Minister for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Sky Muster to supply broadband to remote Flying Doctor clinics

5 July 2017

  • NBN’s Sky Muster satellite supplies 24 Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) bases and 300 remote area clinics with high speed broadband
  • This will enable Telehealth and online health management in areas this hadn't previously been possible
  • Many of these sites had little or no internet in the past

Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash has welcomed NBN Co’s partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) which will provide broadband to 24 RFDS bases and 300 remote area clinics across Australia.

Many of these remote RFDS clinics had little or no internet connectivity and will now receive broadband through the Sky Muster satellites.

Speaking at the Sky Muster demonstration van in Alice Springs today, Minister Nash said 14 remote RFDS clinics would soon be able to use Telehealth services, which allows patients to videoconference with specialists and doctors all over the country.

"This is one of the really great things the Sky Muster satellites are doing - helping to improve the health of remote Australians," Minister Nash said.

"Last week, I announced a 50 per cent increase in peak data for Sky Muster customers and a doubling of off-peak data at little extra costs - and NBN will work to provide even more data than that to the RFDS.

"This partnership between RFDS and Sky Muster will also advance moves to host Sky Muster receivers in planes, so they can send live data - say from a heart monitor, to a heart specialist anywhere in the country, who can provide live advice.

"After inheriting the satellites from Labor, we've worked hard to stabilise the service and provide more data.

“The Sky Muster satellites shoot beams down from 36000 kilometres above earth to provide broadband internet to the most remote parts of Australia, and I'm thrilled they'll now be providing broadband to the Flying Doctors."

NBN Co is set to continue to work alongside the RFDS to further develop the partnership arrangements during 2017 and assessment of the trial will occur in 2018.

Sky Muster is an ultra-modern satellite made to deliver high-speed internet to four per cent of Australian homes and businesses, mostly in remote areas.

ENDS.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122 les.white@regional.gov.au

Back to top