Thaicom-owned rural and regional satellite internet service provider IPSTAR Broadband has launched a new unmetered and non-speed-restricted broadband option dubbed Sky Muster Plus, providing data for essential services such as emails, general browsing, social media and PC and smartphone software updates.

NBN Co, which announced the new wholesale offer at the same time, said a Sky Muster Plus trial, which ran from 7 June until 8 August 2019, revealed four out of five existing Sky Muster customers reported an improvement in their online experience, “with many reporting the unmetered data was particularly helpful when it came to managing their overall data usage.”

NBN Co said three wholesale plans with different metered data allowances will be available to participating retail service providers based on a wholesale speed tier of 25/5 Mbps, adding “customers will from time-to-time experience wholesale speed bursts above 25/5Mbps, subject to available network capacity.”

IPSTAR Broadband Managing Director Shannon Fisher said the company was committed to ensuring rural and regional Australians were better able to stay connected, educate their families and grow their businesses.

“Customers have told us their monthly data allowance is sometimes used up by their children, grandchildren or even them streaming videos and gaming, leaving them unable to complete tasks crucial to running a business, like sending and receiving emails to and from customers and suppliers,” Fisher said.

“Sky Muster™ Plus will remove the monthly download cap for essential services, allowing rural regional businesses – many of which operate from home – to rest easy knowing their operations won’t be disrupted by too many streamed episodes of Stranger Things or battles on Fortnite.”

While its Sky Muster™ Plus package maintains on the top plan a monthly cap of up to 150 GB peak and 150GB off peak for streaming , the firm said there will be no data limit for regular web activities like accessing emails or internet banking.

According to IPSTA, community advocacy group Better Internet for Regional Rural and Remote Australia has been instrumental in helping the Federal Government and NBN Co to develop Sky Muster Plus.

Co-Founder Kristy Sparrow said the new service will make a significant difference to users who have been faced with limited data allowances, especially the 42 per cent of Sky Muster users who have no other internet option.

“We appreciate that NBN Co and the Minister for Regional Services have listened to regional advocacy groups and understood that data allowances on Sky Muster have restricted essential services for regional users and we thank them for listening to our concerns” she said.