The NBN may have brought faster speeds to many, and a huge increase in connectivity for the bush, but as a very clear sign of the times the Satellite service which serves almost half a million homes just won’t cut it for a lot of today’s basic internet needs.

Today, the NBN announced changes to the Sky Muster satellite service which is essentially a boost in data allowances for those most regional of users.  “Essential” internet services such as email, web surfing and software updates will not count toward monthly data allowances.

As this is an NBN announcement not a retail announcement we’re yet to see the actual pricing and if and how much more this will cost users, but – as a signal of changing with the times, it’s a step in the right direction.

Practically speaking for the average household, if Dad churns through your monthly allowance playing Red Dead Redemption or Call of Duty, the rest of the home won’t suffer with web and email downloads.

That won’t include Video Streaming, so the big data users like Streaming or Gaming are still to be done with care.

There’s also no clear definition yet on what “Critical Software Updates” are – as these are exempt also.  Will this include iOS and Android Updates, will this include Windows Updates, or even Xbox and Playstation.  We’ll wait and see.

New NBN CEO Stephen Rue said “The launch of our Sky Muster™ Plus product is another demonstration of our unwavering commitment to regional and rural Australians living in some of the most far-flung regions of our vast outback.

“Our Sky Muster™ satellite service is an essential part of the nbn™ rollout that not only helps to provide homes and businesses with access to fast broadband services, but also the tools to help unlock social and economic prosperity in all our regions.

“We have been listening to feedback from consumers and industry on what we can do to improve customer experience on the nbn™ Sky Muster network. The new Sky Muster™ Plus product is designed to give regional and rural Australians peace of mind knowing that essential internet services, like emailing loved ones or accessing internet banking, should not slow down if their monthly data limit has been exceeded.

“Our team is also continuing to consult with industry on a number of additional wholesale product updates on the Sky Muster™ satellite service, including a regional enterprise service as well as additional applications to enable remote telehealth and distance education.”