The National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance) congratulates the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, and NBN Co for the launch of a new satellite plan – nbn® Sky Muster® Plus Premium – that introduces more connectivity options for people across rural, regional and remote Australia.
The Alliance welcomes several benefits this will bring, such as uncapped data usage, capability for faster burst speeds, as well as lower wholesale pricing. This will enable thousands of Australians living in rural Australia to use unmetered data, 24 hours a day and at faster speeds of up to 100 Mbps.
“The Alliance is part of the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC) that has been vocal in raising awareness of regional communications and is dedicated to improving connectivity in the bush,” said Alliance Chief Executive Susi Tegen.
“The RRRCC’s key message has been the need for reliable, affordable and high-quality connectivity services in rural, regional and remote Australia and we are pleased to see the progress made in this regard,” said Ms Tegen.
“However, we emphasise that measures should be put in place to ensure that the lower wholesale price translates into lower retail prices for rural consumers. We hope that retailers work with NBN and the rural community to ensure that retail prices are fair.
“It must be ensured that we are not comparing the better, lower-cost service plan options in the city with services in the country, which have a higher retail cost, often with less service options.
“In addition, consumer education on available services, and what can be purchased, needs to be easily accessed and understood by consumers, so that they can find the service that suits them at an equitable cost.
“While welcoming the launch of the new satellite plan, advocacy efforts must continue for better connectivity services for rural communities – along with lower retail prices – so that increasing demand is met with suitable service offerings and prices.
“We also need to ensure that improvements in technology lead to better access to healthcare options that rely on this technology,” Ms Tegen added.