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Data brings more freedom for farming family

3-minute read

Meet the McCartens, a farming family from Rankins Springs in New South Wales making the most of more data via nbn’s Sky Muster® Plus satellite service.

At nbn, our focus on the regions is sharper than ever.

Since July 2022, the nbn® Sky Muster® Plus service has included more data than ever with major changes introduced to benefit households and small businesses across Australia.

In the time since these latest enhancements were introduced, nbn Sky Muster Plus customers – on average – now use around 13 per cent more data per month and a significant 81 per cent of their total internet usage does not count towards their monthly data allowance! *

Those changes mean people connected to an nbn Sky Muster Plus satellite service can access Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and video streaming for 16 hours a day (between midnight and 4pm*) without it counting towards their monthly data allowance.

All other activities like online shopping, emails and internet banking, audio streaming, video calling and Wi-Fi calling will not count towards a user’s monthly data allowance for the full 24 hours a day.

Previously, all VPN and video streaming counted towards a person's monthly data allowance, regardless of the time of day.

The McCarten family of Rankins Springs – in the Riverina region of New South Wales about 65 kilometres from Griffith – is one of many households now enjoying the benefits of accessing more data.

Meet the McCartens

The family of five is extremely busy and typical of modern households, with farm, school and remote office work – plus video streaming – all part of the day’s fabric.

Dad, Peter, runs the sheep and cropping property and is a regular internet user to check real-time weather data, as well as being able to quickly source and understand new machinery and their parts.

“Weather’s very important because you want it instantaneous… a lot of the decisions are made on, you know, if you’re going to put a bit of urea [fertiliser] on, you want to know that the weather is going to be right,” he explains.

“It costs too much money otherwise.”

In the future, Peter is also considering introducing remote water monitoring and live cameras to his operation. These types of technology are becoming much more prevalent across large farms, meaning less reliance on manual work and greater flexibility to even be away from the farm.

The McCartens and their data

As we expand the nbn network, we know we have an important responsibility to enable the social and economic opportunities made possible by fast broadband is available across Australia.

Along with Peter, there’s also Mum, Megan, daughters, Lily and Alicia, and son, Todd.

Megan is a delegate for the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association, a ‘voluntary, non-profit, apolitical parent body dedicated to ensuring all geographically isolated children’s educational needs and aspirations are not disadvantaged because of where they live’.

Understandably, she’s eager to ensure her children have the same opportunities as those who live in Australian towns and cities. During COVID, after all, the family all based themselves from the farm and data was never as important.

“Now that COVID’s over with, we can understand how important our internet is. Wow,” says Megan.

Peter, Lily and Todd McCarten

Daughter Lily has been completing her senior years of high school, Alicia has been working as an accountant for a firm in Dubbo, NSW, while 25-year-old Todd has even become a social media guru, building up an Instagram following of more than 4,300, alongside his work on the farm.

“We can run our business from home basically,” says Peter.

“My daughter can do her Higher School Certificate here. We’ve had one daughter here working from inside the house – she doesn’t have to be at her work, she can do it here from home.”

Interested in the benefits of nbn Sky Muster Plus?

New customers and existing nbn Sky Muster customers can enquire about upgrading to an nbn Sky Muster Plus satellite service by calling their preferred, participating phone and internet provider.

For existing nbn Sky Muster Plus users, the changes will automatically be applied.

Improving service for regional and remote customers

Our network is the digital backbone of Australia, and it is constantly evolving as we help keep communities, businesses and all areas of society connected, and our nation productive.

While more fibre continues to be rolled out across the nation, we are also investing in the Sky Muster satellite network.

July’s introduction of more data has no doubt been another welcome change for the McCartens.

“You’re not worried about using up too much data,” says Peter.

“When we had younger kids at home… every month, you know, you had to watch the data. And now… that’ll be good if you’ve got more because at least even if I want to go in there and look at the weather, I can without even thinking about it.”

Important Notes

* Unmetered data exclusions and fair use conditions apply. nbn may, at its discretion, reduce the speed of traffic (in particular, gaming / software updates and cloud uploads) to slow wholesale speeds.

nbn is very happy with the McCarten family’s experience with the nbn® network. Of course, end customer experiences may vary. Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn® network, depends on the nbn® access technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside of nbn’s control (like your equipment quality, software, chosen broadband plan, signal reception, or how your provider designs its network). Satellite end customers may also experience latency.

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