Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
Nearly 600 remote satellite broadband users went without service throughout the Christmas period, thanks to an ‘incident’ that impacted NBN Co’s Sky Muster and Sky Muster Plus services. An NBN spokesman said on Thursday that the company had successfully restored services to 497 premises of the 573 that had been impacted, and were working as quickly as possible to get the remaining 76 premises affected back online.
It is understood that the incident, the cause of which NBN is not commenting on, initially affected 34 per cent or just under 38,000 satellite customers on December 21, but most had their service restored soon after. For the rest, about 0.5pc of the total, it has been an extremely frustrating couple of weeks without internet. One of those impacted was Winton’s Donna Paynter, who had visitors with small children staying for the Christmas period.
The outage affected premises seemingly at random across Australia. The Better Internet for Regional Rural and Remote Australia group said it was disappointing that it was taking so long to resolve the problem. Some of our members have been without a connection over Christmas and new year and during cyclone and fire season. The increasing level of frustration from customers was reflected in advice being distributed by retail service providers such as Skymesh as the outage stretched on.
Former Maranoa MP Bruce Scott, who lives at Roma in south-western Queensland, commented on social media that it was “a timely reminder that for people living in rural and remote areas in an emergency, a clear voice telephone service is essential and could be a lifesaver as a satellite service can and does fail”. The BIRRR spokesperson said any consumers that remained offline should contact their provider.