesses.
How do data allowances compare to standard Sky Muster™ plans?

nbn co offers a choice of three Sky Muster™ Plus plans with Peak Data Allowances and matching Off-Peak Data Allowances. Given that some proportion of your network traffic is likely to be categorised as Unmetered Content, a data allowance on Sky Muster Plus™ may represent better value than the same one on Sky Muster™.

For example, if around 25% of your traffic is categorised as Unmetered Content and the remaining 75% as Metered Content (the split we saw during the trial), your Sky Muster Plus™ data allowance could compete with a standard Sky Muster allowance that is 33% larger. See the table below to understand how Unmetered Content can increase the value of your Sky Muster Plus™ Peak Data Allowance (likewise for your Off-Peak Data Allowance).

 

Peak Data Allowance for Sky Muster Plus PlanYour Metered Content Usage on Sky Muster Plus during Peak Hours (75%)Your Unmetered Content Usage on Sky Muster Plus during Peak Hours (25%)Your Total Usage on Sky Muster Plus during Peak Hours (100%)Peak Data Allowance needed for equivalent Sky Muster PlanEffective Allowance Increase
50 GB50 GB17 GB67 GB67 GB33%
100 GB100 GB33 GB133 GB133 GB33%
150 GB150 GB50 GB200 GB200 GB33%

Of course, your actual usage split will depend on the types of content you download and upload each month.

Can existing Sky Muster™ customers migrate to the new service?

Yes, if you have an existing Sky Muster™ service, with SkyMesh or another provider, you can now order the new service and be one of the first to access it.

How do I order?

Before ordering, we suggest that you check out our new plans and determine whether or not the new service and its features will suit your particular needs. Many existing customers may find their current plans better suit their needs.

View Sky Muster™ Plus Plans & Order Now

If you need some advice, please call our friendly team on 1300 759 637.

Barney Lassen
Written by Barney Lassen

Originally from Oxford (UK), Barney's been with SkyMesh since 2016. Outside of work, you might catch him down his local swimming pool or walking his very-good-girl, Macey.