Australian government inks AUD18.4m deal to improve NBN interim satellite service

25 Mar 2014

Australian communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed that the state has reached a deal under which it hopes to improve the performance of the Interim Satellite Service (ISS). According to ZDNet Australia, Mr Turnbull revealed to parliament that a deal worth AUD18.4 million (USD16.8 million) has been struck with satellite operators IPStar and Optus under which the duo will upgrade capacity for all ISS users. It is understood that there will be new, stricter rules governing how customer can use the satellite-based broadband service, with the minister noting: ‘We will institute a new stringent fair use policy to ensure a minority of very heavy users cannot crowd out the majority’. With NBN Co claiming to have registered an improvement in the service in the wake of trialling the new policy, Mr Turnbull added: ‘It will not be as fast as the speeds promised, and not delivered, by Labor, but it will be broadband. And much higher, and certainly not anywhere near the anaemic speeds at present.’ Meanwhile, an unnamed spokesperson for the minister was cited as saying that capacity will be increased by one third, from 30kbps to 40kbps, while the new arrangements will see download speeds in peak periods increased from below 500kbps to more than 1.5Mbps.