Sky Muster Plus is the gift that keeps on giving with surprising new beneficiaries popping up everywhere you look.
Distance education is the latest winner thanks to the services’ blockbuster upgrades earlier this year.
Here’s what this really means for remote home-schooled Aussie kids.
Official education ports are currently supported through nbn™ Sky Muster, the standard satellite offering for rural Australians.
The dedicated ports have meant that thousands of remote Australian home-schooled children have been able to access more equitable levels of education than ever before.
What is an Education Port?
An nbn™ Sky Muster Education Port is a dedicated port in the modem (NTD), specifically designed for distance education and home school students (preschool, primary and secondary). The port enables each eligible student to access a set amount of data for education (50GB per student).
Back in January we spoke to the Moller family from the Star of Hope Station in Clermont, Queensland about the generational changes they’d experienced in distance education.
You can read the Moller family story here.
At the time they talked about the spectacular difference the Sky Muster education ports made to their school room.
Scott Moller – now the father of three home-schooled daughters – had been home-schooled himself, at the kitchen table, by his mother.
He was in Grade-6 before he first had contact with an actual teacher, at which time he travelled 75kms each way every day to school to do so.
It’s very different for his kids though.
In the Star of Hope school room, mum Alana Moller had set up two Educational Plans on one router. This is how she isolated and tracked the 50GB of data being received by each of the two children currently home schooled.
The need to track data so the kids have enough for their studies may actually be a thing of the past now.
Let’s have a look at how.
Yep. It’s true. All the educational platforms distance education kids need are unmetered on the new Sky Muster Plus. That means that this internet usage does NOT come off your data allowance.
If you bought the most basic Sky Muster Plus plan we offer, you would get 25GB peak data and 25GB off peak data for $69.95 per month.
But because EVERYTHING except video streaming and VPN traffic is unmetered by default, all the general schooling activities like video conferencing, emails, Dropbox, Blackboard, and so much more are open slather for the kids to get the best education possible.
Education traffic is never shaped.
So, the 25GB peak data and the 25GB off peak data I mentioned before can be used by the kids to watch educational videos on Netflix or YouTube if they need to without worrying about having the data available for other essential lessons.
You just need to assess how much video streaming the kids might do for school and make sure you have a plan with enough data for that alone.
All other data needs are taken care of with all that unmetered data I talked about.
Here’s a cheat-sheet you can download with all the unmetered data categories available via the new Sky Muster Plus.
You still need a separate internet service to your education service.
Keeping a separate Sky Muster/Sky Muster Plus service for your personal and/or business usage means there will be more than enough data for everyone to live their best online lives.
With Sky Muster Plus, under certain conditions, some of your traffic may be able to burst above the speed limits found on standard Sky Muster services.
It’s great for Blackboard users especially given the way the program adapts its data consumption automatically based on how strong the connection is at any given point in time.
Sky Muster Plus users can just enjoy the strength of their internet connection during times of burst speeds without worrying about Blackboard chewing through their data.
• New-gen satellite Internet: How it’s revolutionised Distance Education for rural kids
• School holiday fun with online educational games for kids
• What content is unmetered on the new Sky Muster™ Plus service?
• How the new Sky Muster Plus is far more epic than the original
• Sky Muster™ Plus Data Blocks Now Available
• Customers say new satellite internet bridges rural/urban digital divide
BIRRR have done the legwork on what each state offers in terms of subsidised internet for distance education purposes.
They say that Sky Muster Plus represents better value for money (and data allowance) than the actual education port in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
In each of these states/territories, the government either doesn’t offer a subsidy at all, or they allow you to organise your own internet connection and they give you an allowance towards the cost.
However, in New South Wales and Western Australia, the relevant government department will organise and pay for the connection so you’re at the mercy of their decision-making process here I’m afraid.
Ultimately, you need to take a look at the subsidies available in your state/territory, weigh up how much metered data you really need for educational video streaming, take a look at the Sky Muster Plus plans and decide what is best for your situation.